The Lowell Thomas Award is presented each year by The Explorers Club to groups of outstanding explorers. It is one of the organization’s highest honors. Previous recipients include E.O. Wilson, Sylvia Earle, Alan Rabinowitz, Laurie Marker, and other leading conservationists. The 2016 Award recognizes explorers who have dedicated themselves to the preservation of wild places, intact ecosystems, and open lands.
“I am so amazed and humbled to be receiving this incredible award on behalf of our team,” said Dr. Lichtenfeld. “I am confident that the work we are doing at the African People & Wildlife Fund will help to ensure that Tanzania’s people, wildlife, and wild lands will thrive for generations to come.”
Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld believes wild animals and humans can coexist in harmony. With 20 years of on-the-ground experience in East African wildlife conservation, Laly specializes in human-wildlife conflict prevention focusing on lions and other big cats. Encompassing nearly 10 million acres of Acacia woodlands, bushland, and open grassland, Northern Tanzania supports one of the highest large mammal diversities in the world, where wildlife still moves freely, unhindered by fences.
However, this landscape also represents one of the most challenging environments for ecosystem and open space preservation because most of it is on community lands. Saving this threatened landscape depends on the commitment of rural people who govern these lands, which is where the African People & Wildlife Fund’s community-driven conservation model comes in. Together with her team of 50 Tanzanian citizens, Laly developed an extremely ambitious, multi-faceted approach to rangeland conservation in this vast landscape. The organization has enjoyed remarkable success. Laly is a Distinguished Alumni of the Yale Tropical Resources Institute, a National Geographic Explorer and six-time National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee as well as an invited member of the Clinton Global Initiative.
Visit the African People & Wildlife Fund website.