Leonard Akwany is a Kenyan environmental scientist born in Kisumu, Western Kenya. He is passionate, enthusiastic and committed to working on interactions between society, economy and ecosystems to realize the dual objective of conservation and poverty alleviation amongst the communities he was raised in. He has a long and successful history of work with Lake Victoria’s communities, having worked as both a program manager and adviser on numerous sustainable livelihoods and conservation initiatives for the papyrus wetlands of Lake Victoria. Most recently Leonard and a coalition of ambitious young Kenyan scientists formed EcoFinder, which CREE has helped support and grow over the years.
Leonard’s diverse career has included facilitating environmental entrepreneurship with multiple civil society organizations, mainstreaming environmental governance in local and national development planning with Lake Victoria Region Local Authorities Cooperation (LVRLAC) and Ecological Society for Eastern Africa (ESEA), and working in Sauri Village towards meeting sustainable development goals under the United Nations Millennium Villages Project. Additionally, he is an accomplished theater practitioner with over 10 years experience utilizing theater for communication on climate change and development through a popular African educational theater and puppetry.
Leonard holds a B.Sc. in Natural Resources Management from Egerton University, Kenya and M.Sc. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from University of Manchester UK. He is the inaugural winner of the prestigious Pan-African Entrepreneurship Award for his work on environmental and social entrepreneurship for poverty alleviation by Educating Africa and Teach A Man To Fish, UK. Additionally he is Kinship Conservation Fellow and Ford Motor Company International Fellow of 92nd Street Y for 2011 and 2015 respectively for his work on Business Based Solutions for Environmental Problems, Civil Society Leadership and Community Work.