A memorial stone commemorating Professor Nikolai Vorontsov was recently unveiled at Land of the Leopard's central compound. The event held in the village of Barabash brought together Vorontsov's colleagues from the Russian Academy of Sciences' Far Eastern branch, senior managers of the Far Eastern Leopards autonomous non-profit organisation and Land of the Leopard, employees of various Russian and international environmental organisations, and representatives of regional and municipal authorities.
"This year, an event of major importance took place," said Yelena Gangalo, general director of the Far Eastern Leopards autonomous non-profit organisation and advisor to the special presidential representative for environmental protection, ecology and transport, during the ceremony to unveil the memorial stone. "The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment supported the Far Eastern Leopards organisation's initiative, and decided to name this joint administration after Nikolai Vorontsov, a distinguished Russian biologist, environmentalist and statesman. Today, we unveil this memorial stone to commemorate this historic decision."
© Land of the Leopard press service
Memorial stone plaque
The list of event participants also included Merited Ecologist of Russia Vsevolod Stepanitsky, who told those present about the importance of Professor Vorontsov's contribution to environmental protection.
"Russia has a long-standing tradition in environmental protection: commemorating distinguished scientists, environmentalists and statesmen who contributed significantly to the conservation of biodiversity, by giving their names to protected areas and state organisations that manage them," Stepanitsky said. "There are 15 names on this list already. In particular, the Primorye Territory is home to nature reserves named after Lev Kaplanov, Vladimir Komarov and Konstantin Abramov. And from now on, Vorontsov's name will be on this list as well."
Alexei Kryukov, chief researcher at the Federal Scientific Centre of the East Asia Terrestrial Biodiversity, who worked for the professor for several years, also shared his memories of Nikolai Vorontsov.
"Nikolai Vorontsov was directly involved in the establishment and development of the Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve," Kryukov said. "In 1972, he became the director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Biology and Soil Sciences, where he initiated a great variety of projects. He organised a wonderful library, a museum and, perhaps, what is most important — invited distinguished scientists to come work in the Far East. He also launched a construction project in the nature reserve. He would often come here; with the help of architects from Moscow, he built log houses here. He also brought new researchers and good security guards to Kedrovaya Pad; indeed, he has done a lot."
Land of the Leopard was named after the scientist by the 5 March 2018 order of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.