2012 International Young Conservationist Award



POSTED 8 MAY 2012: NOMINATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.  Thanks to everyone who applied.  All applicants will be notified in late June once a winner has been decided.

The International Young Conservationist Award is a joint initiative of the International Ranger Federation (IRF) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN/WCPA). It was established in 2003 and has been presented four times. For information on the award and previous recipients see the WCPA Awards page of the IUCN website.

The International Young Conservationist Award aims to recognise and raise awareness of the outstanding contributions made by young people to the conservation of protected areas; it honours their efforts and their passion, dedication and commitment. It also seeks to encourage young professionals and, by presenting the award at a global conservation event, provides them with an opportunity to develop networks to enable them to further enhance their efforts. Recipients of the award are invited to join the IUCN/WCPA Young Professionals Group and are invited to be on the IRF’s mailing list.

Nominations are invited on behalf of young professionals (under the age of 35) actively working to protect and manage protected areas, including rangers, interpreters, people working with local communities, and scientists. It may include people working for government agencies, the private sector, non-government organisations, and local communities.

Young professionals must have made an outstanding contribution to the management of protected areas through either a sustained ongoing commitment or a single event. They can be working at a local, regional, national, or international level.

In particular their work must show:

  1. Extraordinary dedication to protected areas, and/or
  2. Passion and commitment, and/or
  3. An innovative approach to protected area management, and/or
  4. Self-sacrifice (time, costs, physical bravery, etc.)

Who can nominate?

Nominations are encouraged from individuals who are familiar with the accomplishments of the nominee. The nominee may also self nominate with strong letters of recommendation.

How to submit a nomination

Go to http://www.georgewright.org/yca_app and follow the instructions.

Nominations consists of:

  • An online questionnaire (answers are limited to 200 words)
  • A brief Curriculum Vitae (maximum of two pages)
  • Letters of reference (maximum of three)

They should describe:

  • The nominee’s contribution to protected area management;
  • The impacts of the nominee’s efforts in the management of protected areas—in particular describe the scale, extent, magnitude and impact of his/her contribution;
  • What makes the nominee's work innovative; and
  • The challenges the nominee has faced in her/his work.

Nominations are to be submitted in English.  If you require assistance with this, please contact the YCA Committee at yca2012@gmail.com.


The Call for Nominations has been extended to 7 May 2012. The recipient will be selected by 18 June 2012 and notified as soon as possible following selection.

Who selects the winner and how is that person selected?

Nominations will be shortlisted by the Young Conservationst Award (YCA) Committee; this Committee consists of representatives of the IRF and IUCN/WCPA.  The President of IRF, the Chair of IUCN/WCPA, and the Chair of the YCA Committee select the recipient.  The recipient is selected based on responses to the questions on the nomination form and the testimony provided by the referees.

Where will the award be presented?

The 2012 International Young Conservationist Award will be presented at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea, in September 2012.

Benefits for the recipient

  • The opportunity to showcase his/her achievements
  • International recognition through presentation of the award at the IUCN World Conservation Congress
  • All expenses paid trip to the IUCN World Conservation Congress for the award presentation
  • International recognition through publicity on IUCN/WCPA, IRF, and George Wright Society websites
  • The opportunity to establish contacts and develop networks
  • Memebership in the IUCN WCPA (the world's premier network of protected area experts) and their Young Professionals Group
  • IRF/WCPA Young Conservationist Award Plaque and Certificate

If you have any questions ...

Contact the YCA Committee at yca2012@gmail.com.

Click here to go to the application form.  The deadline is  7 May 2012.




The International Young Conservationist Award is proudly sponsored by the George Wright Society and Parks Victoria.