The Award is “in recognition of Gardiner’s dedication to wildlife conservation, to saving animals and their habitats that has laid a road map for other private entities to invest in conservation”, said American Humane CEO, Dr Robin Ganzert.
Adrian Gardiner, well-known conservationist, entrepreneur and Founder and Chairman of the conservation-focused hotel group, the Mantis Collection, received a Global Humanitarian Award from American Humane – the United States’ first national humane organisation, and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare.
The Award is “in recognition of Gardiner’s dedication to wildlife conservation, to saving animals and their habitats that has laid a road map for other private entities to invest in conservation”, said American Humane CEO, Dr Robin Ganzert. “He could apply his sharp business sense anywhere, yet he’s chosen to invest his talents in wildlife conservation. American Humane stands in awe of his accomplishments and is honoured to recognise him with our National Humanitarian Medal.”
The Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) is the official foundation of Mantis and Accor, and the ceremony took place at the home of the CCFA’s new legacy conservation project; a partnership with Nyosi Wildlife Reserve, a 2,500-hectare pocket of biodiversity in the urban metropolis of Nelson Mandela Bay.
“As I celebrate my 80th birthday, I am deeply honoured to receive this award”, said Gardiner. “But I am equally humbled, the environment and conservation projects I have been fortunate to be involved in, are not about me. I have an amazing team, we would never have accomplished what we have without everyone’s incredible dedication, empathy, work ethic and love of nature and the environment.”
Gardiner added: “In South Africa we say it takes a village to raise a child. The same is true for conservation. Everyone from visionaries through to environmentalists, local communities, tourists, and volunteers play an important role in spreading the message. Our philosophy has also been to ensure inclusivity to help man, beast and the natural world live in harmony.”
Prior to founding the Mantis Collection, Gardiner spent decades dedicated to the conservation and protection of Africa’s wildlife, in partnership with both the Wilderness Foundation Africa and the Wilderness Foundation Global, where he serves as patron.
Gardiner founded Shamwari, the first private Big Five game reserve in the Eastern Cape which inspired him to expand this blueprint, restoring the land and protecting the animals who inhabit it. Now, through the CCFA’s legacy conservation project, a foundation of the Mantis Collection, he continues to work alongside dedicated conservationists and community members with the objective of each CCFA project to include participation by local communities for them to benefit from conservation and ecotourism, while creating a conservation and community legacy.
Adrian Gardiner has received additional accolades for his conservation, environmental and tourism initiatives, these include:
- Terra Nova Conservation Award 2001
- Prestige Award from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University 2002
- South Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) 2004
- Recognition of the Development of Alicedale
- The Herald Citizen of the Year Award: Environmental Conservation category 2005
- South Africa’s Tourism Investment Award 2007
- CHN University Netherlands 2007, degree master’s in international services management (Honoris Causa)
- South African National Parks – Chief Executive Award 2007
- SAB Environmentalist of the Year Award 2008 (Nick Steele Memorial Award)
- Tourism Business Leadership Award 2009
- African Hospitality Investment Award 2019
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