Goa's APCCF RIchard Dsouza IFS receives prestigious Sanctuary Asia wildlife service award
Richard D'souza an IFS Officer of the 1980 batch of the AGMUT cadre and presently working as Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest was recently conferred the wildlife services award 2012 by Santuary Asia in a glittering ceremony in Mumbai.
Shri Richard D'souza is a wildlife defender, but he will be remembered by the people of Goa as the man who protected their water sources forever. A rare individual whose blood seems to flow even greener than Goa's tiger forest which he zealously protects. His passion for all things natural dates back to the 60's when as a student he first encountered a tiger in Billy Arjan Singh's Dudhwa Santuary in UP. He decided then and there that he would join the IFS a dream that came true in 1980 with a posting to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Since that day he has been stead fastly walking the narrow, the unbeaten wildlife conservation trail which has its own share of problems including two near death experiences.
As the Chief Wildlife Warden of the A&N Islands he quickly got Cuthbert bay declared as a scantuary for the Olive Ridley turtle, Rani Jhansi Marine Natural Park for the endangered Dugung and Galathea bay in Great Nicobar for the highly endangered Giant Leatherback turtle. Shielding these amazing creatures has not only guaranteed their future but that of million other life forms including ourselves all subtly intertwined in that fine web we call nature. He has also authored management plans fot many other regions in the Andaman's in the 16 long years he spent there.
This life time experience stood him in good stead in Goa where he works as APCCF for a government that has given almost 63% of the total forest area of the state over to sanctuary or National park status. He has been protecting the wildlife of India all his life because of which his work has been recognised and has been awarded this coveted wildlife service award.
The Sanctuary Wildlife Awards were instituted to recognise and draw national attention to the contribution of individuals working for the protection of wildlife and natural habitats in India. Since its inception in the year 2000, the awards have unearthed the inspirational work of hundreds across the country, and this year saw scores of nominations being sent in from all over the country for consideration to the Sanctuary Wildlife Awards 2012.