Biologist Purnima Devi Barman Gets UN Honor For Saving Storks
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – Purnima Devi Barman, a conservation biologist known for initiating an all-female grassroots conservation movement from Assam for saving the greater adjutant, one of the world’s rarest storks, is among the UN Environment Programmer’s (UNEP) 2022 Champions of the Earth award announced on November 22.
Since its inception in 2005, the annual Champions of the Earth award has been awarded to trailblazers at the forefront of efforts to protect the natural world.
It is the UN’s highest environmental honor.
This year a record 2,200 nominations from around the world were received.
UNEP’s 2022 Champions of the Earth are Barman honored in the Entrepreneurial Vision category, is a wildlife biologist who leads the “Hargila Army”, an all-female grassroots conservation movement dedicated to protecting the greater adjutant stork from extinction. The women create and sell textiles with motifs of the bird, helping to raise awareness about the species while building their own financial independence.
Partha Dasgupta (Britain),honored in the Science and Innovation category, is an eminent economist whose landmark review on the economics of biodiversity calls for a fundamental rethink of humanity’s relationship with the natural world to prevent critical ecosystems from reaching dangerous tipping points.
Following the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), this year’s awards shine a spotlight on efforts to prevent, halt and reverse ecosystem degradation globally.
Ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean face massive threats. Ecosystem restoration is essential for containing global warming and helping societies and economies to adapt to climate change.
It is also crucial to fighting hunger: restoration through agroforestry alone has the potential to increase food security for 1.3 billion people.
Restoring just 15 percent of converted lands could reduce the risk of species extinction by 60 percent.