Please tell us how did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unusual career?
Kumar is an Illegal Wildlife Trade Biodiversity fellow, and joins us to work on our Oxford Martin illegal Wildlife Trade programme, he is Co-Founder, President at Greenhood Nepal (www.greenhood.org.np)
I grew up in the hills of rural Nepal, opulent in biodiversity. I spent my childhood helping my parents in agricultural field, herding the goats, milking buffaloes, and eating wild fruits during tiffin hours. Everything around amazed me especially the scaly anteaters, pangolins. I even waited number of nights to see their peculiar activities and track their footprints in our farmland. Moreover, I was astounded by the way my mother prayed the sun and taught me to respect nature and not to litter the water sources. All these circumstances created an eternal bond between me and the natural resources.
What did you study?
The desire to probe the natural resources and the user law that govern the whole system have driven my interest into environment science. I have always had this passion for conservation and wanted to make my career out of it. Since my high school, I started advocacy and campaigns for one horned rhinos and biodiversity conservation. Following my passion, I completed BSc in Environment science and MSc in Environment Management; my dissertation being, “Assessing illegal wildlife trade in Araniko-trail, Nepal.”
Please tell us about your work
Currently, I am leading a non-profit organization called Greenhood Nepal that works on thematic areas like Conservation Science and Species, Climate Change, Education and Awareness, Disaster Risk Management and other environmental issues in Nepal. I am actively involved with Nepal’s conservation community, where I work to curb illegal wildlife trade and to scale-up pangolin conservation efforts. Additionally, I am affiliated with Tropical Environmental Change and Policy Lab, Lancaster Environment Centre. Moreover, I co-founded and led the National Youth Alliance for Rhino Conservation (NYARC), which has succeeded in raising stakeholder’ concern about rhino conservation and is celebrating a ‘zero poaching year for rhino’. In addition to research reports, I frequently write on conservation issues in Nepal’s reputed newspapers.
What are your areas of research?
My research interests lie primarily in law enforcement, drivers of wildlife trade, community-based conservation, conservation strategy & policy. My current research works to understand participants’ motivations for engaging in illegal wildlife trade in Nepal and to monitor illegal wildlife trade in Nepal-China border region.