Jim Barborak

Senior Adviser Center for Protected Area Management, Colorado State University

About Jim Barborak

Jim Barborak is Senior Adviser of the Center for Protected Area Management at Colorado State University, an outreach arm of the Warner College of Natural Resources at CSU. His B.S. and M.S. in natural resources are from Ohio State University, and he took additional coursework mid-career at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His specialties include protected areas and corridor planning and management; wildlife management; conservation finance, policy and governance; capacity building; and ecotourism. He began his career working for county government in his native Ohio, and then joined the US Peace Corps as a Volunteer and was assigned to work with the Honduran Wildlife Department. That began an international career now spanning more than 40 years. He has worked for US, Costa Rican and Honduran government conservation agencies, as a consultant to several UN organizations including UNESCO, the UN Development Program and FAO, as a private consultant, and for universities. He has worked in nearly 30 countries, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean, but also in Africa and Asia. He is an active member of the World Commission on Protected Areas and serves on several of its specialist groups, including those on Tourism, Conservation Finance, Capacity Building, and Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities and Equity. He is a native English speaker, fluent in Spanish, and speaks conversational Portuguese. Throughout his career, Jim has worked on efforts to plan and develop increased opportunities for public enjoyment of protected areas, through tourism, recreation, and environmental education programs. At the same time, he has been actively involved in efforts to increase the stream of benefits to local communities and indigenous populations living in and around protected areas, through their direct involvement in tourism and through other mechanisms to create employment and improve livelihoods in conservation units, the buffer zones that ring them, and the corridors that connect them.

Which category below best describes the type of organisation you currently work for/or run?

Academic or Research Institute

Areas of expertise

Land/Water Management Species Management Livelihood, Economic & Moral Incentive Legal & Policy Frameworks Education & training Funding Partnerships and collaboration development

Would you be willing to be approached and share your lessons learned in your area(s) of expertise with our community?


Influencer Of

Popular Content


Channels contributed to:

Capacity development Network opportunities

Rooms participated in:

Training opportunities

Recent Conversations

Recent Comments

May 05, 2022
Replying to Thirza Loffeld

Thank you very much @Temitope Rebecca Adelola and @Jim Barborak for collaborating on this lessons learned contribution; it's an interesting read. I especially liked how you shared about capacity development at different levels (e.g. individual, institutional, community).

@Jim Barborak : could you perhaps add a short explanation about what you refer to above as "soft skills"? This would be of benefit to those of our members who are not yet familiar with this term. 

@Temitope Rebecca Adelola :did you make this amazing graphic? If yes, could you share with us how you did it? 

Thank you both for this inspiring piece! I will make sure to feature it in our Highlights newsletter. 

Dear Thirza:

It was great to be able to chat with Temi!  Regarding soft skills, they are not really "soft" and many employers actually think they are "harder" to master and just as or more important than traditional natural science or engineering skills!  This refers to things usually not learned in university but vital for professional success, such as negotiation skills; conflict management skills; fundraising and proposal writing ability; interpersonal oral and written communcation skills; mastery of social media and social marketing; ability to work on and lead teams; leadership;  and project management abilities.  Hiring managers and recruiters are usually keen on finding individuals with these skills, which are harder to outsource or automate as well.  Here is one good reference on the subject: https://virtualspeech.com/blog/importance-soft-skills#:~:text=Soft%20skills%20are%20personal%20attributes,and%20dependability%2C%20and%20lead%20teams


Jim Barborak