Winners of top conservation awards announced

17 March 2011 | News story

Two major conservation awards were presented today at the George Wright Society Conference in New Orleans, USA: the Kenton Miller Award and the Young Conservationist Award.

Sue Stolton and Nigel Dudley of IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas received the Kenton Miller Award for ‘outstanding innovation in making sustainable the world’s national parks and protected areas’.

Recognized for their work on management effectiveness and governance of protected areas, the two renowned conservationists also had a leadership role in the revision and implementation of the IUCN Protected Area Management Categories, which classify protected areas according to their management objectives. Furthermore, their clear and lucid communications contribution to the 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.

Héctor Antonio Caymaris Zanelli received the 2011 Young Conservationist Award for dramatically reversing species decline and increasing community support in the Protected Area of Laguna de Rocha, which is part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Uruguay. He was selected for his outstanding work as the only ranger in the park for many years, which involved personally confronting poachers and illegal four-wheel drive operators. For a long time he received little government support for his work and he often had no salary.

His work with the community has dramatically reduced egg poaching with the result that coastal birds have returned to nest. Poaching of the capibaras - large rodent-like creatures - has also declined and the population of that species has increased. The local community members now appreciate the value of the site and are developing tourism activities. Héctor Antonio Caymaris Zanelli also established the Foundation of the Friends of the Coastal Lakes of Rocha and now serves as its Executive Director.

The Kenton Miller Award for ‘outstanding innovation in making sustainable the world’s national parks and protected areas’ is an award presented by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN WCPA).

The Young Conservationist Award, is awarded by IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and the International Ranger Federation (IRF) to honour outstanding achievements by young people contributing to the conservation of the world’s protected areas.

For more information on the Kenton Miller Award, please contact Trevor Sandwith IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme Director: trevor.sandwith@iucn.org or tel.: +41 79 942 7668.

For further information on the International Young Conservationist Award, please contact Deanne Adams, IRF President: IRFdeanne@aol.com or tel.: +1 415-613-2480.