Last week in New York City, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CI’s Vice President for Conservation Policy, received an award for his outstanding effort in the fight to conserve jaguar (Panthera onca) populations in Central America.
The former Minister of the Environment and Energy in his home country of Costa Rica, Rodriguez has been instrumental to regional conservation efforts for many years. He has helped pioneer the concept of payment for ecosystem services, a system that CI is now implementing with local communities in ecosystems around the globe.
The Rabinowitz-Kaplan prize was presented to Rodriguez by the Panthera Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to big cat conservation. Rodriguez’s Payments for Ecosystem Services in Costa Rica program has not only improved the lives of many rural people, but it has also resulted in the restoration and preservation of forests which provide crucial jaguar habitat.