Case Study: Dr. Dhan Bahadur Gurung Bhutan
Annual Balipara Foundation Award is Presented to a person or an organization, whose contribution to the protection of wild nature has gone beyond the call of duty and which has displayed demonstrable success in the arena of nature conservation.
The Annual Balipara Foundation Award was conferred to Dr. Dhan Bahadur. Gurung from Bhutan for Ecological Restoration in the region. The Award was presented by renowned television Journalist Bahar Dutt
An environmental steward, Dr Gurung has made significant impacts towards ecological sustainability. He is an environmental educator whose teachings have inspired a new generation of botanists to dedicate their lives towards socio-economic development of Communities and preservation of the environment. He has been instrumental in building credit worthy programmes such as B.Sc. in Environmental Science and Climate Change and M.Sc. in Natural Resources Management that have helped Institutions through revenue generation to meet capacity and infrastructure facility gaps. Major projects headed by Dr. Gurung include DANIDA-Bhutan and NRRHED-CNR. A species curator, he is the founding member of Bhutan Biodiversity Portal and is the first National Professor who studied and published a book on Orchids of Bhutan. His research work on aquatic biodiversity conservation against hydropower development has influenced the Government’s policy to maintain at least one major river in the country free of hydropower dams. In the social sector, Dr. Gurung’s work on ecotourism has been acknowledged by the government and many community –based ecotourism programs are initiated in his study sites that empower the local communities’ socio-economically.