The official closing ceremony of the International Year of Forests held on 9 February 2012 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York included a special ceremony of awarding UN Forest Heroes.
Forest Heroes are individuals who nurture and protect forests and contribute to their sustainable management. Anatoly Lebedev, a prominent environmentalist from Russia and an IUCN consultant under the ENPI FLEG Program in 2011 became one of the 15 winners who were awarded the title Forest Hero. This became a pleasant surprise for his ENPI FLEG colleagues. Anatoly is an energetic and competent professional who helped preserve many hectares of virgin forests in the Russian Far East and who was also instrumental in the adoption by the regional legislature of several regulations on sustainable forest management and the prevention of the destruction of local national parks.
The ENPI FLEG Program has embraced this prestigious international award and wishes Anatoly many new professional and creative successes.