Venue: Chinmaya Mission, 89, Lodi Rd, New Delhi, India
Date: Saturday, December 7, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Environmental change is proceeding rapidly in the Himalaya - the abode of Gods, home to sacred landscapes, and the 'water towers' of Asia. Eight of Asia’s largest rivers originate in these mountains, sustaining the lives of 1.3 billion people in the basins of these rivers. Land cover change in the form of deforestation and degradation of natural ecosystems is rampant; climate change is resulting in the melting of glaciers, changes in the flow of water in rivers as well as the associated fresh water biodiversity. Extensive construction of dams will further alter the hydrology of the rivers. Environmental changes have serious economic and social consequences for millions of local people, and their agriculture as well as forest and grassland based ecosystems.

Thus the focus of the 2013 T.N. Khoshoo Memorial Lecture and Award, sponsored by the Bangalore based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) is Himalaya. Noble laureate and philosopher His Holiness the Dalai Lama will deliver the 10th T.N. Khoshoo Memorial Lecture, entitled, Sacred Values and Conservation

ATREE Director, Balachander Ganesan, and ATREE Founder, Professor Kamal Bawa, eminent ecologist and a Distinguished Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, along with his coauthor, Sandesh Kadur will also present the widely acclaimed coffee table book, Himalaya, Mountains of Life to His Holiness.

“We are so privileged that His Holiness decided to bless ATREE’s efforts to draw once gain the country’s attention to the Himalaya. Considering that Dr. T.N. Khoshoo himself hailed from Kashmir, the focus on the Himalaya to celebrate his life and work is most appropriate,” said Kamal Bawa.

Dr. T.N. Khoshoo, a trustee of ATREE, was India’s first Secretary of the newly created Ministry of Environment and Forests. A well-known biologist, Khoshoo wrote many books and articles on conservation and sustainability and received many national and international awards, including Padma Vibhushan, and United Nations Sasakawa Prize.

His Holiness will also give away the prestigious T.N. Khoshoo Memorial Award in Conservation to Avani- a non-governmental organization devoted to conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in the Himalaya. The annual award, with a cash prize of Rs 100,000 recognizes the work of an organization or an individual in conservation.

"Avani has been a pioneer in helping local communities in the Kumaon Himalayas discover the natural assets and build the human capital to tap them” said Dr. Ganesan Balachander, Director of ATREE

The 2013 Recipient, Mr. Rajnish Jain said, “We are thrilled to be presented TN Khoshoo Memorial award, which is a great way of celebrating life. We could not have asked for more than the award being given by HH Dalai Lama, the very embodiment of compassion in contemporary world.”

The T.N. Khoshoo Memorial Award and Lecture are cosponsored by Center for Sustainable Development, Sundernagar, Himachal Pradesh and IRRAD, Gurgaon

About ATREE:

The Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE) was
established in 1996 and now a premier research institution in South Asia in the area of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. The Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, recognizes ATREE as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

More on the Khoshoo awards.

Previous awardees.