IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas honored Yury Darman, head of WWF-Russia Amur branch, with Fred Packard Award 2012 for great contribution to protected areas management in the Russian Far East.
The International Fred Packard Award is presented to specialists for outstanding services and commitment to the enhancement of protected areas. Fred Packard, who established this award, served as Secretary to the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas in the early 1970s and established this award.
The first Russian who received this award in 1992 was Vasily Krinitsky, the head of nature protected areas management department of Glavpriroda (the USSR main Administration for zapovedniks). In 2004 Vsevolod Stepanitsky became the second Russian presented with this award, now he is heading the system of protected areas in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation.
“Only a person who strongly believes that nature is the basis of life on Earth can devote 35 years to struggling for creation of the network of protected areas in the Russian Far East and increasing it by 4,6 million hectares”, said Eugeny Shvarts, director of Conservation Policy at WWF Russia. “It was Yury's idea to create a new protected area in the habitat of the Far Eastern leopard. Even I doubted that this goal was realistic. This year "Land of Leopard" National Park was finally established. On the whole 61 new protected areas were created within the Amur River basin under Yury's leadership!"
Besides other Fred Packard Award laureates of 2012 are Ibrahim Bello from Niger, Julia Miranda Londono and Antonio Negrete from Columbia.