Chhimi Dema  

A Bhutanese forester and conservation biologist is recognised for his effort in biodiversity conservation among other 49 international environmentalists and conservationists from 23 countries.

Currently, working in UNDP, Lhendup Tharchen said that more than recognition, getting on the list is a reminder for him to protect nature.

“We tend to take pride in the pristine environment and rich biodiversity that we inherited as a legacy, but hardly remind ourselves of our responsibility to ensure its sustainability,” he said.

The Explorers Club is a multidisciplinary, professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research, scientific exploration and resource conservation.

EC50 was established in 2020 to amplify the communication of science so that it is more inclusive and represents the many diverse voices in the global scientific community.

According to the Club, naming these global exploration leaders to the EC50 “shines a bright light on their extraordinary work, amplifies their voices, and redefines that field of exploration as we know it.”

Lhendup worked with the Department of Forest and Park Services in surveying tigers and tracking leopards, and snow leopards for a decade.

He also travelled to different parts of the country learning about the importance of human-wildlife co-existence. “Having felt the need to bridge these two disconnects of conservation and livelihood, I have been able to contribute towards developing informed policies.”

Lhendrup contributed to developing the national human-wildlife conflict management strategy and the conservation action plans for tigers and snow leopards.

“It has been extremely rewarding for me to be able to contribute towards conservation, and at the same time, be able to make a difference in the lives of people,” he said.

Each year, The Explorers Club 50 (EC50) recognises fifty extraordinary individuals changing the world.

In 2021, a chief from the then Ministry of Information and Communications, Sonam Phuntsho was recognised and last year, chief forestry officer Sonam Tobgay was recognised for their contribution to technology development and biodiversity respectively.