NEW YORK (December 1, 2017) -- WCS announced today that Edwin Kinyanjui, Giyanto “Gigi,” Rubén Cueva, and Bemahafaly Randriamanantsoa have been honored with a Conservation Hero Award from the Disney Conservation Fund. The award recognizes local citizens for their commitment to save wildlife, protect habitats and inspire their communities to take part in conservation efforts. Recipients from around the world were nominated by nonprofit environmental organizations, and each honoree and his or her nominating organization will share a $1,500 award from the fund.

Edwin Kinyanjui is a dedicated Kenyan conservationist who has become an exceptional patrol unit leader and has saved many hundreds of animals by removing illegal snare traps and reducing threats from poachers.

Giyanto “Gigi” has been at the forefront of reducing illegal wildlife trade in Indonesia, especially through empowering local communities to reduce poaching by working with government law enforcement agencies.

Rubén Cueva Rubén has worked with WCS since 2008 as a field biologist, coordinating the Amazon River Turtle Conservation and Management Program in the Ecuadorian Amazon to recover wild populations of this species. He has dedicated a lifetime to wildlife conservation with local communities in the Napo River.

Bemahafaly Randriamanantsoa has advanced training in marine biology. He joined the WCS Madagascar program in 2002 and has become a local leader in the nation's creation of Marine Protected Areas through his coral reef research and efforts to strengthen community-based marine conservation.

The Disney Conservation Fund focuses on supporting nonprofit organizations and their work to engage communities in the protection of wildlife and critical ecosystems across the globe. Since 2004, Disney has honored more than 120 Conservation Heroes from around the world for their extraordinary conservation efforts.

For information on Disney’s commitment to conserve nature and a complete list of 2017 Conservation Hero Award recipients, visit

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