Take a look inside the 2023 Whitley Awards

Some of our favourite moments from the 30th Whitley Awards ceremony...

Described as ‘memorable’, ‘inspirational’ and ‘uplifting’, the 2023 Whitley Awards celebrated 30 years of empowering conservation leaders, while recognising the many types of partnerships that have enabled us to give £20 million in funding to support over 200 conservationists in the Global South who are leading sustainable solutions to biodiversity loss and climate change.

Celebrating the generosity of our major donors, Friends of WFN and conservation partners past and present under the banner of #PartnersForPlanet, we welcomed the new cohort of Whitley Award winners while paying homage to the three decades of support for WFN’s approach to funding local conservation leaders in their home countries.

WFN’s Founder, Edward Whitley OBE reflected on 30 years of WFN and the value of the partnerships made in that time

In a ceremony that saw a keynote speech from this year’s Gold Award winner Shivani Bhalla; the screening of a special interview between WFN Founder Edward Whitley and esteemed WFN Ambassador Sir David Attenborough; and a stirring address from WFN Patron HRH The Princess Royal, Ambassadors Tom Heap and Kate Humble compèred the evening’s proceedings at the Royal Geographical Society in front of an audience of 500 attendees including donors, supporters and country Ambassadors.

WFN Ambassadors and ceremony co-hosts Tom Heap and Kate Humble

Here we share some of our favourite photos from the night:

WFN Patron HRH, The Princess Royal, speaks to winners at our pre-ceremony reception.

2023 Whitley Award winner Serge Alexis Kamgang met guests before proceedings began.

Whitley Award winners, including Mamy Razafitsalama had the opportunity to meet WFN Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, before the ceremony.

WFN Ambassador Danni de Niese showed her support for the charity during the pre-ceremony reception.

Our ceremony booklets introduce the winners with photographs of, and information about, their work.

Guests enjoyed eco-friendly wines thanks to our partners, Sea Change Wine.

An interview between WFN Founder, Edward Whitley, and esteemed WFN Ambassador Sir David Attenborough was screened during the ceremony.

WFN Patron, HRH The Princess Royal and WFN’s Founder, Edward Whitley OBE watched as Award winners introduced their projects.

Edward Whitley OBE reflected on 30 years of WFN and thanked past and present team members and supporters.

The winners, including Tulshi Laxmi Suwal, drew upon the day’s speech training sessions to explain their award-winning projects.

A special award was given to honour the long term partnership between WFN and past Award winner Claudio Padua, and his Brazilian NGO, IPÊ.

WFN Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, spoke about the impact of the Whitley Awards.

Whitley Gold Award winner, Shivani Bhalla, gave a keynote speech about the impact of climate change and prolonged droughts in Kenya on the lives of the lions and people living in Samburu.

Shivani was joined on stage by six members of her team, including Samburu elder Jeneria Lekilelei, now Director of Community Conservation at Ewaso Lions.

Samburu warrior Lkaasian Leringato took to the stage with 5 other members of the Ewaso Lions team.

Ewaso team member Francis rounded out the evening with a Samburu blessing for all conservationists worldwide.

Whitley Award winner Leonard Awkany receiving his trophy from WFN Patron HRH The Princess Royal.

WFN Ambassador Danni de Niese celebrated with Gold Award winner Shivani Bhalla and her team.

After the ceremony the Whitley Award winners celebrated with their trophies along with the WFN team and compères Kate and Tom.

The Whitley Award winners with the WFN team, Ambassadors and Trustees.

Congratulations to the 2023 Whitley Award winners!

Watch the ceremony again in full by playing the livestream on demand: