World Commission on Protected Areas

Previous Awardees

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.
Read the News Article

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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