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remembering Mandefu Mupanza Leonard Kenyata, a protector of wildlife
IFAW notes with sadness the news of the death of Mandefu Mupanza Leonard Kenyata, who was killed in mid-June 2020 by Mai-Mai rebels while patrolling Lake Edward in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mr. Kenyata was a member of the Nyakakoma legal fishing collective and was involved in efforts to secure the Lake from illegal activities in conjunction with IUCN Netherlands, IFAW’s partner in a number of conservation initiatives in the region.
The latest Defending Tomorrow Report from Global Witness underscores the risks faced by those who choose to defend their land, resources, and environment. In 2019 alone, 212 defenders of wildlife were murdered, an average of more than four a week.
Last Friday was World Ranger Day, a time where much of the focus of the conservation world was rightly on the brave men and women who help secure our protected areas and the wildlife they contain. We want to recognize Mr. Kenyata and others who work tirelessly to ensure a better world for their children and who unflinchingly face danger on a daily basis.
We extend our sincere condolences to his family.
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