Assam-based ecologist and conservation activist Bibhuti Lahkar has become the first Asian to be awarded the prestigious ‘Heritage Heroes Award’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Lahkar received the award at the IUCN’s ongoing World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii last night, an IUCN release said.
Lahkar was among five conservationists across the globe to be nominated for this year’s Heritage Heroes Award, aimed at recognising “outstanding efforts” around the world in making a difference in the conservation of World Heritage sites in challenging situations, it said.
Lahkar has been working to save the grasslands, flora and fauna of Manas National Park area for the past two decades and is currently engaged as Manas Landscape Administrator for Aaranyak, an NGO working for biodiversity conservation in northeast India.
On receiving the award, he thanked all who helped him along the way and said he felt humbled and honoured by the recognition for his work.
“Today I am delighted and honoured to get this award. I have dedicated this award to Manas World Heritage Sites and local communities living around Manas,” he said.
The ecologist has intensively studied the grasslands of Manas and is now globally recognised as an expert in the threatened flora and fauna of the Terai region along the southern foothills of the Himalayas, an Aaranyak release said.