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Indian wildlife biologist honoured as 'Champions of the Earth’ 2022 by UN

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Nov 23, 2022 1:00 PM

Read Time: 2 minute

Purnima Devi Barman, Assam's leading conservationist, has been named a 'Champions of the Earth' for 2022 by the United Nations.

The award was given to Barman, a wildlife biologist, and four others from different countries for their transformative action to prevent, halt, and reverse ecosystem degradation, according to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) on November 22.

Hargila Army

Barman, a Green Oscar winner, has worked for nearly two decades to ensure the survival of the Greater Adjutant Stork by founding the 'Hargila (the Assamese name for the bird) Army' to save the bird from extinction.

The award is given in several categories, and Barman received it in the Entrepreneurial Vision category for her leadership of the "Hargila Army."

The women in the group make and sell textiles with bird motifs, raising awareness about the species while gaining financial independence.

"The honour is overwhelming and a dream come true for me. I dedicate this award to Mother Earth and all mothers of the planet as the best education begins at home on the mother's lap," Barman stated.

Project focus on motherhood

The project's conservation focus is on motherhood, and the Hargila Army celebrates baby showers both before and after the eggs hatch, she said, adding that all of the activists are mothers and housewives who contribute to the conservation of the stork, which is on the verge of extinction.

''There are many challenges along the way but we have created a community movement which we will continue to take forward with the help of people,'' she said.

Champions of the Earth award

Champions of the Earth is a UNEP award that recognises individuals, groups, and organisations whose actions have a transformative impact on the environment. The Champions of the Earth award honours exceptional leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector each year.

UNEP Executive Director Inger Anderson announced the Champions of the Earth, 2022 award in Nairobi, saying that this year's award honours a conservationist, an enterprise, an economist, a women's rights activist, and a wildlife biologist for their transformative action to prevent, halt, and reverse ecosystem degradation.

Besides Barman, the other recipients of the UNEP award are Lebanon's environmental enterprise Arceniel, Peru's Constantino (Tino) Aucca Chuta for pioneering a community reforestation model driven by a local community, Sir Partha Dasgupta of the UK in the Science and Innovation category and Cameroon's Cecile Bibian Ndjebet for advocating rights of women in Africa to secure land tenure.

Also Read: WORLD WILDLIFE DAY 2022: सुरक्षा और संरक्षण से विलुप्त होते जीवों को सहेजने की दिशा में बढ़ाएं एक कदम!

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