Professor Brian Huntley, a Research Associate at the C·I·B, has just been honoured with the Edward T. La Roe III Memorial Award. The Award recognises
the innovative application of science to resource management and policy, and was awarded to Prof. Huntley for his visionary and dynamic leadership in transforming the biodiversity
and ecosystem management arenas in South Africa and Southern Africa.
The Award Ceremony was held at the 25th International Congress for Conservation Biology in Auckland, New Zealand (5-9 December 2011). In his acceptance
lecture, Prof. Huntley outlined the importance of strategic opportunism in conservation, particularly in Africa where governance systems are often weak and conservation actions may
rely on adapting to the uncertainties and opportunities provided by changing political climates. The rules of the ‘strategic opportunity game’ include listening to
experienced conservationists, building informal networks of think-tanks, exploiting good luck and good timing and being patient and long-lived. Prof. Huntley concluded by challenging
scientists to test the feasibility and success of influential ideas such as access and benefit sharing of genetic resources, costs and benefits of protected areas to local communities,
community-based natural resource management and ecosystem goods and services.