IUCN WCPA announces finalists for the Kenton Miller Award 2017

Named for Dr Kenton R. Miller, one of the leading figures in international protected area conservation, the award honours innovation in protected area management. The winner of the award will be announced at IMPAC4, the 4th International Marine Protected Areas Congress, taking place in September 2017 in Chile.  This is one of the last milestones on the pathway towards achieving the Aichi Targets in 2020.

Photo: © IUCN Jerker Tamelander

“This year the Kenton Miller Award will be conferred for innovation in marine protected areas. The nominations we received were of very high quality” says Dr Kathy MacKinnon, Chair of the WCPA. “It was difficult to select the three finalists for the short list. The final selection will be made by an international jury and we look forward to congratulating the winner in Chile.”

The three finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

Jon Day, Australia

Jon is the ‘go to’ person on many marine matters, and in particular on marine spatial planning and the Great Barrier Reef.

Thanks to his numerous innovative and transformative approaches in various areas of marine planning and his strong commitment to sharing the benefits of these approaches, Jon has been central to the comprehensive Representative Areas Program (RAP) which rezoned the world’s largest coral reef. He has also been commended for his innovative approach for translating the Outstanding Universal Value statements of World Heritage Areas into manageable components for monitoring and management in marine environments. 

Jon was one of the main instigators of the now well-established International Marine Protected Areas Congresses (IMPAC) and has made significant contributions at each of them.

Will McClintock, USA

Will has been nominated for his innovative Apps MarineMap and SeaSketch, marine protected area (MPA) design tools that are accessible to a broad range of users and not just those with specialised knowledge and complicated desktop software. Now, with a modicum of experience, all stakeholders have access to a web-based tool that allows them to apply their views about how ocean space should be protected, evaluate those ideas based on science and policy, share their ideas with other stakeholders and collaboratively build a common solution to ocean protection.

Will McClintock has made a significant contribution towards the design and establishment of marine protected areas all over the world.

Keobel Sakuma, Palau

Keobel represents the partners and team who developed and established the Palau National Marine Sanctuary. Keobel has been nominated in recognition of Palau’s major innovation and contribution to marine conservation: the establishment of the world’s sixth largest marine protected area, based on a traditional and customary method practiced throughout the Pacific region, coupled with contemporary mechanisms for resource management and monitoring. Not only is the MPA one of the largest in the world, it is also 100% of Palau’s national marine area.  There could be no greater commitment possible from a country towards ocean conservation. Keobel and the team responsible have designed, researched and enabled political commitment towards this outcome that has relevance across the world’s oceans, and particularly for small island development states, now considered rather to be large ocean states.

For more information on the Kenton Miller award please visit our website.


The Kenton Miller Award encourages innovative approaches to help solve protected area challenges. By donating to the award, you ensure its longevity and the possibility for WCPA to celebrate protected area managers who, through their creativity and dedication, are able to successfully address key issues facing protected areas.  To donate to the Kenton Miller Award please visit our donation website.

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