Hotel Caminetto at the Star Awards Ceremony.

A lot of hard work and dedication is needed to make a difference in nature conservation and sustainable development. It often takes the courage of conviction to sometimes challenge received wisdom, to have a vision and drive to achieve it, but most of all to have passion. Sometimes that takes a lifetime to achieve or can be dedication and inspiration at the start of a career.

Members across the EUROPARC Federation for sure exhibit these qualities, even in the public service administrations, to do the best for these special places and people that they are committed to manage and protect.

However, much of that hard work goes unrecognised and unsung, both in young professionals starting and in experienced contributors. Praise and recognition for achievement is something everyone appreciates and can be the motivator to go on to even bigger and better things.

EUROPARC has therefore, with the generous support of the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S. (DE),  established awards for both the entry level and already established professionals.

Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarship

Recognition and support for young professionals coming into the work of nature conservation is delivered through the Alfred Toepfer Natural Heritage Scholarship. This encourages study trips examining an issue of interest to Protected Areas, across Europe. Conducted by those 35 and under, it is an opportunity to gain an insight into an issue, explore, examine and share the finding across the EUROPARC network. There are of course wonderful experiences: personal and professional development opportunities. The awards are celebrated at the annual EUROPARC conference

For more details on applying for an Alfred Toepfer Scholarship, or to pass information onto young professionals in your organisation, please see here.

Alfred Toepfer Medal

At the other end of the spectrum, those who have made a contribution to nature conservation in Europe through an experienced body of work, is recognised in the Alfred Toepfer Medal. Nominated by EUROPARC members this gives an opportunity to the work done to be praised and valued by peers. The award is given publically at the annual EUROARC conference.

If you know of someone who has dedicated themselves to nature conservation and Protected Area work, then please consider nominating them for the award. The EUROPARC council comprises the jury who select the winner from members’ nominations. More details and nomination form can be found here.