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Kenton Miller


Dr Kenton Miller among bamboo in Brazil.

Conservation loses a champion

IUCN is deeply saddened by the loss of one of nature conservation’s leading lights. Dr Kenton R. Miller, a former IUCN Director General and globally-recognized leader in protected area management, passed away yesterday. …   | Spanish

10 May 2011 | News story

Dr Kenton Miller

Dr. Kenton Miller was a world recognized leader in park and protected areas management.

As an officer of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and with support from the Rockefeller Brothers’ Fund (RBF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), he headed FAO’s Latin American Programme on Wildland Management. He developed and taught graduate programmes in parks and wildland management at CATIE (Costa Rica) and the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources.  Experience in protected areas policy, planning, and capacity building led to opportunities to consult and contribute in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Antarctica. 

As field researcher, teacher, and programme manager, and with further support from RBF, he authored the first text on park planning for the Spanish-speaking world, and introduced internationally the concepts of and developed the tools for managing wildlands by bioregions and categories of land use. 

Dr. Miller played a significant role in the design and implementation of three World Park Congresses (1982,1992, & 2003).  Under the aegis of the World Resources Institute, he led the international cooperative effort to prepare the Global Biodiversity Strategy (WRI/IUCN/UNEP), contributed to the Global Biodiversity Assessment, and played a significant role in the development of the Global Convention for the Conservation of Biological Diversity (CBD).

Miller held the world’s highest conservation position as Director General of IUCN-The World Conservation Union (Gland, Switzerland) during 5 years, from 1983 through 1988. He recently finished a third term as Chair of IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), and recently retired as Vice President for Conservation and Development following 15 years of service at the World Resources Institute (WRI). As mentor to many conservation leaders around the world, Kenton Miller is recognized particularly for his energetic promotion of innovation and learning related to planning and managing national parks and protected areas. Most recently he has sought to raise awareness among park professionals regarding the growing challenges facing protected areas from climate, social, economic, and institutional changes taking place worldwide.

Miller is  a recipient of the prestigious Schubert Environmental Prize (Germany), two honorary doctorates, the Golden Ark (Netherlands), and other recognitions of his contributions to world conservation.

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