Story | 05 Sep, 2016

Ashiq Ahmad Khan wins the Kenton Miller Award 2016

3 September 2016

IUCN World Conservation Congress, Honolulu

Ashiq Ahmad Khan received the Kenton Miller Award for Innovation in Protected Areas Management 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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Photo: IUCN/Valerie Batselaere


Sharing the responsibility with local stakeholders, Ashiq Ahmad Khan has succeeded to conserve wildlife and ecosystems, within and beyond the Park. His success has led other park managers to replicate this co-management model, which has become a key component of Pakistan’s national strategy for conserving biodiversity.

Ashiq Ahmed Khan receives the prestigious Kenton MIller Award from Natasha Miller, daughter of the late Kenton MiIller       Photo: IUCN/Valerie Batselaere
Thanks to his efforts, people in the vicinity of Khunjerab National Park are more secure and have a better quality of life. Where there was persistent and escalating conflict, there is now a solid partnership between government and the local people based on mutual understanding and trust that is contributing to conservation and enhanced livelihoods. Spurred on by this work, Ashiq is now contributing to the planning and management of the central Karakoram National Park, the establishment of a transboundary conservation area in partnership with China, and a Biosphere Reserve of 26,000 km² in the Karakoram-Pamir mountain ecosystem by adapting the co-management principles piloted in the Khunjerab National Park.

“This is the first time this award has gone to the South Asia region, and it’s very fitting that it goes to Ashiq in his role as an innovator and leader in promoting co-management”, said Kathy Mackinnon, chair to the World Commission of Protected Areas.

Many nominations were proposed for this award and after a selection process and an international jury, Ashiq was the obvious winner. The Kenton Miller Award is given by IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas. Named for Dr. Kenton R. Miller, one of the leading figures in international protected area conservation, the award honours innovation in communications, planning and management, finance and economics, assessment, monitoring, and evaluation, learning and capacity building, or governance.

Previous laureates of the award were Yusup Cahyadin, Sukianto Lusli and Agus Budi Utomo for their innovative approach to forest conservation; Oscar Loayza for involving indigenous people in park management; Nigel Dudley and Sue Stolton for their new approaches in communicating the benefits of protected areas; Ernesto Enkerlin Hoeflich for his innovations in the creative employment of language, policy, legislation, educational activities, public-private partnership arrangements, and local community cooperation; Marc Hockings for developing methods for park managers to evaluate if actions are really achieving conservation goals and Sanchez for his new methods for re-establishing mangrove ecosystems.

For more information on the award please visit the Kenton Miller Award page.

Ashiq Ahmed Khan, winner of the prestigious Kenton MIller Award, 2016       Photo: IUCN/Valerie Batselaere