Director of WWF-Russia Amur Branch, Ph.D. (Biology)

Homeland, global ecoregion and his lifetime project: for Yury Darman these concepts have merged into one word — Amur. Accomplished wildlife biologist, for 35 years he worked on the creation of Amur ecoregion system of Special Protected Natural Areas. Through his involvement, Nora Nature Reserve, Land of the Leopard National Park, and more than 10 game reserves appeared on the map. In general, thanks to WWF projects under his direction, protected area of Amur ecoregion increased by 5.2 million hectares!

Darman-Priamurskiy, as this tireless explorer, adventurer and romantic is known among friends, walked the Amur shores for miles around, from the source to the mouth of the river. Before joining WWF, Yury rose from research assistant to the Deputy Director for Science of Khingan Nature Reserve. He worked in the Amur Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was a member of the regional Duma, and in 1994 he created the Amur Socio-Ecological Union, the first public environmental organization in Blagoveshchensk, administrative center of Amur Oblast.

Being natural born leader, he took the lead of the WWF branch in Vladivostok in 2001. Yury was able to combine environmental projects into one ecoregional program, which covered five territorial entities of the Russian Federation and was supported by non-governmental organizations, scientists, and government authorities. As a result, about one billion rubles were invested to the conservation of the Far Eastern nature by foreign donors. Darman is a chairman and head of various scientific and social councils and task groups. He is the author of over 200 research papers, including nine monographs.


In 2006, the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources awarded Yury Darman with the «Honored Worker of Conservation of Nature» title. In 2012, he received Fred Packard award for his courage in protecting the national parks. And in 2013, Darman became one of the few leaders of non-governmental organizations who were awarded the title of the «Honored ecologist of the Russian Federation.»

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