Ernesto Enkerlin 2009
The Award was presented during the WILD9 event in Merida, Mexico. The many Mexican conservationists in the audience,were very enthusiastic about their very productive and popular director of the National Commission (CONAMP) becoming the laureate for this prestigious award.
“It was just a coincidence that this year’s awardee was also Mexican, and host to the WILD9 Congress, but Ernesto’s outstanding achievements and innovations in wilderness area establishment and management are so impressive that he was the choice of the Jury.” commented Kenton Miller, instigator of the Award but who does not serve on the Selection Committee or the Jury.
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.
A video was shown at the Award ceremony that featured the innovative work of the three recipients of the Kenton Miller Award to date: Heliodoro Sanchez (Colombia), Marc Hockings (Australia), and Ernesto Enkerlin (Mexico).
The Kenton R. Miller Award recognizes individuals who have clearly demonstrated innovation in relation to protected areas. Specifically, it recognizes persons who have developed and applied innovative policies, scientific knowledge, technologies, field practice or governance that hold promise to significantly increase the potential for sustainability of protected areas in the face of global changes, with demonstrable impact at local, national, or international levels. The 2009 Award was aimed specially at those individuals that have innovated a new mechanism, policy, tool, or field practice that will promote the sustainability of Wilderness. A Selection Committee from the Commission screened the nominated candidates, and an International Independent Jury chose the finalist.
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