IUCN WCPA Deputy Vice Chair Mountains Biome (Conservation)
Our good friend Mingma was our Deputy Vice Chair for IUCN's
WCPA Mountain's Biome. He already had a full time job as
Managing Director for the Eastern Himalayas Ecoregion Complex
at WWF (US) when in 2004 he accepted an invitation to further
champion the cause of global mountain protected area conservation
as Deputy Vice Chair. He was no newcomer however to the
WCPA mountains team as our previous Vice Chair for Mountains
and Senior Advisor to WCPA Larry Hamilton, recounts:
was one of the original members of 41 mountain men and women
in 1991 which blossomed into the robust mountain protected
area network of 510 members".
Jefferies recalls an even earlier, formative stage in Mingma's
protected area management career.
had the privilege of working with Mingma Norbu over many
years and we all still remember a visit to his mother's
house in Khunde Village in the 1970's to establish Sagarmatha
National Park. Mingma was selected by Sir Edmund Hilary's
Himalayan Trust to study in New Zealand and he and Narayan
Poudel completed courses at Lincoln University and both
are still remembered by those that had contact with them"
served as the first park warden for Sagarmatha National
Park and as the first project director for the Annapurna
Conservation Area Project before working with WWF. Amongst
his many conservation initiatives, Mingma was a champion
for mountain connectivity conservation, and had worked extensively
in Bhutan, Nepal, and elsewhere furthering this cause. In
2004, he delivered a key speech in Banff, Canada on the
Terrai Arc connectivity conservation project in Nepal and
this was prominently reported in the local Canadian press
for its vision of saving the tiger, rhino and other species.
At the time of his death he was actively finalising his
case study contribution for a new book on "how to manage"
such continental scale connectivity conservation, and this
was to be presented at a workshop being held in Papallacta,
Ecuador in November 2006. Co-authoring his case study with
colleague Sangay Wangchuck, the title reflected his commitment
to such large scale conservation with the topic "Bhutan:
tropical foothills to the high Himalaya". In addition,
his quiet energy was being committed to a major task of
global significance for the mountains network. Supported
by WWF, he was conducting a "gap analysis" of
the adequacy of mountain protected areas globally, and this
work was to guide IUCN mountain connectivity conservation
priorities from 2007 and into the future. Mingma practised
his commitment to achieve a better planet for future generations,
and inspired many others with his quiet achievements. He
will be sorely missed. His inspiring work will be continued.
Chandra Prasad Gurung
Chandra was a special friend and energetic member of the
WCPA mountains network. Like Mingma, he was one of the "original"
41 mountain members who met in Hawaii in 1991 as Larry Hamilton
have known Chandra Gurung since 1985 when he was a graduate
student at the University of Hawaii, and I was on his committee
and tennis opponent. He and Mingma were original members
of the small group of 41 mountain men and women who formed
the Mountain Protected Area Network following a workshop
on "Parks, Peaks and People" held in Hawaii in
1991. They have remained steadfast contributors to the WCPA
mountain theme/Biome program since then. I have always considered
them to be the most capable, dedicated and effective workers
on the Himalayan scene."
was serving as WWF Country representative for Nepal. He
was a pioneer and leader and a former Director of the Annapurna
Conservation Area. Chandra was also at one time Executive
Officer of the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation.
His charismatic and passionate presentation of the Terrai
Arc connectivity conservation work to his Griffith University,
Australia audience in 2006 was just one example of his ability
to achieve support and commitment for his conservation work.
He was also planning to attend the connectivity conservation
workshop in Papallacta Ecuador in November 2006 to provide
background about the very latest developments in Nepal's
Terrai Arc project. He will be greatly missed.
Narayan was another special friend of the mountains network
and active supporter from his position as Director General
of Parks and Wildlife. Larry Hamilton initiated his involvement
in WCPA as he describes:
would also pay tribute to Narayan Poudel, whom I knew as
an enthusiastic young community forestry worker back in
1993, who through hard work and effective leadership rose
to the position of Director General. He will be sorely missed.
I nominated him for WCPA membership"
was a leader in protected area management in the mountains
and plains of Nepal.
Remembering our colleagues
We can best honour the memory of our colleagues and friends
by increasing our efforts and support to create new mountain
protected areas, enlarge existing ones, connect them where
possible and manage them more effectively. They would be
by the IUCN WCPA Mountains Biome executive, with thanks
to Mountains Biome member Bruce Jefferies for his kind
Deputy Vice Chair
Mountains Biome (Communications)
Senior Advisor Mountains Biome and IUCN WCPA