DEDICATED environmentalist, businessman and Bungendore farmer Rob Purves has been awarded one of the Australian Geographic Society's highest honours.
Mr Purves, who lives between Sydney and Bungendore, where he and partner Bronwyn farm "Carwoola" station, has received the Society's Lifetime of Conservation Award.
On an impressive list of conservation and science organisations he is involved with at the top level, Mr Purves is most passionate about his Australian presidency of the world's largest science based conservation organisation, the World Wildlife Fund.
"Overall you'd have to say the Queanbeyan and Canberra region is the green capital of Australia, with the most progressive policies in a host of areas, like renewables, definitely leading the country on that score," he said.
"Every time I drive past Lake George and look at the wind turbines I think the future way we generate clean power has arrived".
"It's a good feeling indeed - poor old Joe Hockey, captive of the past."
Mr Purves is acknowledged for his major contributions to environmental sustainability and conservation, advocating and educating on climate change, landscape management, and improving environmental policy through science.
"At Carwoola I'm big on fencing off treelines," he said.
"There has been a lot of farming for 150 years on the hills around Queanbeyan and Canberra - in a marginal game it's to better manage, you fence off sensitive areas to care for waterways.
"As well, there are amazing wild places still there, the Brindabellas and country east of Queanbeyan down to the coast, some wonderful untouched wilderness that we need to manage properly."
"For my lifetime around the district I've been passionate about the unique landscapes, but we've cleared them and so how do we maintain biodiversity, help ensure preservation for future generations?"
He takes a whole landscape view, not just the "green dots on maps" of national parks.
"We need to make sure we manage for biodiversity, not just fires, ferals or weed infestations," he said.
"The only way to know within the Canberra-Queanbeyan district what's happening to the great number of key populations of endangered species is to monitor them over a period of time."
"Then you have to ensure enough resources to manage them. Generally in NSW that clearly isn't being applied.
"Showing no political partisanship he added: "There was a huge increase in national parks under Bob Carr where [management] resources have never been applied".