The winner of the Heritage Heroes award was announced on 4 September 2016 at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, USA.
The Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Dr Mechtild Rössler, congratulated the Heritage Hero nominees from Virunga National Park (DRC), Western Caucasus (Russian Federation) and Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India). Mr. Bibhuti Lakhar was the people’s choice Heritage Hero, for his dedication to the conservation of India’s Manas Wildlife Sanctuary. Dr. Rössler welcomed the immense commitment and dedication of young people around the globe for World Heritage conservation.
The Heritage Heroes award aims to recognise the outstanding efforts of a few brave people, around the four corners of the world, who relentlessly invest efforts to make a difference in the way natural World Heritage sites are conserved, sometimes despite life-threatening situations.
The Heritage Heroes Awards also recognize Bantu Lukambo and Josué Kambasu Mukura jointly for their work in protecting Virunga National Park in DRC, as well as Yulia Naberezhnaya and Andrey Rudomakha for their joint actions in the Western Caucasus in Russia.
Supported by the MAVA Foundation and Star Alliance’s Biosphere Connection, the Heritage Heroes project was implemented by IUCN’s World Heritage Programme in collaboration with the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.