Name: Dr. Bibhab Kr. Talukdar
Theme: Energy, Environment and Economy
Sri Bibhab Kumar Talukdar is a M.Sc. in Zoology with specialisation in Animal Ecology and Wildlife Biology and a Ph.D. working in the field of wildlife research and conservation since 1989. He was one of the founders of Aaranyak in 1989, which is a premier NGO of NE India, and currently the Chief Executive Officer of Aaranyak. He is also the Chair of Asian Rhino Specialist Group of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2008, a rare distinction to hold such a position for three successive IUCN Quadrennium. He is also the Asia Coordinator of International Rhino Foundation since June 2008. As a chair of Asian Rhino Specialist Group, he is responsible to prepare global status report of Asian Rhino Horn trades for the CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). He has served as a member of the Standing committee of National Board of Wildlife during 2008-2010 and also the National Board of Wildlife chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India since 2008 till 2017. He is currently also a member of the State Board of Wildlife, Assam chaired by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam. He has been involved in wildlife crime monitoring in NE India and also in South and South East Asia since 1998. He has published over 60 scientific papers in journal of national and international reputes.
A liveable environment for all sort of life forms along with sustainable economy is the dream of every citizen of India. With India’s population growing faster where in every sixth person on this planet earth would be an Indian, better planning and strong governance is needed to make a balance between green and clean environment and economic growth through various developmental activities. India is unique keeping in mind that its population is about a billion people, but in contrast India still have some unique areas with high biodiversity with global significance. We need to look into the basic necessities of life. We need to be able to differentiate between basic needs and dreamful wants to live a life where we can ensure clean potable water to drink and pure, pollution free air to inhale to survive. Without potable water and pure air, all life forms including human will face challenges that can affect health and overall gross happiness. Forests plays an important role in providing us free oxygen to inhale and potable water to drink. However, pressure on forests from a single species calls Homo sapiens are ever increasing leading to severe imbalance with regards to supply of pure oxygen and potable water. Humans can bring the balance between environment and development if we are able to distinguish between the basic needs and full of dreams. Human brain has developed technologies which are green and environment friendly. Even in energy sector, use of solar and wind energy can play significant role in reducing pollution. One of the major sources of pollution in towns and cities are growing numbers of automobiles using fossil fuels that reflects that economic growth is taking place, but people need to use mask to move in those towns and cities due to pollution! Our government need to focus more on ensuring continued source of two basic services that forests provides – clean air and potable water which people of this country is getting free. Hope people of this country need not take burden to buy oxygen cylinder to inhale good air and carry them wherever they go like the mask people have been forced to wear to purify the polluted air. Imagine due to forest destruction followed by siltation of waterbodies leading to scarcity of water, people need to buy say 3000 to 5000 litres of water every day for day to day activities! Citizens need to start brain storm on these two basic needs – water and air and for that institutions like Kaziranga University need to shoulder responsibility to usher applied research leading to feasible solutions and suggest government to choose the best path that can ensure healthy environment and sustainable economic growth keeping the reputation of India being one of the high biodiversity country in the world. Together we can perhaps achieve two ultimate goals of life – have clean air and potable water.