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Keen supporters of wildlife and conservation projects, Nicky and Strilli Oppenheimer have won awards for their generous commitment to preserving the habitat and encouraging education in the field of conservation. They were jointly presented with the prestigious World Wildlife Fund - Lonmin Award for environmental conservation. “The award recognizes those who promote a culture of sustainable use and conservation of our natural heritage,” said Rob Little chief executive officer of WWF South Africa. “It is awarded to individuals or organisations which make an outstanding contribution to conserving the environment. The award was made for the Oppenheimers’ active and involved support of conservation projects aiming to foster the bio diversity of the county’s mammals, birds, invertebrates (insects), fish, reptiles, vegetation.
Strilli Oppenheimer launched the Diamond Route, a partnership between the Oppenheimer family and De Beers, at the World Summit on Sustainability in Johannesburg in 2002. This project is culmination of years of dedication and commitment to environmental conservation across nine properties and is aimed to maximize their potential for conservation and research, environmental awareness and tangible social upliftment as well as to create further opportunities for nature lovers to experience these diverse and unique product offerings.
Says Strilli, “...conservation of the environment, which we have inherited as custodians, is not a subject of only specialist and activist interest; rather it is an imperative for society as a whole to hand on a less distressed situation than that we have caused. There is a growing public awareness in appreciating what we have, and doing what we can together, to ensure we do not continue to lose species on a daily basis, as each loss impacts on everyone and everything in some way”.