Recognition has been made this year to an Australian professor from QueenslandUniversity, well known for his extensive contribution to the management effectiveness of protected areas (PAs) around the world. His evaluation guidelines are currently put in practice as a credo in over 7000 protected areas in more than 100 countries.
An unhidden emotion could be seen on Dr. Marc Hockings’ face while he was given his acknowledgment speech to the auditorium. “There are many people that I share this award with and many that I should thank for their support …this work on management effectiveness has been a real collaboration across all these individuals and institutions. It is this convening power of IUCN and its Commissions that makes it such a powerful and influential institution in the world of conservation.” says Dr. Hockings.
During the World Conservation Congress held in Barcelona, he was warmly congratulated by the Award founder, Kenton Miller himself and WCPA chair, Nik Lopoukhine.
Through the screening of a short footage on his tremendous efforts towards more effective nature conservation, many actors of the PA management could testify of Marc’s dedication to develop a disciplined approach to management effectiveness evaluation of PAs. He was foremost in making “management effectiveness” a key strategic direction in PA policy world wide. His innovative Framework for Evaluating Management Effectiveness in PAs not only develops methods for park managers to evaluate if actions are really achieving conservation goals but also empowers the ranger staff to actively participate in the evaluation and gain significant feedback from the outcomes . This evaluation is therefore carefully targeted to be relevant to on-ground management. Hence, this tool has already been adopted on an unprecedented scale by many organizations such as IUCN, WWF, the World Bank, CBD, UNESCO etc…
The success of this innovative instrument is dazzling and its future effective practice very promising.
The Kenton R. Miller Award recognizes annually 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 with demonstrable impact at local, national, or international levels.
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