India’s Purnima Devi Barman honoured with U.N.’s highest environmental award

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Assam's wildlife biologist Purnima Devi Barman has been awarded the United Nation's highest environmental honour, 'Champions of the Earth', for 2022.

Important facts

  • Barman has been given this honour for his transformative action to prevent degradation of ecosystems.

  • Barman has been honoured in the Entrepreneurial Vision category of this year's Champions of the Earth award by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

  • She is the founder of the Hargila Army and senior project manager of the Avifauna Research and Conservation Division, Aaranyak.

  • She is an Indian wildlife biologist working in Assam to protect the stork.

  • She leads the Hargila Army, a movement dedicated to saving the stork from extinction, consisting only of women.

  • As part of this movement, women make and sell stork-like masks, helping to raise awareness about endangered species as well as their financial independence.

  • Her love for birds was born when she was sent to live with his grandparents on the banks of the Brahmaputra River in Assam at the age of five.

  • There she saw storks and many other species which made her fall in love with birds.

Greater Adjutant Stork

  • The greater adjutant stork is the second-rarest stork species in the world.

  • Due to the destruction of natural habitat, their population is currently reduced to 1,200, which is less than 1 percent of the number a century ago.

  • Rural areas are becoming increasingly urbanised, and the wetlands where storks thrive have dried up and become polluted, replaced by buildings, roads and mobile phone towers.

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