Sunday, November 17, 2013


  1. Read the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and the Forest Conservation Act, and Biodiversity Act thoroughly before embarking on any forest related serious careers or conservation crusades.  Get well versed with these laws systematically and completely (do I have to emphasize more?).
  2. Get accustomed to your subjects, the terrain and the equipment you will use fully. DO NOT be a liability to the team or the field staff. IGNORANCE will have to pay with a price.
  3. Respect local knowledge and local authority. I have noticed a new breed of wildlife enthusiasts who seldom pay heed to advice by forest guards and watchers, and ridicule local guides. Conservation science has to be all-inclusive if you are interested in long term genuine work in the area. Learn to listen more and one will go a long way. Our foot soldiers of the forest are assets to the conservation movement in the country.
  4. Photography is a tool. Use it wisely. Do not use to disturb wildlife or its habitat.  And do not compromise your own safety and that of your team for the sake of a picture. NO one “likes” it…and it is unnecessary.
  5. A handful of lucky folk get to visit wildlife habitats, do trails and spend time with conservation biologists, ecologists and field activists. Make the most of it. Remember every ‘trip’ that you make also has an impact on the habitat and if it can’t be justified it aren’t worth it.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Goan field ecologist and conservationist, Nirmal Kulkarni, was awarded the Royal Bank of Scotland Earth Hero award 2013 in the ‘Inspire’ category at a recently held award ceremony at the RBS lawns in Delhi on the 15th of Nov 2013.

The award acknowledged the work and dedicated efforts of Nirmal in preserving and protecting India’s natural heritage and specifically for his work that has always been over and above his call of duty and this made the jury unanimously decide on conferring this award to him.

Jury panel included luminaries like Dr Ulhas Karanth, world-renowned tiger expert and Director Asia region Wildlife Conservation Society, Ms Bahar Dutt, environment journalist, Dr Asad Rahamani, Director Bombay Natural History Society, Mr Ranjit Singh and Mr Sunil Kumar, Director RBS India Foundation amongst others.

During his 16 years of ground work with communities, field staff, researchers and students, Nirmal has experimented the combination of science, photography, activism and successfully linked field conservation, communities, livelihoods, natural resource management and environment protection in the Northern Western Ghats of India.

The Award acknowledged his role in inspiring youth as well as adults alike over the past decade and creating an interest in biodiversity amongst the masses. Nirmal’s long conservation work in the Mhadei Bio region corridor also found a mention in the note.

 The RBS Earth Heroes Awards is an attempt to bring recognition and honor to individuals and institutions that work exceptionally hard to preserve and protect our natural heritage. In the past, the awards have been an effective platform for award recipients to display their work to a larger audience and potentially expand the scope of their work from the recognition and networking that accrued. The focus of 2013 was green corridors, highlighting the importance of these crucial links connecting wildlife habitats in the country.

The award was presented to Nirmal Kulkarni by Dr Asad Rahamani, Director of Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.

Nirmal has dedicated this award to his team, his family and the forests in the Northern Western Ghats of India, without which he would have not been able to do what he does.

In his acceptance speech Nirmal specified that his priorities are research, outreach and education in that order and that his dream is to establish independent platforms for conservation science students as well as interested wildlife enthusiasts actually to work in the Northern Western Ghats of India.
He stated that the next 5 years of his work would be to ensure that people across various landscapes, settings and cultures in India understand the connection between forests and water and take small steps to do something about it.

For more details please contact
Nirmal U Kulkarni