Guyra’s Yanosky recognised as a leader of conservation in Latin America

By Martin Fowlie, 14 Jun 2013

Dr Alberto Yanosky, Executive Director of BirdLife Partner Guyra Paraguay, has won the 2013 National Geographic Society/Buffett Award for Leadership in Latin American Conservation. The award, established through a gift from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, recognises people whose outstanding work and lifetime contribution furthers the understanding and practice of conservation in their countries.

Alberto Yanosky also serves on BirdLife International’s Council, the Waterbird Conservation Council for the Americas, and the Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative. He began working in conservation in Argentina around 1985, when he created and managed a privately owned nature reserve, the first of its 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 but across Latin America and the world, working with different partners and contributing to conservation networks around the globe.

He serves as an environmental consultant to the World Bank. Between 2002 and 2005, under Alberto’s leadership, Guyra Paraguay identified and mapped Paraguay’s 57 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), and devised a remote sensing-based IBA monitoring protocol.

Among other notable achievements is the Paraguayan Forest Conservation project to conserve ecologically diverse forests under imminent threat of clearance, which has reduced emissions from deforestation and achieved significant co-benefits for biodiversity and local people.

Guyra Paraguay has formed and supported more than 100 Local Conservation Groups, trained more than 500 young conservation professionals, and acquired more than 24,000 hectares of land in different regions, including San Rafael in the Atlantic Forest.

Working with the World Land Trust, Guyra Paraguay established the Chaco-Pantanal reserve, and built the Three Giants Biological Station, named after the Giant Otter, Giant Armadillo and Giant Anteater, which the reserve helps to protect along with the Endangered Crowned Eagle Harpyhaliaetus coronatus and Hyacinth Macaw Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus and thousands of migratory waterbirds.

“Alberto Yanosky has made an enormous contribution to the work of the BirdLife Partnership, and we take great pride in seeing his unique personal influence on conservation in Paraguay and across Latin America recognised by the prestigious National Geographic Society/Buffett Award”, said Marco Lambertini, Chief Executive of BirdLife International.