For his remarkable contribution with transdisciplinary research on community-based conservation with special attention to the snow leopard in Asia, Dr Charudutt Mishra has received the Outstanding Alumnus Award 2019. The award, initiated by University Fund Wageningen, was presented to Dr Mishra on Monday 2 September at the Opening of the Academic Year of Wageningen University & Research. Next to a jury report and a certificate, the prize winner received the sculpture 'Freedom'.
Dr Charudutt Mishra, or Charu as he is popularly known, is the Science and Conservation Director of the Snow Leopard Trust (SLT), responsible for guiding its international research and conservation programmes. Headquartered in Seattle, SLT is the largest and oldest organisation dedicated to promoting ecosystem and wildlife conservation across the high mountains of South and Central Asia, with the endangered snow leopard as the flagship.
Dr. Mishra obtained his PhD at Wageningen University & Research in 2001 in Ecology and Natural Resource Conservation. He has since published more than ninety peer reviewed research papers, book chapters, and technical reports. His book focuses on the Principles and practice of community-based conservation, and has been adapted into a training programme for conservation practitioners. In his work Dr. Mishra combines several scientific disciplines. He is active in many countries in Central Asia and bridges social, cultural and religious differences with ease. Dr Charudutt Mishra was nominated by professor of Resource Ecology at Wageningen University & Research, Prof. Herbert Prins.
His work has involved setting up community-based wildlife conservation and conflict-resolution programs, conducting research and exploration, teaching and guiding PhD and MSc students, and working with governments to set up wildlife reserves, formulating conservation policy, and encouraging international cooperation for conservation. He has been closely involved in initiating and running a high-level inter-governmental alliance on snow leopard conservation led by the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, involving all twelve snow leopard range countries.
“Dr. Mishra has dedicated his academic life to extend conservation science for societal welfare, on-ground conservation, and policy”, the jury of the University Fund Wageningen states in its report. “Unhindered by difficult circumstances, enthusiastic and with deep conviction, Dr Mishra is able to work with people of various nationalities, religions, and cultures together on nature conservation. He moves around effortlessly on both the level of local villages and the level of governors or even state leaders, for his two goals: sustainable conservation of threatened species and economic improvement of the marginal agro-pastoral population of the high mountains of South and Central Asia.
Dr Mishra has become an authority on community conservation in Asia and has been able to bring his insights into practice in a complicated political climate. Therefore, University Fund Wageningen has decided to present the “Outstanding Alumnus Award” to Dr Mishra.”
Every three years,The Outstanding Alumnus Award is awarded to an alumnus or alumna of Wageningen University & Research who is a role model at the height of his or her career and made a significant contribution to the domain ‘For quality of Life’. The Outstanding Alumnus Award was first awarded in 2005.
- Jan Karel Mak, Chair of University Fund Wageningen, CEO Deerns Group
- Prof. Wouter Hendriks, Dean of Research and Professor at Department of Animal Sciences at Wageningen University & Research
- Niels Louwaars, winner Outstanding Alumnus Award 2016, Managing Director Plantum NL