24 Mar Obituary for CTC’s Scientific Advisory Board Member Dr. Kathy MacKinnon
We are deeply saddened by the news that CTC’s scientific advisory board member Dr. Kathy MacKinnon has passed away at a hospital in the UK last Saturday, March 18, 2023. We send our deepest condolences to her family.
Dr. MacKinnon, an Oxford-trained zoologist, was the Chair of IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WPCA), considered the largest global network of protected area experts. She had more than 30 years of experience working on conservation projects all over the world, including 10 years in Indonesia, where she conducted research on tropical ecology and protected areas management and planning. Kathy wrote classic books such as The Wildlife of Indonesia and The Ecology of Kalimantan: Indonesia Borneo. For many of us in Indonesia, she was a mentor and inspiration to pursue a career in conservation. CTC’s Executive Director, Rili Djohani, recalled: “In the late eighties when I started my career as a conservation officer it was such a joy to go the field with Kathy. I will never forget her love for nature, her deep knowledge and commitment to conservation and foremost our friendship.”
Throughout her illustrious career, she worked on projects to strengthen biodiversity conservation and natural resource management in Africa, Asia, Central and Latin America, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, including support for protected areas and mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into development programs. Her leadership in WCPA has helped countries achieve their 2020 Aichi biodiversity targets as part of the global challenge of nature conservation and sustainable development.
She has worked extensively with international and national conservation non-government organizations, as well as government agencies in developing countries. She is the author of over 100 scientific books and publications, including recent books that promote protected areas as proven and sustainable natural solutions, helping societies to cope with climate change. In addition to working with WCPA she serves on the Board of Botanic Gardens Conservation International. In 2007, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award of the Society of Conservation Biology and in 2018 she won the Midori Prize for Biodiversity, a prestigious conservation award.