World Commission on Protected Areas

Previous Awardees

Kenton Miller Award Logo Photo: World Commission on Protected Areas

Pedro Estêvão Muagura, 2020

In recognition of Pedro Estêvão Muagura for his efforts to address the restoration of rainforest in the Gorongosa National Park following the devastating impacts of civil war on the biodiversity and livelihoods of local farmers. Faced with the dilemma of ongoing deforestation, loss of biodiversity and the struggle for subsistence by local farmers following the civil war in Mozambique, Mr Muagura came up with the idea of growing coffee on deforested mountainsides. He proposed that the coffee could be shade-grown, beneath replanted native trees, giving local people an income as well as restoring the forest. Faced with initial scepticism, Muagura prevailed with his idea, even though no-one had any experience of growing coffee either in the area of Gorongosa, or indeed anywhere in Mozambique. He worked closely with the community to understand their needs, and to demonstrate that the benefits of restoration would outweigh the short-term gains of slash and burn agriculture. He also had to understand and engage with gender roles, ensuring that women were empowered to contribute to the nurseries of seedlings and newly planted trees. In 2015, a group of local farmers planted 15,000 coffee seedlings on Mount Gorongosa, alongside native trees to support rainforest reforestation efforts. Today, Mount Gorongosa’s people are planting around 200,000 coffee trees per year, together with 50,000 rainforest trees, and women make up 50% of the small-holder farmers, now numbering over 600 people. The produce is bought by a natural-products enterprise that processes the coffee at its new factory nearby and markets the roasted beans in Mozambique and around the world. Mr Muagura’s efforts have fostered sustainable land use, community development, and biodiversity conservation in the region. Through Mr Muagura’s efforts, the implementation of more sustainable agricultural practices in the park has progressed, many smallholder farmers in the surrounding areas are learning new skills that can be applied more widely, thereby contributing towards sustainable land use, community development, and biodiversity conservation.
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Nizar Youssef Hani, 2020

In recognition of Mr Nizar Youssef Hani for innovation in protected areas management, in respect of the transformation of the Shouf Biosphere Reserve as a globally significant model for integrated ecological, social, and economic development.

Mr Hani has been involved in the management and development of the Shouf Biosphere Reserve for twenty years, rising to become its manager in charge, and overseeing the realisation of a vision of the reserve as a model for restoration of nature, community development, climate change resilience, sustainable economic development, and the facilitation of peaceful reconciliation. Growing up in the aftermath of civil war in Lebanon, in a village at the foot of the Barouk and Niha mountains in Lebanon, Mr Hani has spearheaded a comprehensive conservation and development programme that draws together a complex of objectives in a unique combination to conserve and restore the iconic cedar forests and wildlife of Mount Lebanon. The area has been able to mitigate and adapt to climate change, to integrate 22 municipalities into its governance, to develop entrepreneurial opportunities for local people, including through nature-based tourism, product development, and revenue generation based on nature conservation, as well as to markedly expand employment and capacity, to maintain and restore cultural heritage, and to support the integration of refugees in a time of regional instability. Mr Hani’s seminal work on implementing a complex and comprehensive Forest Landscape Restoration vision to build resilience across the entire landscape, with the Shouf Biosphere Reserve at its core, is a rare achievement, with local, national, regional, and global impact and offering a suite of lessons and examples that can inspire others. Charismatic, resourceful, and committed, Mr Hani has harnessed local interests with regional and international conservation to demonstrate an inspiring model for nature conservation in transformative and challenging times.Mr Hani has been involved in the management and development of the Shouf Biosphere Reserve for twenty years, rising to become its manager in charge, and overseeing the realisation of a vision of the reserve as a model for restoration of nature, community development, climate change resilience, sustainable economic development, and the facilitation of peaceful reconciliation.

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Robert Wallace, 2019

Su trabajo fundamental sobre los monos araña en el este de Bolivia dio paso a investigaciones pioneras sobre jaguares, osos y cóndores andinos, lobos de río, ungulados y primates, e incluyó el descubrimiento de una nueva especie de mono Titi Madidi en Bolivia. Los trabajos excepcionales del Dr. Wallace han sido realzados por su compromiso de trabajar con las comunidades indígenas, otros actores locales y nacionales, así como asociados internacionales y multinacionales para lograr un impacto positivo e implementar prácticas, políticas y estrategias para la conservación de la biodiversidad. A través de su especial compromiso con el desarrollo de capacidades y la tutoría, sigue inspirando a una nueva generación de líderes de la conservación.

