I had the opportunity to read all the stories published in the Nepali Times about the tragic loss of Nepal's conservation experts ('Remembering friends and colleagues', #317). But it was your editorial ('Still among us') that touched my heart.
Chandra and Mingma were my conservation gurus. I worked with them in the Annapurna and they inspired me in my PhD work on examining why community-based conservation is so successful in Nepal. The void they left will not be easily filled. They designed and implemented the project as directors and trained many grassroots conservation workers to raise awareness about conservation,
making it a way of life for the people of the region.
Through their efforts they have made ACAP a practical learning university for conservation and their visionary conservation ideas have been adopted beyond the country's borders. Today ACAP serves as a model project for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in developing countries, and together with the Kangchenjunga handover make Nepal a global leader in achieving sustainable conservation objectives. They showed the global conservation community that local communities' participation and their role in conservation are vital to safeguard the world's most precious resource, biodiversity. Nepal's conservation community is still in shock, too stunned to think beyond the tragic loss of their seniors.
Two decades ago, they planted the seeds of community-based conservation in the Annapurna, they nurtured the project and made it flourish in the buffer zones of national parks and reserves and eventually dedicated themselves to Kangchenjunga.
Hum Bahadur Gurung,
. You have written a moving and heart-wrenching ('Still among us', #317), yet somehow positive piece about a real tragedy.
. Unlike most of Kathmandu's elite, I didn't know any of the people we lost in Ghunsa last month. But I wept at the waste when I read the carefully-written tributes. What a litany of sorrow and caring 'Friends and colleagues' (#317) was. I was impressed by the care evident in your coverage, and by your editorial. It takes restraint not to slide from grief into cheap exploitation of emotion, and not to write hagiographies, but genuine tributes. Well done.