ANSAB’s Board of Directors Emphasizes Enterprises for Conservation and Poverty Reduction

Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB) Board of Directors at its annual meeting held in Sauraha, Chitwan on April 7-9, 2003 elected the following officers to its Board:

  • Dr. Surendra P. Singh, Chairman
  • Dr. Jack Croucher, Vice-Chairman
  • Dr. H.P.M. Gunasena, Secretary Member
  • Mr. Kedar P. Prajapati, Treasurer

Other members at the Board of Directors include:

  • Mr. Ramchandra Prasad Agrahari, Ex-Officio Member
  • Dr. M. Gul Hossain, Member
  • Ms. Sharmila Ribeiro, Member
  • Mr. Bhishma Subedi, Ex-Officio Member

Newly elected Chairman Dr. S.P. Singh is a Professor and Head of Department of Botany in Kumau University. He has been dean of Science Faculty and a Courtesy Professor of Oregon State University of USA. Dr. Singh is a Fellow of Indian National Science Academy (FNA), the only Botanist awarded in 2002. The award is given for once lifetime achievement in Science. Dr. Singh is highly committed to the ecological security of the Himalaya. He has published over 150 scientific papers and articles in more than 40 international research journals including prestigious journals like “Ecology” and “BioScience”.

Dr. Singh says “Himalayan’s biodiversity and ecosystem are important not only to the local people’s livelihood but also for the people living in plains through the flow of ecosystem services. ANSAB’s pioneering and down-to-earth programs have moved beyond the subsistence repairing approach of development to enterprise oriented development that seeks union between biodiversity conservation and income generation for the livelihood improvement.”

Dr. Jack Croucher, founding Chairman and present Vice-chairman of ANSAB, is renowned community based enterprise development expert. He is often consulted by top organizations like World Bank and USAID, and has led several missions for designing and formulating programs for South Asia including IFAD’s Livelihood Improvement Program in Indian Himalaya. Dr. Croucher has served as Asia Director for Appropriate Technology International (ATI), a US non-profit organization founded by US congress that has improved livelihood condition of more than 232,174 people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. More importantly, he is a great lover of the Himalayan region, particularly Nepal.

Dr. Croucher believes in enterprise oriented conservation and development program that ANSAB has been advancing even in most remote areas such as Humla, Dolpa and Bajhang in Nepal and Garwal region in India. Referring to an Enterprise Based Biodiversity Conservation project of ANSAB in Nepal, Dr. Croucher remarks “Even in places like Karnali where development is extremely challenging, ANSAB has been able to make 45 forest user groups that mange over 25,000 hectares of forests and alpine meadows to improve the livelihoods of over 4,500 households in the project area.”

Newly elected Secretary on ANSAB Board Dr. H.P. Gunasena, Professor of the University of Peradeniya and Executive Director of the Council for Agricultural Research Policy, Sri Lanka brings experience and expertise in the areas of agroforestry, community forestry, tree domestication, and rural development. Dr. Gunasena stresses, “South Asia needs rapid and elaborate expansion of ANSAB’s program to address the issues of poverty, livelihood, market, and conservation for sustainable community development in the region.” Also, he highlights, “The experience gained by ANSAB should be used to develop other South Asian countries by developing regional programs. The main aim of the programs is to uplift the socio-economic status of rural people who are poorest of the poor living in remote areas. These programs, if well implemented will assist reduce the rampant poverty in this region.”

” ANSAB is committed to biodiversity conservation and sustainable community development through natural products based enterprises, community forestry, capacity growth of key stakeholders, and creation of enabling policy environment by working directly with local communities and collaborating with key stakeholders” states Mr. Bhishma P. Subedi, Executive Director of ANSAB. Mr. Subedi says, “Strengthened capacity of communities through ANSAB programs is not only effective for conservation and income generation, but has shown promising prospects for democratic practices and good governance at the grassroots level.”