Mangrove Cell, Maharashtra awarded the “Earth Guardian Award”
NEW DELHI: NatWest Group India, (formerly RBS India) the global capability centre of the Natwest Group, announced the winners of the 10th edition of the NatWest Group Earth Heroes Awards today. These are individuals and institutions who have done significant work in the conservation of wildlife and habitats and welfare of communities therein thereby making an impact in “Conservation of Biodiversity and Sustainable Development”, the theme for the 2020 awards.
The prestigious nationally-recognized awards spotlight the grit and determination of individuals and institutions stepping beyond their call of duty, to protect India’s biodiversity and critical natural ecosystems, and in turn, have worked to mitigate climate change. The eight winners were felicitated via a virtual ceremony that was graced by the Chief Guest, Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Assistant Secretary-General, UN and Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Since 2012, the Mangrove Cell has been very active in the conservation and protection of mangroves and the coastal and marine biodiversity in the state of Maharashtra. Under its specialized unit, called the Mumbai Mangrove Conservation Unit, the Cell has demolished more than 5000 illegal structures. Its huge contribution is demonstrated by the fact that a total area of 1663 hectares distributed over 118 locations across coastal Maharashtra has been covered under the mangrove plantation program and a total of 76 lakh mangrove saplings have been planted.
The Cell’s collaborative approach towards conservation has yielded excellent results. Through the UNDP-GEF (Global Environment Facility) Sindhudurg Project, it addressed a wide range of interconnected conservation issues from the sustainability of coastal fisheries, conservation of endangered species to the development of sustainable livelihood initiatives.
The Mangrove Cell through Mangrove Foundation has collaborated with various research institutions/organizations such as Bombay Natural History Society, Wildlife Institute of India, etc to carry out various research projects and for the implementation of sustainable livelihood activities.
Thrilled with this achievement, Mr. Virendra Tiwari, Mangrove Cell said, “I thank NatWest Group for recognizing the work of Mangrove Cell with the ‘Earth Guardian’ Earth Hero Award 2020. Mangrove Cell and Mangrove Foundation have been working on the conservation of marine biodiversity. The prestigious recognition motivates the team to carry on with the conservation work.”
On the occasion, the honorable Chief Guest, Ms. Elizabeth Maruma, stated, “It is an honor to be able to witness the commitment and dedication of these outstanding individuals and institutions towards the conservation of India’s biodiversity over the years. I would like to acknowledge and congratulate the NatWest Group for their continued commitment to India’s conservation goals by developing internal policies that support the transition to a low carbon economy by investing in key areas like forests, wetlands, and mangroves in partnership with the UN adaptation fund and through the establishment of the Earth Heroes Awards.”
Congratulating the winners, N Sunil Kumar, Head of Sustainable Banking, NatWest Group India and CEO, RBS Foundation India, said, “Protecting our biodiversity and mitigating climate risks hold even more important for our existence today. It is with pride that we look at the 10 years of these awards and their collective impact through the work of the award winners. The NatWest Group Earth Heroes Awards are a celebration of the spirit of venerating nature that India has as its proud heritage. The outstanding work done by these award winners in biodiversity conservation has a direct impact on mitigating climate change. It is my privilege to congratulate the eight intrepid individuals of the 2020 edition as the champions of the earth – for their excellent work in the communities and ecosystems they impact. These are stellar examples to replicate.”
Winners of the 2020 NatWest Group Earth Heroes Awards:
Speaking on the occasion, Punit Sood, Head of India, NatWest Group, said, “As a Purpose-led organization, we have committed to play a leading role in the fight against climate change to build a sustainable future through meaningful action and change. The NatWest Group Earth Heroes Awards is our modest effort to show our gratitude to some of India’s outstanding citizens who have been passionately working towards mitigating climate change and managing the planet’s biological diversity.”
Institutionalized in 2011, the NatWest Group Earth Heroes Awards (formerly RBS Earth Heroes Awards) aim at providing a national platform to champions who have walked the extra mile to protect and conserve India’s rich biodiversity. The award winners were selected by an independent jury comprising eminent personalities from conservation science and management, media, and the government.
In 2007, NatWest Group (formerly RBS Group) set up the RBS Foundation India to contribute to India’s UN Sustainable Development Goals (then Millennium Development Goals) with a focus at the intersection of critical natural ecosystems and excluded communities. Working on improving livelihoods and sustainable use/conservation of natural resources, the Foundation has impacted over 1,23,650 families, across 11 states, through 22 ongoing projects, some of which have been recognized by the United Nations Development Programme and UN World Tourism Organization awards besides national awards
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