Costa Rican environmental leader to receive new conservation award
Carlos Manuel Rodriguez honored for leadership roleWashington, D.C. – The blue moon fund will present its first annual Conservation Leadership Award to Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, regional vice president and director of Conservation International's Mexico and Central America program, in a ceremony Monday, July 24, at the Costa Rican Embassy.
Rodriguez receives the $150,000 award for making significant advances in both terrestrial and marine conservation while serving as Costa Rica's environment and energy minister during the previous administration.
He is recognized as an expert and advocate for the valuation of ecosystem services, and the award money will support his work over the coming year on advancing ecosystem services policy and practice.
"blue moon fund is pleased to launch its Conservation Award program with such a highly-regarded and distinguished recipient," said Diane Edgerton Miller, president of the philanthropic foundation based in Virginia. "During his tenure as Minister of the Environment and Energy, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez demonstrated the kind of leadership that will significantly advance biodiversity conservation. We are looking forward to working with CI and Mr. Rodriguez over the next year to bring new perspectives to the important process of ecosystem management."
Rodriguez is credited with expanding the Las Baulas National Marine Park and championing the "San Jose Declaration" signed by his government, Colombia, Panama and Ecuador to create a multinational conservation program in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.
He helped lead a worldwide effort for a proposed U.N. moratorium on high seas bottom trawling that will be discussed later this year by the U.N. General Assembly, and he pushed through laws to ban shark finning and require shrimp trawlers in Costa Rican waters to use sea turtle excluder devices.
"We are very proud of Carlos Manuel for his admirable conservation achievements and the recognition that he is receiving from the blue moon fund," said Claude Gascon, CI's senior vice president who heads the regional programs division. "With this generous award, Carlos Manuel can expand Costa Rica's success with payment for ecosystem services to other countries in Central America, as well as other parts of the world."
An avid surfer, Rodriguez also has co-authored three books and written extensively on environmental subjects for magazines, trade publications and newspaper opinion pages.
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