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| Last Updated:: 22/08/2016

Assam conservationist nominated for IUCN Heritage Heroes award









Ecologist Bibhuti Lahkar of Assam, closely associated with the conservation of grasslands of Manas National Park and community development on the fringe areas of the protected area, is one among other conservationists across world, nominated for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s prestigious Heritage Heroes awards to be conferred next month.



Bantu Lukambo and Josue Kambasu Mukura of Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Yulia Naberezhnaya and Andrey Rudomahka of the Western Caucasus in Russian Federation are others jointly nominated for the awards.



Formed in 1948, IUCN is the global authority on the conservation status of natural heritages and provides measures to safeguard it.



Lahkar, the first from Assam to be nominated, said that his long association with Manas which is a World Heritage Site has helped him for the nomination.



"Today I feel proud to be associated with the rival of Manas. The Heritage Hero awards is for inspiring people and places. So, my nomination would help me focusing more on community-based conservation in Manas for the upcoming IUCN congress," Lahkar reacted.



The finalist for the award will be selected through voting which starts from August 24 to 31. The award will be given at the IUCN world conservation congress in Hawaii from September 1 to 10.



The Heritage Heroes award is aimed at recognizing the "outstanding efforts" of around the in making a difference in the conservation of World Heritage sites in challenging situations.



In 18 years of his association with Manas as an ecologist of biodiversity conservation NGO Aaranyak, Lahkar has worked closely with others for park's revival. Manas was put in Unesco World Heritage Site in Danger List in 1992 following large-scale destruction of habitats, wildlife and park infrastructure during the turbulent days of insurgencies in late 1980s and early 1990s.



However, Manas could script a successful conservation story by getting back the World Heritage Site status in 2011.






Source: The Times of India