Nuklu Phom, a church worker from Nagaland has recently won the Whitley Award, also known as the ‘Green Oscar’.
- He has been awarded this prestigious award for his efforts to create a network of community-owned forests in the state and protect the rare Amur falcon.
- In his forties, Nuklu Phom is the only Indian to win the prestigious award.
- He has been in the conservation space for more than a decade now.
About Nuklu Phom:
- Phom has been working towards creating what he calls a “Biodiversity Peace Corridor”, a network of villages across four districts in Nagaland to promote community conservation and protect the rare Amur falcon.
- The main objective is to extend the “Yaongyimchen Community Biodiversity Area”.
- Nuklu Phom is also populary known as the “Amur Falcon Man of Nagaland”.
- Apart from conservation of wildlife and environmental protection he also extends his works to health, education, and microfinance.
- Lemasachenlok Society was founded by him. It has worked towards sensitizing the locals about the Amur Falcons. It has set up three reserves that helped to increase the number of roosting Falcons.
Biodiversity Peace Corridors:
- It incorporates 16 villages spread across 4 districts.
- It adopts sustainable land use practices.
About Whitley Awards:
- Whitley Awards are awarded annually to individuals from the Global South by UK-based charity the Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN).
- The Whitley Fund for Nature was established by Edward Whitley in 1994.
- It is presented to recognize grass root level conservation leaders.
- It involves process of reference, application and interview.
- It has so far given 16 million pounds to support the work of two hundred environmental heroes.
- The winners receive 40,000 pounds.
- WFN works to find out local conservationists in the regions of resource-poor, biodiversity-rich countries.
- It not only supports projects based on science and community involvement but also works to boost the national and international winners who address challenges faced by biodiversity worldwide.
- Amur Falcon breeds in Northern China and Siberia.
- During winter, the Amur Falcon migrate to India and then over the Arabian Sea to Southern Africa.
- The increasing concern is that people have started hunting Amur Falcon. In India, more than 14,000 are hunted annually.
- The State Governments have declared ban on hunting Amur Falcons.
- In spite of the ban, the hunting of Amur Falcon is increasing.
- It is listed as “Least Concern” by the IUCN.
- Nagaland is called the “Falcon Capital of the World”.