Nature's heroes rewarded for work in conservation

The IUCN’S World Commission on Protected Areas and the International Ranger Federation recognised the courageous work of rangers and protected area workers from all corners of the globe at an emotional awards ceremony at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia.

The celebratory event, introduced by IUCN’s Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre, promoted three prestigious international awards that honour all the people who work on the frontline of conservation and remember with profound respect those that have lost their lives in fulfilling their duty.

The Kenton Miller Award, which recognises Innovation in Protected Areas Management, was won by Sukianto Lusli, Agus Budi Utomoand Yusup Cahyadin for the innovative and tireless work they did to change legislation in managing the logging of forests in Indonesia. The prize was given out by the late Kenton’s daughter Natasha Miller.

The second prizes to be awarded were the Fred Packard Awards for outstanding service to protected areas which were awarded to Dr Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, Harvey Locke, Cláudio C. Maretti, Widodo Sukohadi Ramono, The Rangers of Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Alan Latourelle and Peter Cochrane.

The final three awards were distributed by the International Ranger Federation President Sean Willmore in honour of people working on the frontline in defence of protected areas. The Dr Jane Goodall Hope and Inspiration Ranger Award went to charismatic young rangerLuigi Eybrecht from Bonaire who was selected as the winning candidate out of a few hundred rangers nominated worldwide.

"It was Luigi’s determination, positive approach and energy that shone through when we picked him for this award," said Willmore, who handed the award to a proud Eybrecht in the absence of Dr Goodall. "It was a very strong field, but in the end we saw that you embody everything this award stands for and as such we could not think of a more deserving winner."

The International Young Conservationist Award was shared byMaximilian Jenes from Tanzania and Tiwonge Mzumara from Malawi while the International Ranger Federation Lifetime Achievement Award went to brave Jean Pierre Jobogo Mirindi who has risked his life and limbs as the chief park warden for the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga and Kundelungu national parks for many years.

For more information please contact:

Pedro Rosabal, Deputy Director, Global Protected Areas, pedro.rosabal@iucn.org

More information on the Kenton Miller Award:
http://www.iucn.org/about/work/programmes/gpap_home/gpap_people/gpap_awards2/gpap_milleraward/

More information on the Packard Award:
http://www.iucn.org/about/work/programmes/gpap_home/gpap_people/gpap_awards2/gpap_packard/

More information on the International Rangers Federation:
http://www.internationalrangers.org/