Season 3, Episode 4: Soldier for Nature: Last Line of Defense with Benson Kanyembo

I think the most important thing that keeps me motivated is I understand that whatever we do to mother nature will come back to us in one way or another. That's why I need to do my duty to protect our natural resources. It's not only about animals, it's about everything, because we depend on one another. —Benson Kanyembo

In this episode we hear from Mr. Benson Kanyembo, who serves as Law Enforcement Advisor for conservation South Luangwa in his native Zambia.

Benson was named 2019 winner of the Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award. This is an annual prize initiated by the charity’s royal patron the Duke of Cambridge that gives international recognition to the men and women who defend Africa’s wildlife.

In the past decade, more than 1,000 rangers have been killed in the line of duty: 75% of them by commercial poachers and armed militia groups. They have lost their lives in a bold uphill effort across the globe to protect the dwindling numbers of endangered species that are targeted by poaching syndicates. In Africa this includes what are referred to as the “Big Five” (which are Elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and African Buffalo) and also many less popular but equally relevant species.

Benson will share with us his own journey that spans over three decades and has led to his leadership and training of over 600 wildlife rangers to protect endangered wildlife and ecosystems in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

We discuss: the current state of the poaching crisis in Zambia, what keeps him motivated in the face of big challenges, and his deeply personal love of nature and desire to safeguard it for future generations.

Episode links:

Conservation South Luangwa

Tusk Award Winner Benson Kanyembo