2020 Bright Award Winner – Maria Azhunova

With over 80% of the world’s biodiversity occurring on Indigenous territory, respecting and reviving Indigenous conservation practices will be critical for protecting future ecosystem health. Maria Azhunova, the 2020 Bright Award winner, is an indigenous Buryat conservation leader who harnesses her people’s Indigenous knowledge and culture to drive conservation projects in both Eastern Russia and Mongolia. She is the Executive Director of the Baikal Buryat Center for Indigenous Culture and the Director of the Land of Snow Leopard Network.