CEC celebrates Anna Zavadskaya

IUCN CEC Excellence Award for ECA region goes to its first winner - Mrs. Anna Zavadskaya from Kamchatka

In 2019 the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) launched a special prize – IUCN CEC Excellence Award – to be given to individuals - outstanding CEC members in each region to recognize work of CEC members for communicating nature and environmental education. By the Excellence award IUCN CEC aims to value members’ efforts and personal commitment in strengthening the regional networks and local communities, engaging people with nature conservation, achieving the goals of IUCN an the One Union approach to make the future brighter and harmonic.

IUCN CEC network in Eastern Europe, North and Central Asia possess a huge potential for active development because of both vast occupied territory and deeply rooted traditions of valuing nature and developing lifestyles accordingly, though still remaining unrealised. We hope that regional Excellence Award will not only reward exceptional work of our colleague but also stimulate experienced professionals and young newcomers to get more involved in the IUCN work in the region, implementing on-the-ground projects within the IUCN priorities, attracting people to nature and sharing with them IUCN findings and communicating nature and regional achievements and lessons learned to the rest of the IUCN family.

This year of 2019 just one year ahead of the next World Conservation Congress in Marseille (June, 2020) the regional IUCN CEC Excellence Award was decided by the members of the ECA regional Jury:

  • Natalia Danilina, IUCN regional councillor and director of Ecocenter “Zapovedniks”
  • Boris Erg, director of the IUCN ECA regional office
  • Manana Ratiani, Deputy Director at Georgian National Center for Teacher Professional Development
  • Alex Zavarzin, IUCN CEC ViceChair for ECA region

By the full consensus the regional Jury presents the first IUCN CEC Excellence Award for Eastern Europe, North and Central Asia to Mrs. Anna Zavadskaya, senior scientist of Kronotsky Zapovednik (Kamchatka, Russia). 

Anna is a leader in environmental education in the system of federal protected areas of Russia. She is one of the developers of the assessment of visitors’ experience in protected areas. As a senior scientist of Kronotsky Zapovednik Anna works with the projects that introduce children to nature, apply behavioural change methodologies to combat poaching and better protect nature of Kamchatka peninsula, to more effectively communicate the importance of biodiversity. Every year she conducts environmental camps on the South Kamchatka Reserve for schoolchildren, as well delivers encouraging courses at the Kronotsky Nature Reserve Visitor Center and in the villages of the indigenous people of Kamchatka.

Anna is actively involved in promoting knowledge of Kamchatka’s wilderness, especially bears. The relationship of a bear and a person in the conditions of Kamchatka and the Kronotsky Reserve is extremely relevant topic. Creatively developed, popular publications by Anna and co-authors serve to prevent conflicts between people and bears. The methodology for evaluating the impressions of visitors developed by Anna and co-authors was the first Russian-language research on this subject and is extremely significant for PAs employees working with visitors.

The Award Ceremony was during the Regional Conservation Forum in Rotterdam on July 1st, 2019 and award was launched by CEC’s chair, Sean Southey. The audience could not congratulate Anna in person as the first winner was continuing her highly valuable work in the field of the almost other side of the Globe from the place of the ceremony - in the remote areas of Kamchatka peninsula smoothening relations between wildlife and Kamchatka bears in particular with local people and visitors. But Anna sent her letter of appreciation and enthusiasm (full text attached) to RCF participants, all CEC members and IUCN family.

“I am very delighted to welcome participants of the IUCN Regional Conservation Forum for Europe, North and Central Asia and to thank my colleagues and friends from the IUCN for the high evaluation of my work as a member of the CEC. – wrote Anna. - Since becoming a member of the IUCN in 2009 and largely due to inspiration which I got from its members and shared by them mission and passion, due to exchanging experience, active communication and international connections, I’ve passed a way from pure natural researcher to a leader of interdisciplinary projects connecting social and natural sciences, focusing on conservation not against people but with people, involving local communities into nature friendly economic activities, on implementing scientific results into decision making, on education and training of local communities, guides and Reserve staff and harmonizing relationships of Nature and people in general.”

Holding the Award is not only a personal achievement for Anna – she considers it as an appreciation of her teachers, colleagues and the special spirit that unites all the members of the IUCN and inspires them for active actions to make better changes.

“I am proud to be a member of the Commission on Education and Communication and share during my everyday work on the ground with local communities or in international meetings with friends and colleagues the mission and ideology of the IUCN, of responsible attitude to the planet and to build larger network of friends of our planet sharing the same passion about it.” – concluded the winner of the first CEC Excellence Award in the ECA region.


Author: Alex A. Zavarzin

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