Jon Paul Rodriguez wins national award

Jon Paul Rodríguez, Deputy Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC), has been presented with Venezuela’s most prestigious science award, the XVI Premio Lorenzo Mendoza Fleury.

The XVI Premio Lorenzo Mendoza Fleury is the most important prize offered by the private sector to Venezuela’s top scientists who show outstanding talent, creativity and productivity. This year it has been awarded to Jon Paul and four other scientists.

Jon Paul is a researcher at the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Investigation, and President of Provita, an IUCN member organization. This award recognizes his cumulative achievements in science and the international relevance of his work which focuses on understanding patterns in the spatial distribution of threatened species and habitats, as well as the underlying causes of these patterns, and the development of policy guidelines for biodiversity conservation.

The prize is accompanied by Bs 100,000 (USD 16,000) with which Jon Paul and his family have decided to establish a family forest on the Macanao Peninsula, to balance their carbon footprint.

“Together with my students and my colleagues of Provita, we have been working on behalf of threatened species conservation of Margarita for more than 25 years,” said Jon Paul. “A few years ago, with support from World Land Trust, we purchased a 700 ha property on Macanao in the western portion of the island and it is here that we will establish the forest, using native species that are used as nesting sites or food sources by many threatened species, especially the Yellow-shouldered Parrot (Amazona barbadensis).”

Jon Paul’s involvement with IUCN began in the early nineties, when he joined the IUCN SSC. As well as being Deputy Chair of IUCN SSC, he is actively involved in the development of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems and leads the Red List of Ecosystems Thematic Group of the Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM).

The award ceremony took place on 23 May 2013 in Caracas.

Text courtesy of IUCN