Dr. Alberto Yanosky, leader of an environmental organization in Paraguay that works to safeguard habitats and species across the country, has been selected as the 2013 winners of the National Geographic Society/Buffett Award for Leadership in Conservation.
He receives the award at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, June 13, during National Geographic’s annual Explorers Symposium.
Established through a gift from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to recognize and celebrate unsung heroes working in the field, these awards acknowledge the winners’ outstanding work and lifetime contributions that further the understanding and practice of conservation in their countries.
“It is an honor to participate with National Geographic in recognizing the achievements of these two remarkable visionaries who are making such a positive difference to conservation in their countries,” said Howard Buffett.
Alberto Yanosky, scientific author, speaker and international consultant, heads Guyra Paraguay, that country’s leading organization for biodiversity research and conservation.
He also serves on the board of directors of several international organizations, including BirdLife International, Waterbird Conservation Council for the Americas, and Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative.
His areas of specialization are conservation and biodiversity, population and natural ecology, wetlands ecosystems and sustainability. Yanosky, an Argentine national, began working in conservation in Argentina around 1985, when he created and managed a privately owned nature reserve, the first example of this kind in the country.
In 1993 he was invited to lead conservation action in Paraguay. Since then, he has been active not only in Paraguay as executive director of Guyra Paraguay, but also across Latin America and the world, working with different partners and contributing to conservation networks around the globe. He also serves as an environmental consultant to the World Bank.
Yanosky has created a strong team of professionals and brought more than $15 million into Paraguay for conservation. Under his leadership, Guyra Paraguay has carried out over 350 biodiversity conservation and sustainable development activities in Paraguay. Among the most notable is the Paraguayan Forest Conservation project to conserve ecologically diverse forests under imminent threat of clearance.
This has reduced emissions from deforestation and achieved significant co-benefits for biodiversity and local people and is on track to play a major role in saving the native forests of Paraguay.
Other notable Guyra Paraguay achievements are its being instrumental in declaring the bare-throated bellbird Paraguay’s national bird.
Forming and supporting more than 100 local conservation groups; training more than 500 young conservation professionals; acquiring more than 24,000 hectares in different regions, dedicated to conservation in perpetuity.
Studying Paraguay’s 714 bird species, identifying 80 threatened species and protecting 500 species in Guyra’s private reserves; evaluating the more than the 150 invasive species that affect Paraguay’s biodiversity and cause economic and environmental damage.
Supporting the protection of 1 million hectares in the Alto Chaco, habitat for large South American vertebrates like the jaguar, tapir, giant river otter, guanaco, chacoan peccary and giant armadillo.
National Geographic Society/Buffett Award recipients are chosen from nominations submitted to the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration, which screens the nominations through a peer-review process.
“This year’s awardees are recognized for their outstanding leadership and the vital role they play in managing and protecting the natural resources in their regions. They are inspirational conservation advocates who serve as role models and mentors in their communities,” said Peter Raven, chairman of the Committee for Research and Exploration.
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Its mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. Founded in 1888, the member-supported Society offers a community for members to get closer to explorers, connect with other members and help make a difference.
The Society reaches more than 450 million people worldwide each month through National Geographic and other magazines, National Geographic Channel, television documentaries, music, radio, films, books, DVDs, maps, exhibitions, live events, school publishing programs, interactive media and merchandise.
National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy.
Gustavo Carrasquel | ANCA24