National Geographic Society/Buffett Awards

Awards for Leadership in Conservation

The annual National Geographic Society/Buffett Awards for Leadership in Conservation were established by the Society and The Howard G. Buffett Foundation to recognize and celebrate unsung heroes working in the field. Two awards are presented each year: one for achievement in Africa (established in 2002) and the other for achievement in Latin America (established in 2005).

Recipients of these awards have demonstrated outstanding leadership in managing and protecting the natural resources in their regions and countries. In addition, they are each inspirational conservation advocates who serve as role models and mentors.

Award recipients are chosen from nominations submitted to the Committee for Research and Exploration, which screens each nominee through a peer-review process. The awardees chosen each year are honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., and receive a one-time grant of $25,000 to support their ongoing work.

Nominations Are Now Closed

Thank you for your interest in the National Geographic Society/Buffett Awards. Nominations for 2017 are now closed. The awards will be presented at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., in the summer of 2017. View the list of previous awardees.

“The individuals that hold the front line for conservation often go unrecognized while making great personal sacrifices. This award was established to motivate and support these great conservationists.”

—Howard G. Buffett

Howard G. Buffett is president of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, which focuses on humanitarian and conservation issues. An agriculturalist, businessman, and widely published photographer, Buffett is also a member of the Commission on Presidential Debates, serves as a United Nations Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Program, and is a member of National Geographic's Council of Advisors.

2016 NGS/Buffett Awardees

Makala Jasper

Makala Jasper  

Makala Jasper is CEO of the Mpingo Conservation & Development Initiative, a Tanzanian nonprofit committed to improving the well-being of rural communities.

Victor Zambrano

Victor Zambrano  

Victor Zambrano has dedicated his life to the restoration of natural forests in the Madre de Dios region, fostering ecologically stable and socioeconomically productive landscapes.