IUCN WCPA Chair Nik Lopoukhine honored for his commitment to Canada’s protected areas

02 February 2012 | News story
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Nik Lopoukhine, Chair of IUCN WCPA, was honored with the J.B. Harkin Award yesterday for his life-long commitment to Canadian conservation. The award, named after the “Father of National Parks” J.B. Harkin, honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the conservation of Canada’s parks and wilderness.

The award presenters noted Nik’s continuous efforts in stimulating scientific discussion within Parks Canada and for promoting Canadian conservation and park values globally.

“To be numbered alongside the previous recipients of the J.B. Harkin Award, all conservation leaders, is indeed humbling. I am thrilled to have my conviction of the importance to society of parks and other forms of protection recognized by the granting of this prestigious award.", said Nik following the ceremony.

A highlight of the evening was a special presentation by members of Trans CanEAUda, a group of youth who had paddled over 7,000 km across Canada to raise awareness for watershed conservation.


Nik started his professional career with the Forest Management Institute and later moved to the Lands Directorate of Environment Canada. He took a leading role in bringing broad ecological thinking to the Government of Canada in the developing field of land mapping of ecosystems. Nik was behind the creation of ecological maps for some of Canada’s most noted parks.

In the 1980s, Nik was recruited by Parks Canada and initiated their fire management programme that ensures healthy ecosystems in the national parks. The programme had an impact not only throughout Canada but also internationally. Nik also played an important role in helping Russia develop their protected areas programme.

In 2001, Nik became the Director General of National Parks. He was responsible for monitoring the ecological integrity programme and the Species at Risk Act, and earned a reputation as a champion of conservation. He was a key supporter and mover of the idea of ecological integrity in the Parks Canada programme, of strengthening science, and coming to grips with the emerging challenge of climate change.

At the 2005 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Bangkok, Nik was elected Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). During his time as Chair, IUCN WCPA has influenced the CBD by becoming their principal advisor on the Programme of Work on Protected Areas. Nik has promoted the importance of youth and has supported efforts to ensure that there is increased awareness and understanding of the value and role of protected areas in meeting such global challenges as combating climate change and desertification.


Comments

18 Comments
1 Rob Walker
Well Deserved!
Congratulations Nik, very well deserved.
February 9, 2012 - 00:47
2 Julia Miranda Parques Nacionales de Colombia
Felicitaciones!!
Dear Nik, the one that you just received, is a very important honor that you deserve not only for your life and your work, but also for your leadership and your well gained respect and prestige that has so much benefited the WCPA.
February 5, 2012 - 00:26
3 Nigel Dudley and Sue Stolton Equilibrium Research
Congratulations!
Many congratulations and best wishes from us both, a richly deserved award.
February 4, 2012 - 12:37
4 Fethi Ayache University of Sousse
Congratulations, Nik and all the best in the future
February 4, 2012 - 10:39
5 John Good Canadian Parks Council - Conseil canadien des parcs
Recognition well-deserved
Your leadership and support of parks and protected areas establishment, management and conservation in Canada is gratefully acknowledged by your provincial and territorial park agency colleagues. Congratulations, Nik!
February 3, 2012 - 16:26
6 Mohan Alembath nilgiritahrinfo
Congratulations
A very well deserved award. Goes to show that hard dedicated work does pay. I am thrilled to the core
February 3, 2012 - 16:07
7 Gerard O'Neill Bush Heritage Australia
Congratulations
Nik. Well done on your deserved recognition. The A/IUCN community have greatly appreciated you conservation leadership at home and abroad.
February 3, 2012 - 07:52
8 Dan Laffoley
Nik, well done. Wonderful to see this award reflecting all your outstanding efforts and inspiring leadership on protected areas. Many congratulations!
February 3, 2012 - 07:09
9 Hag Young Heo
Congratulations !!!
Very well deserved honour ...
Congratulations Nik ...
February 3, 2012 - 05:28
10 Ali Kaka IUCN
Indeed a well deserved and timely Award. You make us all proud!
February 3, 2012 - 05:02
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