Pathfinder Award for innovation in nature conservation - nominations now open until 15 July!

01 juin 2021 Marie Fischborn
IUCN, UNDPPathfinder Award 2021 banner


An initiative under PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet

Receiving nominations in English, French or Spanish.

Réception des candidatures en anglais, français ou espagnol.

Recibiendo nominaciones en inglés, francés o español.

Nominations open until 15th July, 23:59 CEST.

Celebrating sites with innovative, integrated approaches to protected and conserved area management that successfully conserve nature while making development gains related to human health, nature conservation and technology, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable land management.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are excited to invite nominations for the 2nd iteration of the Pathfinder Award.

The Award serves as a unique and timely opportunity to showcase best cases of conservation management models and promote solutions that generate co-benefits for all.

With this award, we will celebrate, honour, and support individuals, groups, or organisations for their effective solutions that contribute to the success of protected and conserved areas. The 4 award winners will receive a financial grant of US$ 10,000 and a plaque and certificate of achievement, promotion and visibility, and an invitation to the awards ceremonies. As the gatherings of the three Rio Conventions (CBD COP 15, UNFCCC COP 26 and UNCCD COP 15) are set to take place within 2021 and 2022, winners will be selected in three categories and presented during each of the conferences.  All eligible solutions will be published on the  PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet web platform and be promoted further through the PANORAMA initiative.


The 2021 Pathfinder Award seeks initiatives focused on sites with innovative, integrated approaches to protected and conserved area management that successfully conserve nature while making development gains related to:


(A) Protected and conserved area solutions for innovative and outstanding conservation management practices that preserve human health 

(B) Protected and conserved area solutions for innovative and outstanding use of technology for successful nature conservation 

(C) Innovative Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for adaptation 

(D) Protected and conserved area solutions that contribute to Land Degradation Neutrality


About the Pathfinder Award

The Pathfinder Award is designed to recognise outstanding solutions for protected and conserved areas developed and implemented by individuals, organisations or groups.

UNDP and IUCN have partnered to highlight these success stories and ensure that these solutions received global attention and recognition. The award is also supported by the contributions of several partners and funders through projects that are helping to identify and communicate biodiversity conservation solutions.


The Pathfinder Award sets out to:

  • Identify and showcase a growing global suite of innovations and solutions from protected and conserved areas that demonstrate success and inspire further action;
  • Recognise and reward those individuals or groups/organisations that have achieved these successes;
  • Incentivise the adaptation and replication of these solutions more widely;
  • Reinforce policy messages related to quality, equity, and performance of protected and conserved areas within global frameworks and commitments;
  • Highlight the work of leading agencies and global partners (governments, conservation agencies, civil society) in achieving solutions;
  • Raise the profile of protected and conserved areas and systems, and their stakeholders; and
  • Encourage further support and investment in applying successful approaches.

Nomination process

Click here to watch the dedicated information session on Youtube 


Submit your nomination now (self-nominations are accepted) through the following 2 steps:

  1. Complete the online nomination form in:

  2. Submit a full description of the protected area innovation / solution being nominated on the PANORAMA web platform. (Please note that to contribute a solution you will first have to register with PANORAMA. Complete the ‘Full Solution’ online entry template under the Protected areas Thematic community and submit the solution as a draft on the platform.)

Applications or nominations will only be considered if both of these steps have been completed.

If you are unable to access the online nomination form or if you need further information, please contact us at pathfinderaward[at]