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Saving the White Bellied Heron

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The White-Bellied Heron stands tall at a height of 4.2feet and is currently reported in only four locations – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bangladesh and Bhutan.

These largely solitary herons depend on forest-associated wetlands, rivers and lakes for nesting and foraging. With the rapid development of dams in the Northeast, the White-Bellied Heron is facing a dangerous loss of habitat.

Apart from monitoring known sites, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) plans to extensively search and survey potential habitats in Arunachal Pradesh along key river valleys. ATREE will also involve the locals into the conversation strategy – by creating awareness about its critical status, and by creating tourism opportunities around this beautiful bird.

The Habitats Trust, founded by Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson of HCLTech recently announced the recipients of The Habitats Trust Grants 2022 today at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. The Habitats Trust Grants is an annual initiative by The Habitats Trust to honour and support organizations and individuals, who share a common goal of conserving India’s natural, indigenous habitats and species, especially those that are lesser-known, and thus often neglected habitats. The 2022 edition of The Habitats Trust Grants awarded a total of Rs. 1.25 crores across the two categories- THT Conservation Grant and THT Action Grant. One of the recipients was the Ashoka Trust for Research and Econogy, who was awarded Rs. 25 lakhs in THT Action Grant category.

Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Founder & Trustee of The Habitats Trust said, “The world is finally realising that loss of biodiversity not just impacts climate but can also cause grave consequences to human health, wildlife, economy, and food security. Considering the same concerns, The Habitats Trust is working with conservationists who proactively work towards the mission of protecting endangered and vulnerable lesser-known species and their habitats. As part of our commitment, we are honoured to be extending our support to this year’s selected projects that are working towards restoring and protecting critical ecosystems. Our teams will further work with the recipients to help build their capacity and strengthen their governance structures to attract more philanthropic and CSR donors.”

Mr. Rushikesh Chavan, Head of The Habitats Trust added, “India is an incredible and biodiverse country, with different ecosystems – marine, terrestrial, wetlands and many others. Each of these spaces faces its own set of unique challenges at a very local level but ones that have a global impact, be it around biodiversity, climate change or policy. Initiatives like the Habitats Trust Grants, allow us to support people who are working to solve these problems at the ground level. This works in many ways – it increases awareness around biodiversity as well as helps promotes human well-being. I believe we can take great strides toward a healthier ecosystem through initiatives like The Habitats Trust Grants”.

The Grants aim to recognize and support holistic, innovative, and replicable conservation projects by organizations and individual’s basis clear parameters of measurable impact, strategy, scalability as well as stakeholder evaluation.

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