Winners of IUCN Packard Awards for inspiring protected area leaders

05 September 2012 | News story

Dr Yury Darman from Russia, Ibrahim Bello from Niger, and Julia Miranda Londoño and Antonio Negrete from Colombia

The winners of the 2012 Fred M. Packard International Park Merit Awards are Dr Yury Darman from Russia, Ibrahim Bello from Niger, and Julia Miranda Londoño and Antonio Negrete from Colombia “in recognition of outstanding service in furthering conservation objectives in protected areas and society”. The awards will be presented at the World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea.

Dr Yury Darman is recognized for his long dedication to protected areas in the Russian Far East, and his inspirational leadership that has led to the inclusion of more than four million hectares in new protected areas, as well as the conservation of several threatened species. Ibrahim Bello has been cited for his courage and dedication to inspire the establishment of the largest protected area in Niger, which also ranks as the largest in Africa at 10 million hectares. Julia Miranda Londoño has been recognized as an outstanding conservation leader for her efforts to strengthen the protected area system in Colombia despite many challenges. Antonio Negrete, also of Colombia, has been cited for his personal and organizational dedication to protected area conservation in his country in the face of severe challenges and threats.

“Despite facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, these conservation leaders have made great strides for protected areas and the wider communities surrounding them,” says Nik Lopoukhine, Chair of IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas. “It is wholly appropriate to honor them at one of the most important events on the conservation calendar, and we look forward to their continued courage and dedication to protected areas and biodiversity conservation efforts in the years to come” .

The Packard Award is offered to outstanding individuals in world wide events. It is named for the individual who served as Secretary to the IUCN World Commission on Protected Area in during the early 1970's. He bequeathed an endowment to establish an award in recognition of "valor" .. For more information on the Packard Award, the current laureates and previous recipients,