Oscar Loayza of WCS's Madidi Program in Bolivia has received the Kenton Miller Award for Innovation in Protected Areas Management at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Republic of Korea from Sept. 6-15.
Loayza, the Sub Director of the WCS Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape Conservation Program, was chosen by an international jury for 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 - helped to develop favorable conditions for governance, promoted alliances between the Bolivian park service, conservationists and indigenous peoples building upon Bolivian government policies to consolidate indigenous territorial and representation rights in a region challenged by large infrastructure projects, roads, dams, oil exploration and small scale mining.
Loayza is the former director of Planning at SERNAP (Bolivia's National Park Service) and was also director of Apolobamba National Park and Madidi National Park.
"At the Wildlife Conservation Society, we all extend our congratulations to our colleague, Oscar Loayza," said WCS President and CEO Cristián Samper. "His innovative approaches - ensuring the inclusion of indigenous communities in protected area management - exemplifies WCS's conservation action across the globe. We thank the IUCN community for recognizing Oscar with the Kenton Miller Award."
"We are inspired by Oscar's work, and delighted to present the Kenton Miller Award to this well-deserving individual," says Nik Lopoukhine, Chair of the World Commission on Protected Areas. "His innovative approach to governance of protected areas has ensured that not only do indigenous people participate in the process, but they are empowered and become an integral part of it."
The Kenton Miller Award is given annually 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 honors innovation in communications, planning and management, finance and economics, assessment, monitoring and evaluation, learning and capacity building, or governance.
WCS has worked in the Madidi-Tambopata Landscape since 1999. It is known for its staggering biodiversity containing more than 11 percent of the world's bird diversity as well as hundreds of mammal, fish, and reptile species.
WCS's work in the Madidi-Tambopata Landscape has been made possible by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the blue moon fund, USAID, the Beneficia Foundation, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, and other generous supporters.