• Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Whitley Gold Award to Purnima enriches Aaranyak’s journey for conservation of biodiversity

Once again highlighting the power of a committed woman in spurring sustained community-oriented efforts for biodiversity conservation, Aaranyak’s conservation biologist Dr Purnima Devi Barman has been conferred ‘Green Oscar’ Whitley Gold Award 2024.

This accolade recognises her tireless work in conserving the endangered greater adjutant or Hargila (as called locally by community in Assam), one of the world’s rarest storks.

This recognition marks a significant achievement not only for Dr. Barman but also for Assam and the rest of the country as well as brings to focus women power in biodiversity conservation on the global stage.

An elated but hugely humbled Dr Purnima Devi Barman has stated that the award will further embolden her resolve to protect the greater adjutant stork with community support.

“The award is really meant for the women in the community who have been my source of strength in the journey so far. It is a message from women from the country to the world how we through dedication and commitment can spur conservation efforts,” said Dr Purnima who has been invited by the India High Commissioner in London for a felicitation tomorrow.

Her remarkable efforts have mobilized local women in Assam especially those from her key conservation project site at Dadara-Pachariya in Kamrup district of the state and attracted attention worldwide for the conservation of this species through sustained involvement of community women.

As the Team Aaranyak rejoices her feat, the Secretary General and the CEO of Aaranyak Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar said, “The achievement of Dr Purnima Devi Barman who has been associated with Aaranyak since 2002, has made the Team Aaranyak proud and encouraged all of us to strive to excel in our relentless mission to nourish nature to secure the future of animal kingdom on the planet.

“Purnima Devi’s exemplary dedication towards conservation of the endangered Greater Adjutant Stork through overwhelming cooperation from community women highlights how the role of women is so important for conservation of biodiversity. Her ability to induce the community to put up sustained team efforts for conservation of biodiversity has stood out across the planet and the award has reaffirmed it.”

Aaranyak’s another woman conservation leader Dr Alolika Sinha said, “Purnima Devi’s conservation efforts are incredible and an inspiration for the conservationists, particularly for all the women who are doing their bit to save the planet.”

Reflecting the upbeat mood prevailing in Aaranyak today, the Head of Operation of the organisation, Mridusmrita Devi said, “Our heartiest Congratulations to Dr. Purnima Devi Barman on winning the “Green Oscar” Whitley Gold Award 2024 ads recognition to her dedicated efforts in conserving the endangered greater adjutant stork (Hargila). Her work has not only inspired Aaranyak but also made women everywhere proud.”

This accolade adds to Purnima’s impressive list of achievements, including the UN Environment Champions of the Earth Award she received in 2022.

Her tireless efforts serve as a beacon of hope for conservationists worldwide and exemplify the impact of grassroots movements in safeguarding biodiversity.

Team Aaranyak says thanks to Whitley Fund for Nature for honouring its acclaimed conservation biologist Dr Purnima Devi Barman with this year’s prestigious Whitley Gold Award.

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