WWF celebrates Yury Darman as the MIDORI Prize 2016 winner
The AEON Environmental Foundation and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity launched the MIDORI Prize 2016 winners, among which are WWF’s Yury Darman.
Dr. Darman is a champion of Russian conservation movement who has taken an inspiring leadership in Amur Ecoregion Program, using WWF ecoregion based approach in the outstanding Global 200 site. For many years he was a leader of WWF Russia’s Amur ecoregion programm, which led projects on a territory of around 1 million km². Since 1989 Darman studied an influence of dams on the freshwater ecosystems of the great Amur River and organized 5 campaigns against dam construction on the main Amur River bed. He could integrate scientific and traditional knowledge into comprehensive program for biodiversity conservation under the umbrella of iconic rare species, such as Amur tiger, Far Eastern leopard and Oriental stork. To a large degree due to his efforts, the protected areas were increased and the population was recovered.
The MIDORI Prize honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to conservation and sustainable use at local and global levels, and who have influenced and strengthened various biodiversity-related efforts, as well as raised awareness about biodiversity. The 4th Award Ceremony for the MIDORI Prize will be held in Cancún, Mexico, in December 2016, in conjunction with the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 13).
“All my life I devoted to the Amur River – to keep it free-flowing and to conserve outstanding biodiversity – said Yury Darman. - Under the fast infrastructure development on the Border of Russia and China, it was so urgent to ensure the balance between economics and ecology, between people and Nature. And formation of the comprehensive and representative network of protected areas, linked by floodplains as natural corridors is the main tool and preventive action.” During his work as a director of the WWF Amur Ecoregion Program, the territory of nature reserves, national parks and wildlife refuges was doubled. Moreover, 25% of Amur tiger habitats are under protection now, while Far Eastern leopard stepped back from the edge of extinction.
- The ecological situation on the Planet worsens and we are here on the front line trying to conserve the last islands of Wildness for mankind. It is not easy to live and to work here, not because of frost and snow, mosquito and ticks, roadless and impassable ridge. But sometimes we give way to despair because of the incomprehension of governmental authorities, ignorance of local citizens, collapse of some long-term efforts. That is why it is so important for us to know that we are the important part in a worldwide environmental movement and that international society knows about our work for nature conservation. The AEON Environmental Foundation MIDORI Prize is the highest award for CBD Goals implementation, and I am very thankful for recognition of my input and WWF Russia efforts.” – said Darman.
“This is a deserved recognition to one of the most exciting wildlife recovery programmes ever managed – said Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF Internaional. - It is even more special considering it involves one of the most inspirational world's animals, the Siberian tiger. It also recognizes that when we combine political will, science and relentless work on the ground we can save species, and with them nature, the planet and our own future.”
The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity is an international biennial prize co-organized by the AEON Environmental Foundation and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity to raise public awareness about the importance of biodiversity and to contribute to the objectives of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011 - 2020. It was established by the AEON Environmental Foundation in 2010 at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity held in Nagoya, Japan.
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