Whitley Alumni Sergei and Erika win 2012 Rolex Awards

Whitley Award winners Sergei Bereznuk (Russia) and Erika Cuellar (Bolivia) have been named as winners of the 2012 Rolex Awards for Enterprise.

2006 Whitley Award winner, Sergei, is working to conserve the highly endandgered populations of Amur tigers and Amur leopards that occur in the forests of the Russian Far East, whilst 2007 winner, Erika, is engaging and providing training for local people in rural areas of Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina to play active roles in the conservation of wild habitat and resources.

The internationally renowned Awards honour extraordinary individuals who possess the courage and conviction to take on major challenges and recognise succesful work that has the capacity to improve lives and protect the world’s natural and cultural heritage.


Erika’s award winning work involves training local people to become “parabiologists”, actively involving them in conservation

Sergei and Erika were selected among a total of 5 winners from more than 3,500 applicants from 154 countries by an independent Jury of international experts. They will each receive 100,000 Swiss francs (approx. £67,000 GBP) and a Rolex chronometer.

Sergei’s profile on the Rolex Awards website can be viewed by clicking here, and Erika’s profile can be viewed here.

Sergei’s project seeks to tackle poaching whilst also protecting the vital forest habitat of the Amur leopard and tiger

Sergei (for whom WFN acted as a referee) and Erika join a distinguished list of fellow Whitley Award winners who have also been named as Rolex Laureates in previous years. Amanda Vincent (Philippines), Laury Cullen (Brazil), Shafqat Hussein (Pakistan), Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka (Uganda), Rodrigo Medellin (Mexico), Brad Norman (India), Lindy Rodwell (South Africa) and Romulus Whitaker (India) have also all received recognition from Rolex following their Whitley Awards.