Target: Dr. Aparajita Datta, notable conservationist
Goal: Thank notable conservationist for her efforts in conserving threatened hornbills
Indian conservationist Aparajita Datta was recently awarded the prestigious Whitley Award, sometimes called the “Green Oscar,” for her attempts to raise awareness for threatened hornbill species. The award was presented following the conclusion of a ten-year project to prevent the hornbills of the Namdapha National Park from dying out without impeding the local Lisu tribe that occasionally hunt the birds. In doing this she has helped preserve the ecosystem of one of the most bio-diverse regions on the planet.
Before Datta began her work, the hornbills of Namdapha were in constant danger from the hunters of the Lisu tribe. As Datta realized, however, this was only from necessity–the Lisu people were suffering from a plague of malaria, as well as the loss of much of their agricultural land to river erosion. Datta’s solution was to improve the quality of life for the Lisu by setting up schools and river bulwarks, while simultaneously implementing community-based solutions to the problem of hornbills dying out.
Although her original project has since concluded, Datta is continuing her efforts to protect hornbills. She is currently embarking on a new project to identify endangered hornbill nests throughout India, while raising public awareness about what steps can be taken to save the birds. She also intends to set up artificial nests for displaced hornbills, so that the species may better maintain a sustainable population.
While winning the Whitley is an enormous honor, this petition represents a chance to personally thank Datta and all of the people who assisted her with her work.
Dear Aparajita Datta,
Thank you for all of your work conserving hornbills in the Himalayas, and congratulations on your recent award. Your efforts to conserve species by improving the local quality of life sets a shining precedent for other environmentalists by showing that the health of human populations and that of the environment need not be opposed.
The conservation of biodiversity, particularly in a region as species-laden as Namdapha, is an incredibly important goal that all too often falls by the wayside. By raising awareness of the plight of the hornbills, you both prevent something beautiful from dying out while nurturing the larger ecosystem. We thank you and all of those who have assisted you for your efforts, and hope that you will continue them in the future.
[Your name here]
Image credit to Petr Kratochvil