The jury will evaluate the nominations and select the winners for award categories namely: ‘Earth Hero’, ‘Earth Guardian’, ‘Save the Species’, ‘Inspire’ and ‘Green Warrior’.

New Delhi: The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), a subsidiary of the RBS Group, announced the jury for RBS ‘Earth Heroes’ Awards – 2014. The bank has institutionalised the RBS ‘Earth Heroes’ Awards since 2011 to recognize and honour individuals and institutions who have done exceptional work towards preserving and protecting our critical eco-systems. The jury’s decision will be revealed at the awards function of RBS Earth Heroes Awards 2014 on 4th November at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) in New Delhi.

Eight revered figures, comprising active leaders from wildlife, environment and public policy, who are respected for their work and impact in environment and ecosystems preservation, were appointed as independent jury for the RBS Earth Heroes Award 2014. The jury will evaluate the nominations and select the winners for award categories namely: ‘Earth Hero’, ‘Earth Guardian’, ‘Save the Species’, ‘Inspire’ and ‘Green Warrior’.

Brijesh Mehra, Country Executive, RBS India N.V. said “Through the years we have had an energetic and inspired jury panel for the Earth Heroes Award; personalities who made a difference to the environmental landscape of our country. The jury exhibits a deep understanding and involvement in environmental policy and practice. We believe that such a board of truly capable professionals will identify the most significant work done to make the final decision”.

N Sunil Kumar, Head of Sustainability, RBS and Director, RBS Foundation India said “To identify winners from the nominations is usually an extremely difficult task for the jury, as each nominee’s effort is remarkable and honourable. We are very excited about this year’s awards and are waiting eagerly to felicitate the winners for their contribution towards making environment a better place for future generations to enjoy.”

The board of jury this year is represented by:

M K Ranjitsinh, IAS (retd), Ex – Chairman, Wildlife Trust of India and Member, National Board for Wildlife; National Tiger Conservation Authority – Born in the princely house of Wankaner (Gujarat), Dr. Ranjitsinh is an expert on Indian wildlife and served as India’s first Director of Wildlife Preservation. He drafted and piloted the Wildlife (Preservation) Act of 1972, the first comprehensive wildlife legislation applicable to the whole country.

Dr Balakrishna Pisupati, Senior Research Fellow, Fridtj of Nansen Institute – Based in Oslo, Dr. Balakrishna is the former Chairman of National Biodiversity Authority and has more than 20 years of experience in dealing with issues of conservation, development, policy and law making and their implementation at local, national, regional and global levels. He has authored about 80 peer-reviewed research articles and 34 books on various topics related to biodiversity and development

Surjit Bhujabal, Indian Revenue Service, Customs; leadership in conservation – Based in Bangalore, Surjit is an ardent defender of India’s biodiversity for last 4 and half decades, a childhood passion which has evolved into deep commitment for wildlife conservation. He has documented rare natural history moments in various natural habitats in various medium including photography, and developed strong linkages with traditional forest dwellers and communities and frontline enforcement personnel associated with India’s wildlife. He has been associated in efforts at mainstreaming environment concerns and issues in chemicals and petrochemicals sectors, customs governance issues in illegal transactions in wildlife including capacity building of officers. Surjit, an officer of Indian Revenue Service is always abreast of contemporary conservation issues and wildlife laws.

Dr. Asad Rahmani, Director, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) – Dr. Rahmani is a veteran in bird conservation in India. As a member of the National Board for Wildlife, India, he has been advocating the protection of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and Biodiversity Areas. Based in Mumbai, Dr Rahmani has authored 12 books on birds till now and some more are underway.

Dr K. Ullas Karanth, Director for Science, Asia Wildlife Conservation Society & Director, Centre for Wildlife Studies – A conservation zoologist and a leading tiger expert based in Karnataka, India, Dr. Karanth was awared a Padma Shri in 2012 for his outstanding contributions to wildlife conservation and environment protection. Dr. Karanth is also notable for pioneering the scientific use of camera traps in population density studies of large wild mammals in India.

Dr B C Choudhury, Wildlife Scientist, Conservation Planner and Former Professor, Wildlife Institute of India (WII) – A well-known wildlife scientist and conservation planner, Dr. Choudhury is known for his works on Herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) and ecological works on both freshwater and marine habitat and species. Based in Dehradun, Dr. Choudhury has also been awarded the prestigious Society for Conservation Biology Award for his works on science, advocacy and conservation communication leadership.

Bahar Dutt, Conservation Biologist and Environment Journalist – A conservation biologist and an environmental journalist, Bahar has worked for the last ten years on crucial wildlife conservation projects in India and abroad. She has many scientific and popular papers on wildlife conservation to her credit and has also studied the highly endangered Amazonian primate species at the world famous Jersey Zoo. The winner of over 10 national and international awards, Bahar Dutt is currently the environment editor with CNN IBN.

N Sunil Kumar, Head of Sustainability, India, Royal Bank of Scotland N.V and Director, RBS Foundation India – Mr. N. Sunil Kumar, Head of Sustainability, India, Royal Bank of Scotland N.V and Director, RBS Foundation India – As the Sustainability Head with RBS and Director for RBS Foundation India, Sunil oversees projects that provide sustainable livelihoods in ecologically vital landscapes.

He has been closely involved in tracking and conducting field surveys of tiger habitats, training of field personnel on wildlife survey and management, promoting conservation through seminars, workshops and advocacy. In the field of conservation of nature and wildlife, he has published papers, books and participated widely in television events.

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