El Dr. Wallace ha dirigido el Programa de Conservación del Paisaje Madidi-Tambopata para la Wildlife Conservation Society, para el cual, durante veinte años, ha trabajado incansablemente para establecer prácticas efectivas de gestión y seguimiento. Sus más recientes esfuerzos incluyen su liderazgo de Identidad Madidi, una iniciativa que reúne conocimiento, ciencia y divulgación en un esfuerzo para conservar el Parque Nacional de Madidi. A través de los medios de comunicación nacionales e internacionales, un sitio web dedicado y las redes sociales, esta iniciativa ha involucrado a más de 50.000 bolivianos en acciones de protección de las riquezas naturales de su nación. El Dr. Wallace también asume un compromiso público en nuevos ámbitos, ya que promueve un nuevo movimiento gastronómico boliviano, Sabores Silvestres que apoya la conservación y el uso del patrimonio culinario y de la biodiversidad.

Keobel Sakuma, 2017

Keobel Sakuma, representing the partners and team who developed and established the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act. His achievement is celebrated in recognition of Palau’s major innovation and contribution to marine conservation in the establishment and management of the world’s 6th largest Marine Protected Area (MPA). Read the news article

Ashiq Ahmad Khan, 2016

For achieving a more secure and sustainable management of Khunjerab National Park in Pakistan.  Ashiq was one of the first protected area managers in the region to promote co-management with local communities.
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Yusup Cahyadin, Sukianto Lusli and Agus Budi Utomo, 2014 

For their role in developing and implementing innovative approaches to forest conservation in Indonesia. Though their vision, commitment, determination, advocacy and leadership, they have changed national policy and legislation so that lowland forests designated for production and logging can now be managed under licence by NGOs and other private organisations for conservation

Oscar Loayza, 2012

His development of initiatives that strengthened indigenous participation in the management of protected areas, leading to improved governance. His efforts in Madidi National Park – one of the world’s richest protected areas for biodiversity – to develop favorable conditions for governance promoted alliances between conservationists and indigenous peoples defending their territorial and organizational rights. Madidi National Park is threatened by large infrastructure projects, roads, dams, oil exploration and small scale mining.

Nigel Dudley and Sue Stolton, 2011

Recognized for their work on the effective management and governance of protected areas, the two renowned conservationists led the revision and implementation of the IUCN Protected Area Management Categories, which classify protected areas according to their management objectives. Their contribution to WWF's innovative publication series Arguments for Protection has significantly increased understanding and awareness of the benefits of protected areas by governments and communities around the world. And for many years, Sue and Nigel have focused their work on the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Programme of Work on Protected Areas. This provides a globally-accepted framework for creating comprehensive, effectively managed and sustainably funded protected area systems around the globe.

Ernesto Enkerlin-Hoefflich, 2009

Dr. Ernesto Enkerlin-Hoeflich has been credited with the establishment of Mexico’s, and effectively Latin America’s first Wilderness Protected Area (IUCN Category I Wilderness Area) (Tierra Silvestre in Spanish). As president of Mexico’s Natural Areas Management Commission (CONAMP), Dr. Enkelin created a new and accessible vision for the nation’s system of protected areas that now includes wilderness areas, by innovations in the creative employment of language, policy, legislation, educational activities, public-private partnership arrangements, and local community cooperation. Further, he and his team have established the El Carmen Wilderness Area that represents the first building block towards a trans-boundary protected area together with the United States’ Big Bend National Park, thereby implementing the political decision of the Presidents of both nations. His work has systematized Mexico’s protected areas system that now includes 158 “natural areas,’ covering 11% of the nations terrestrial surface.

Marc Hockings, 2008

Rewarded for his international efforts to make nature conservation in national parks and reserves more effective. Dr Marc Hockings from Queensland University has won the prestigious Kenton Miller Award for innovation for developing methods for park managers to evaluate if actions are really achieving conservation goals.

Heliodoro Sanchez 2007

Sanchez’s innovations have included new methods for re-establishing mangrove ecosystems along his country’s Northern Coast, following earlier destructive human practices. The impacts of his work have lead to expanded protection of these rapidly disappearing ecosystems and the creation of new opportunities for local communities to utilize these resources on a sustainable basis. Two new national parks were established that feature extensive mangrove forest ecosystems: Old Providence and McBeans Lagoons National Park, and the El Corchal “Mono Hernandez” Wildlife Sanctuary – the first International Wetland Site in Colombia. In the longer term, his work holds promise to those communities living along the Caribbean coast. In many areas mangrove forests have been destroyed in favor of short-term income from shrimp production, leaving communities vulnerable to the winds and storm surges caused by hurricanes.


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