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Sanctuary - RBS Wildlife Awards announces Earth Heroes 2008

Company Brief

Mumbai, January 29, 2009

For the ninth consecutive year, the Sanctuary-RBS Wildlife Awards honours those who have dedicated their lives in conserving our country’s rich natural heritage and have worked towards protecting our planet. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS), along with Sanctuary Asia, announced the Earth Heroes 2008 today. These awardees were selected from a vast number of nominations received from across the country, including passionate and committed conservationists, NGOs, government officers, lawyers, journalists and academicians.

Speaking on the occasion, Meera Sanyal, Country Executive, ABN AMRO, said, "The Sanctuary RBS Wildlife Awards makes heroes of ordinary men and women who in the face of adversity have stood firm in protecting India's biodiversity and by doing so have made a difference to the world we live in. Our belief is that their efforts will have a lasting impression on generations to come. It is the passion, zeal and enthusiasm of our Earth Heroes that has inspired us to partner with Sanctuary Asia and bring these awards to you now for the ninth year consecutively."

Bittu Sahgal, Editor of Sanctuary Asia, echoed her sentiments saying, "With every passing day it is becoming clear that the real patriots are those who protect India's waters, soils and forests, because, with climate change upon us, the loss of these life-support systems will turn all human development into a mirage. Seen in this light, the Earth Heroes we are honouring are the true torch bearers of India's freedom movement."

The Lifetime Service Award was conferred upon Fateh Singh Rathore, ex-Field Director, Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. The award honours the efforts of a lifetime devoted to the long and arduous task of bringing tigers back to the now-famous tiger reserve. What was once home to cattle and village fairs is now a rare and exquisite haven for the fast disappearing species.

Five Wildlife Service Awards were presented to environmentalists, who have done significant work in wildlife protection. This year, the Wildlife Service Awards were presented to the following Earth Heroes:

* Jointly to Dr. Y.V. Jhala and Dr. Qamar Qureshi, who worked on behalf of the Wildlife Institute of India to enumerate India’s tiger population

* The Ranthambhore-Sariska Tiger Relocation Team, Rajasthan, which successfully implemented the ambitious tiger re-introduction project, under the able guidance of Mr. R.N. Mehrotra, Chief Wildlife Warden of Rajasthan.

* Vishwas (Bhau) Dattatray Katdare, who transformed the Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (SNM) in Chiplun, into a potent force for conservation and protection of nature in Maharashtra’s Konkan region

* A.T. Poovaiah, a forester with the Karnataka Forest Department, who has remained at the frontline of wildlife protection from poaching and timber syndicates

* Sevaram Malli Parihar, for doing exemplary work in protecting the threatened Demoiselles Cranes of Kheechan in Rajasthan

The Wind Under the Wings award is presented to an organisation that has supported the work of its employees towards wildlife conservation. Bahar Datt, Environment Editor, CNN-IBN, has transformed environmental journalism from an obtuse segment on the daily news to an independent and vital component of mainstream reportage.

The Young Naturalist Awards were conferred upon Haseena and Tajunnisa, who helped usher in sweeping change to the stunning, rich Lakshadweep Islands, by pioneering a community led environmental revolution. Co-recipient of the award is Santosh Lalji Yadav, one of Mumbai’s most diligent naturalists, for his inimitable efforts in protecting the fragile habitats that dot the landscape of this metropolis.

The Green Teacher Award was bestowed upon Chain Roop Dayma, a teacher in Chhapar, Rajasthan. Along with his student volunteers, he has worked towards reducing the menace of Prosopis juliflora, a thorny shrub that is gradually wiping out the biodiversity of the region.

The Sanctuary-RBS Wildlife Awards ceremony is being held today 29th January 2009 in the Tata Theatre at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai.

For further information, please contact:

Abn Amro

V Vasantha Kumar

Tel: +91-124-418-1932


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