AFRICAN Parks, the Johannesburg-based non-profit conservation organisation, protects natural landscapes and defends wildlife across the entire African continent. In partnership with local communities and governments, it assumes complete responsibility for the long-term sustainable management of 15 national parks and protected areas in nine countries – covering 10.5 million hectares. African Parks aims to stop catastrophic species loss and wilderness destruction by adopting a business approach to conservation. The non-profit secures 20-year contracts to assume absolute authority over park management, including the law enforcement component. This gives the organisation real teeth in the fight against increasingly militarised poaching networks, fuelled by an illegal wildlife market valued at $20bn a year. The BV judging panel recognises African Parks for its support of wildlife conservation and its role in the economic development of the continent and the communities in which it operates. African Parks has been granted the 2018 award for Outstanding Contribution to Conservation South Africa 2018.