At the annual international meeting of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), Lena M Lindén, former Managing Director of Nordens Ark, was presented with the prestigious Heini Hediger Award. This is one of the finest awards the zoo world can give and it marks the important work Lena has done over many years both at Nordens Ark and internationally on behalf of endangered animals.

From the moment Lena started Nordens Ark in 1989, the goal was to save and preserve threatened species. Under her leadership, Nordens Ark has grown to become a significant player working to protect endangered animals, not just at Nordens Ark but also in the field in Sweden and around the world. Lena’s commitment to biological diversity and conservation work at Nordens Ark and internationally has always been remarkable. Over the years, she has held a number of key positions within the various zoo organisations and partners.

Lena received the Heini Hediger Award during WAZA’s annual meeting, held this year at Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates. In her acceptance speech, she asked her successor at Nordens Ark, Mats Höggren, to thank the Nordens Ark staff, without whom her achievements would not have been possible. ‘It is they who did the hard work,’ she said.