Founder-Director of the Bangalore-based Asian Elephant Research and Conservation Centre Professor Raman Sukumar has won the Whitley Golden Award, the most prestigious international award in the field of environment conservation, for his work in saving endangered Asian Elephants.
Sukumar received the award popularly known as the "Green Oscar" along with a cash prize of 50,000 pounds from Princess Anne at the Royal Geographical Society here on Thursday night.
This is the fourth year in succession that an Indian has bagged the award. Last year, a Pune scientist, Dr Anand Karve won the award for developing a technique to produce clean fuel from sugarcane waste.
In 2001, Vivek Menon, chief of the Wildlife Trust of India, was chosen for the award for his fight against poaching of elephants. In 2000, Gargi Banerji, a botanist, won the Golden Award for work in conserving medicinal plants in Himachal Pradesh.
After receiving the award, Sukumar said he planned to spend the cash prize to provide support to local farmers to mitigate the impact of elephants on their lands as well as to help his field research team which acts as a "watchdog" - identifying threats such as poaching for ivory and monitoring the health of the elephant population.