City-based ecologist Dhrubajyoti Ghosh, whose pioneering work on the East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) and its wise use in treating the city's wastewater led to the international recognition as a Ramsar Site (Wetland of International Importance), will be awarded the prestigious Luc Hoffmann Award next month at the World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Instituted in 2012 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), and global organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resource, the award is given to environmental leaders who set inspirational examples for nature conservation and ecosystem management.
Announcing the award, IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) chair Piet Wit congratulated Ghosh, who is also special advisor (agricultural ecosystems) to CEM.
Explaning the decision, Wit said: "Within CEM, professionals from science and practitioners in ecosystem management are united in a network where innovative ideas emerge from the meeting of these two groups of constituents. While members of CEM are professionals, volunteering their time for the commission, we also regularly meet other individuals, spending substantial amounts of energy to conserve our natural resources. Many do not belong to a network like ours, and all too often have no access to anything other than their own direct surroundings. They demonstrate environmental leadership within their communities, thereby setting shining examples for the outside world."
Ghosh's work on EKW began with identifying the uniqueness and opportunities of the ecosystem. He named the wetlands, mapped it and calculated the economic value it was adding to the economy of a metropolitan city.
Ghosh had to spend 10 years to impress upon global arbitrators the importance of EKW. It was finally declared a Ramsar Site in 2002 when Ghosh was chief environment officer in Bengal.
He is one of the few government servants to have been recognised as an Ashoka Fellow and has also served on the board of trustees of the World Wide Fund for Nature - India for eight years. A new generation thinker, Ghosh evolved barefoot pedagogy to learn and teach ecology.
Source: Times of India