José González-Maya

José González-Maya

José González-Maya won the Future For Nature Award in 2015. He works to ensure connectivity and habitat conservation for two of the most threatened and unique eco-regions in Latin America: the Talamanca Mountains in Costa Rica and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia. José: “My vision about species conservation focuses on making all the appropriate, pertinent, adequate and science-based decisions to maintain as many species as possible. As species are the basis for ecosystems and their functionality, species conservation has deeper implications from an ecological perspective, such as ecosystem functioning and resilience, and a human perspective, such as the provision of goods and services.

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Karen Allen

Karen Allen

“The Bazaruto Archipelago National Park (BANP) in Mozambique is home to east Africa’s last remaining viable dugong population (approximately only 250 individuals). The most significant threats to Bazaruto’s dugongs are illegal gill netting industry, as dugongs get entangled as by-catch and drown, and habitat loss from artisanal seine-netting, which damages and uproots the fragile sea grass beds the dugongs feed on. The Park’s five islands support 5,500 local residents of the Tsonga tribe who rely heavily on marine resources as their primary livelihood. I recognize that while poverty and single income-generating activities remain commonplace in the Bazaruto region, and while the National Park remains under-resourced, long–term dugong conservation will not be achieved.

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Manoj Gautam

Manoj Gautam

Manoj Gautam is working on river dolphin conservation in Nepal. “For me, nothing is more important than species conservation because it represents the interconnectedness of all living beings and our habitats. My ultimate vision is to see that conservation as a practice has disappeared because it has become an integral part of human life. While working for animals or the environment, people sometimes forget to have respect and compassion for human beings. Coming from a rural farming background helps me keep a perspective on what’s important in communities.

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