Individuals, organisations awarded for conservation efforts

Kathmandu, September 24

Nepal marked the 10th National Conservation Day yesterday under the leadership of the government with the theme “Community-based conservation for sustainable development.”

At a programme organised by the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation and eight conservation consortium partners, President Bidya Devi Bhandari urged communities to contribute to conservation efforts.

“I laud the contribution of communities to conservation,” she said “The constitution of Nepal has prescribed the basic right of every Nepali to live in a safe and healthy environment and an Environment Committee has been established to ensure equitable distribution of natural resources for the benefit of the people and the environment.”

On this occasion, the National Conservation Award instituted by  the government of Nepal was awarded to Bhoj Raj Shrestha by the Ministry  of Forests and Soil Conservation. The award was instituted to recognise exemplary contribution of individuals and organisations to conservation and carries a purse of Rs 151,000.

Similarly, WWF Nepal felicitated four organisations and four individuals for their exemplary contribution to biodiversity conservation through the Conservation Awards 2016. Shreejung Battalion of Chitwan National Park and Chetana Women Community Forest Users Committee were felicitated with the Abraham Conservation Awards in the organisation category, while Tashi Rapti Ghale and Tulsi Devkota were felicitated with the Abraham Conservation Awards in the individual category.

Likewise, Naresh Kusi was awarded the Matthew Preece & Yeshi Choden Lama Young Conservation Leader Award, while Pragati Dhakal, Karobar daily and Far West Media Development Centre, were awarded the WWF Media in Conservation Awards.

The awards hold a citation and cash prize of Rs 25,000 for individuals and Rs 50,000 for organisations that have been partially supported by The Abraham Foundation.

Likewise, WWF Nepal provided scholarships to Ganesh Kumar Tharu, Tsewang Nuru Sherpa, Pushpam Ghimere, Kiran Gurung, and Apsana Kafle under the Chandra Gurung, Memorial Fellowship, Mingma Norbu Sherpa,Jennifer Headley, Jillian Bowling Schlaepfer, and Nepal Conservation Memorial Scholarships respectively.

“The fateful day of September created an irreplaceable void, and loss of an era of conservation thinkers and doers, whom I rightfully call Nepal’s conservation heroes,” said Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal. “But as all heroes do, they lived beyond their years, through their legacy that served as an inspiration for Nepal to build on the foundations of conservation impact that could withstand the test of time.”

To mark a decade of the tragic loss of Nepal’s conservation heroes, WWF Nepal launched a publication title “Legacy of Leaders” as a tribute to the conservation heroes, and a celebration of inspired conservation, looking back at a decade of successes and change, with roots planted firmly by them to take Nepal’s conservation agenda forward.

This year is the tenth year of the tragic helicopter crash in Ghunsa where conservation leaders died on September 23, 2006. The then minister of State for Forests and Soil Conservation Gopal Rai, scholar Dr Harka Gurung and others involved in nature and wildlife conservation had lost their lives in a chopper crash in Ghunsa, Taplejung on 2006.