IUCN HONOURS OUTSTANDING ACHIEVERS FOR PROTECTED AREAS

02 October 2008 | International news release

Countries around the world have set aside more than 12% of the earth’s land surface as protected areas - a remarkable achievement. Even more remarkable are the efforts of individuals who have worked tirelessly to promote and protect these unique areas, often at great personal risk and danger. IUCN honors such people through the Fred Packard Award – a key award made by IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) to recognize globally outstanding service to protected areas. The following seven outstanding individuals will be recognized at the WCPA Members meeting on 4 October, held prior to the IUCN World Conservation Congress:

Ernesto Enkerlin is an inspiring leader whose vision has helped shape conservation policy in Mexico. Ernesto’s work as Head of the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) has substantially elevated the profile of conservation in the national political agenda. Ernesto has worked with and engaged local communities and indigenous peoples living in and around protected areas in Mexico. He has participated actively in various NGOs dedicated to conservation in Mexico. Ernesto has also made a major and valued contribution globally to protected areas through his active involvement with the World Protected Areas Leadership Forum which includes the CEO’s of the world’s major protected areas agencies.

Moses Mapesa is the Executive Director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). His leadership has developed the Authority into one of the most professional protected areas agencies in Africa. During the years of civil unrest in Uganda Moses played the leading role in negotiating a sound relationship between the Ugandan Defence Force and UWA thus avoiding conflicts between the rangers and the military forces occupying protected areas in Uganda. Moses has also been actively involved in conservation projects in many other African countries and is a founding member of the Leadership for Conservation in Africa (LCA) Forum. This Africa wide organization brings conservationists and the business community together to support "conservation-led development".

Maria Tereza Jorde Padua is a major part of the history of nature conservation in Brazil. In her fight for environmental preservation, she often placed her own life at risk. As Director of the Brazilian Institute of Forest Development’s National Parks (IBDF) Maria Tereza created eight million hectares of national parks and biological reserves. Maria Tereza also participated in conservation NGOs and helped create the first Private Natural Heritage Reserves (RPPN) in Brazil. Maria Tereza also played a fundamental role in initiating many important and innovative projects for the conservation of Brazilian nature. Since 1990 she has been a member of the Fundação O Boticário de Protecão à Natureza’s Board of Directors.

George Wallace is a Professor at Colorado State University in the USA who has devoted his career to capacity building for protected areas through his teaching, research, training, graduate students and by personal example. His work has improved the capacity of hundreds if not thousands of protected area professionals in the Americas. George is one of the founders of the Consortium for International Protected Area Management which has supported capacity building for protected area managers in many countries.

Henri Blaffart, a true conservation warrior for Conservation International Pacific, recently drowned while crossing the Tiendanite in New Caledonia. Henri, the team leader of the Mont Panié Reserve Project, spent the last six years developing relationships with the kanak tribes of the isolated north-east cost of Grande Terre on New Caledonia. Through his hard work and dedication, and leading by example, he single handedly engaged 20 tribes and clans of the area to work for nature conservation. Henri’s single-handed battle against the establishment of four hydro-electric dams in the Mont Panié reserve showed much courage in the face of political authority and caused him much personal grief. However he perservered, and his vision of a ridge-to-reef national park is now endorsed and supported by all.

Rober Cartagena the President of CIDOB, the national organization of indigenous people in Bolivia, has worked tirelessly for almost two decades to save one of the most important forest areas on the planet. for the inclusion of indigenous people’s interest in hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation projects and he has worked tirelessly to safeguard the interests of indigenous people and the environment in Bolivia. The leadership of Rober has been essential in deepening the participation and respect for indigenous people’s territorial rights within protected areas in Bolivia, demonstrating that indigenous people are one of the most important social groups supporting and promoting conservation in Latin America

Muslih Al-Juaid has worked for over thirteen years in Saudi Arabia’s National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development in Saudi Arabia. Muslih has demonstrated extreme bravery in the course of his work. In September 2007 he was shot and severely wounded by suspected poachers, while attempting to detain them. This incident nearly ended his life. However, he has now completely recovered and is back at work, setting an example of valor and responsibility to staff within the National Commission and beyond. Throughout his career Muslih has shown exemplary dedication in conserving desert ecosystems and in the reintroduction of different species.

 

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:

 

Djinn Pourkiani, Communications Officer, IUCN Office
Tel:+41 22 999 0166, Mobile in Spain : +34 647776588, djinn.pourkiani@iucn.org;

Web: http://cms.iucn.org/about/union/commissions/wcpa/wcpa_overview/wcpa_about/index.cfm