Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, February 24, 2018: A feather in the cap of Wildlife Trust of India’s Sarus Crane Conservation Project field team in eastern Uttar Pradesh as Arshad Hussain, Assistant Manager and point person for the project’s on-ground operations was awarded the ‘Prakriti Ratna’ at Prakriti 2018, a wildlife summit organised earlier this month to draw attention towards the importance of wetlands and gather support for their conservation. Arshad received the award in recognition of his contribution towards the conservation of the sarus crane, the world’s tallest flying bird, India’s only resident breeding crane species and the State Bird of Uttar Pradesh.
Arshad has been instrumental in motivating community members and farmers to protect sarus crane nests – a wonderful example of tangible grassroots conservation
Held on February 18, Prakriti 2018 was jointly organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Turtle Survival Alliance – India, and attended by dignitaries from the UP Forest Department, members of the conservation and corporate fraternities, and media persons. Mr Alok Ranjan, IAS, Retired Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh, presented the memento and scroll to Arshad.
Arshad has been instrumental in educating over 500 community members as well as motivating over 50 farmers to protect sarus crane nests in eastern UP – a wonderful example of tangible grassroots conservation that compelled the jury to select him as one of the winners, said Dr Shailendra Singh, Director, Turtle Survival Alliance – India.
Since 2013, the Sarus Crane Conservation Project, run across 10 districts of eastern UP by WTI in collaboration with Tata Trusts and the UP Forest Department, has sought to involve local communities in monitoring and protecting this iconic bird and the wetlands that sustain it. “Arshad has been working with the project since its inception and has helped win community support for the conservation and documentation of 30 wetlands that are critical for the sarus crane in the region”, said WTI’s Dr Samir Kumar Sinha, Co-Principal Investigator of the project. “He has also coordinated with an array of stakeholders to meet the project’s objectives.”