Organisations working to conserve lesser-known species win Rs 60 lakh grant

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New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) Three organisations working on wildlife and habitat conservation in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nagaland and in the Western Ghats won grants worth Rs 60 lakh from The Habitats Trust for their work towards the protection of lesser-known species and habitats.

The Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), working towards protecting endangered and threatened species in three selected landscapes in Nagaland, including Satoi, Zanubu and Mt. Pauna landscape, won the first prize of Rs 25 lakh under The Habitats Trust’s ‘strategic partnership grant’.

Mumbai-based ReefWatch Marine Conservation, came second and received a grant of Rs 15 lakh in the lesser-known habitats category for its work in monitoring, rehabilitating and restoring coral reefs in Chidiyatapu in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, a non-governmental organisation, working for the conservation of Indian Pangolin through community participation in Chiplun, Ratnagiri district in Konkan region of Western Ghats won the third prize of Rs 10 lakh for its work in protecting a lesser-known species.

The jury, which included environmentalist and journalist Bahar Dutt, conservationist M.K Ranjitsinh, and CEO of the Mara Conservancy in Kenya Brian Heath, awarded the winners on Thursday.

“The grants are designed to identify and recognize the heroes of conservation in our country. With the grants, we hope to support the winners with capacity and capability building to help scale up and expand the scope of their projects,” Roshni Nadar Malhotra, who found the Trust with her husband in August said.

Malhotra said the Trust, which received 700 registrations from across the country, will not only award financial grants to three winners but also award 10 per cent of the grant amount in each category to six other finalists to ensure their efforts and work is recognized.

The Trust, Malhotra said, also plans to work with Uttar Pradesh national parks in the future.

“We already do a lot of work in areas of education, health and livelihood, so environmental work is just an extension of our work,” she said.



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