Awarding Conservation Excellence in Nepal
The award categories and the respective awardees included:
Abraham Conservation Awards: Individual
• Mr. Praveen Pokhrel from Okhaldunga, for his pivotal role in combatting organized wildlife crimes in Nepal through Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB). Under his command CIB was able carry out more than three dozen operations throughout Nepal, arresting hundreds of notorious poachers and criminals.
• Mr. Gyan Bahadur Shah from Kailali, for his afforestation and forest management activities, and controlling illegal logging and minimizing poaching.
• Mr. Hingwa Tharu from Bardia, for unending dedication towards fighting wildlife crimes and for playing an instrumental role in arresting a renowned rhino horn smuggler as well as 15 other people engaged in the trade of wildlife parts.
Abraham Conservation Awards: Organization
• Nanda Box Battalion, for playing a crucial role in achieving Zero Poaching Year for rhinos in Nepal and being in the forefront in capturing wildlife criminals, arms and wildlife parts for more than a decade time.
• Kalika Community Forests and User Groups, for establishing the Old-Age Home for Livestock in 2009 as a unique initiative in vulture conservation in Nepal and for leading an active reforestation program in their community forest which is now home to different species.
• Langtang Area Conservation Concern Society, for pioneering in creating awareness about bio-diversity and eco-tourism in Langtang National Park and carrying out a lot of environment friendly activities for the preservation of the Gosainkunda Lake.
WWF Media in Conservation Awards: Individual
• Mr. Krishna Mani Baral from Pokhara, for very insightful and analytical reporting.
Special Conservation Award:
• Nanda Devi Kunwar from Kailali, in recognition of her bravery to fight against forest encroachers where she almost lost her life. However she is still standing strong as an unstoppable force in conservation and is contributing all that she can for conservation. This award is given to her with the special recommendation form the panel of Judges who choose all of the above mentioned awardees.
The award holds a citation and cash prize of NRs. twenty five thousand for individual and fifty thousand for organizations.
Speaking at the event, Ms. Nanda Devi Kunwar, recipient of Special Conservation Award expressed her happiness that her passion and effort towards bio-diversity conservation has been recognized but also confessed that no matter how hard an individual tries, conservation is not possible with just a single person's effort and she urged every individual to be a part of the cause.
In April this year, Nanda Devi Kunwar, almost lost her life while fighting with the forest encroachers. They cut both her hands badly and made it dysfunctional.
Mr. Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal stated that, "if it wasn’t for the larger than life contribution of numerous organizations and individuals, conservation would not have seen such a vast growth over the years". "With WWF Conservation Awards we hope to bring forth and show you all the great work that has been put forward by many conservationists to lend their hand in biodiversity conservation and environmental protection" he added.
As every year, the award ceremony will take place on September 23, 2012 (Asoj 7, 2069), at the City Hall in Kathmandu on the occasion of National Conservation Day that was established to honor our Conservation Heroes whom we lost on the tragic helicopter accident in 2006.