Coinciding with the World Environment Day celebration, two of the most deserving Environmentalists of Bhutan were conferred the second Jigme Singye Wangchuck Outstanding Environmental Stewardship award for policy and field leadership yesterday, at the Clock Tower inThimphu.
Her Royal Highness Ashi Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck, the Patron of the Bhutan Ecological Society and the chief guest for the function awarded Rebecca Pradhan, an ecologist with Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) and Raling Ngawang Drukdra, specialist with Nature Recreation and Ecotoursim Division under the MoAF with Nu. 100,000, and a certificate each.
Rebecca Pradhan said such recognition is totally unexpected. “I did whatever I did with the belief that nature is the first thing in life and everything comes from nature herself.” Environment was her childhood passion. She said that such award comes with great responsibility.
“Being the recipient of such award, I’ve to be in that level showing examples and symbols to others,” said Rebecca Pradhan.
Rebecca Pradhan also won the Abraham award by World Wildlife Fund in 1997. She was also conferred Khosho memorial award for conservation and she has received another environmental award from France.
Raling Ngawang Drukdra is an innate environmentalist particularly in Enthobotany. He can easily identify almost 90% plants in Bhutan. He is regarded as the “nature’s philanthropic” providing all services and information related to plants and the environment to everyone who comes seeking his help.
He has been pioneer in establishing the national herbarium at Serbithang. He contributed overwhelming numbers of specimens by collecting from different parts of the forests in Bhutan.
“We need a figure of inspiration to do something in life,” Raling Ngawang Drukdra said philosophically. “For me, His Royal Highness Prince Namgyal Wangchuck is my source of inspiration.”
With little more than three years left for his superannuation, the Specialist said, “My interest and passion for environment will not end with ending of my service.”
First incepted in June 2008, the first Jigme Singye Wangchuck Outstanding Environmental Stewardship award for Policy Leadership was awarded to Dasho Paljor J. Dorji, the Special Advisor to the National Environment Commission, Royal Government of Bhutan while the Jigme Singye Wangchuck Outstanding Environmental Stewardship award for field Leadership went to Sonam Phuntsho of Information and Communication Services of Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.
The Jigme Singye Wangchuck Outstanding Environmental Stewardship Award was instituted to recognize and honor exceptional individuals who have made significant contributions to environmental conservation in Bhutan. The award is given every two years.