PhD (Biology), Merited Ecologist of Russia
Homeland, global ecoregion and life’s calling – to Yury Darman, these concepts come together in a single word: Amur. A game biologist with a PhD, he has been working for 35 years to create a system of specially protected natural territories in the Amur ecoregion. He was actively involved in the creation of the Norsky Reserve, Land of the Leopard National Park, and over 10 other reserves. On Darman’s watch, the area of specially protected territories in the Amur ecoregion as part of WWF projects has expanded by 5.2 million hectares.
Darman has been up and down the Amur, from source to estuary. Before joining WWF, he worked at the Khingan Nature Reserve (rising from junior research associate to Deputy Director for Research) and at the Amur Research Centre of the Far Eastern Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 1994, he established the Amur Socio-Ecological Union, the first environmental NGO in the city of Blagoveshchensk.
In 2001, Darman became head of the WWF branch in Vladivostok. He successfully integrated environmental projects into an ecoregional programme covering five Russian regions, which received support from NGOs, researchers and the authorities. Darman is the chair and head of various scientific-civic councils and working groups. He is the author of over 200 research papers, including nine monographs.
In 2006, the Ministry of Natural Resources conferred the title of Honoured Environmental Professional on Darman. In 2012, he won the Fred Packard Award for courage in protecting national parks, and in 2013, he had the Merited Ecologist of Russia title bestowed on him.