2 November 2011
The untimely demise of Dr. Pralad Yonzon, the founder of Resources Himalaya Foundation, and the team leader of Environmental Graduates in Himalaya (EGH), has deeply shocked and shattered us.
A Fulbright scholar and the recipient of the Order of the Golden Ark, Dr. Yonzon specialized in wildlife biology. He has been recognized for his work on conservation in Nepal, Bhutan, India and Vietnam, in particular for influencing environmentally sound government policies on nature conservation; for his groundbreaking discovery in Bhutan and comprehensive scientific studies of rhinos, snow leopard, tiger and elephants in Nepal; contribution to the biodiversity visioning process for the eastern Himalaya; for his work on evaluation and monitoring, and human resource development in the field of conservation. He was without doubt the finest conservation biologist in this part of the world.
Dr. Yonzon always believed youths as the future leaders of conservation in the Himalaya. He provided the platform, research skills, and contemporary knowledge through the mentoring program of Resources Himalaya for which all he demanded was the enthusiasm of the students. Although he is no more with us to provide more knowledge, he will always live in our hearts for the generosity with which he shared his vast wealth of knowledge and for his selfless devotion to the cause of conservation. He will always remain as a guiding light in all our endeavors. We dedicate this issue of Headlines Himalaya to Dr. Pralad Yonzon, and commit to bring the upcoming issues regularly and maintain the quality he always expected of us. Thank you for your support in the difficult time.
From Resources Himalaya
We recently learned of the untimely death of Dr. Pralad Yonzon of Nepal, the founder of Resources Himalaya Foundation, and the team leader of Environmental Graduates in Himalaya (EGH).
Besides his many activities and valuable research on wildlife in the Himalayan region, Dr. Pralad Yonzon was also the first president of the Society for Conservation Biology – Asia Section and was very active in organizing the first Asia section regional meeting that took place in Kathmandu in 2005; see: www.conbio.org/Sections/asia/AsianRegionalMtgPapers.cfm . He was also the primary author of Nepal’s first Snow Leopard Action Plan, which he drafted in 2003. He remained a champion for snow leopard conservation throughout the region until his death.
More details of his life’s work are available from the Resources Himalaya Foundation www.resourceshimalaya.org.
He will be sorely missed by his many colleagues and friends.
Tom McCarthy, Ph.D.
Snow Leopard Program
On 31 October 2011, Dr. Prahlad Yonzon died in an accident in Kalanki, Kathmandu at about 4.00 PM. He was crashed by a truck while cycling back to his house. He was 60 years old and left his wife, a son and a daughter.
Yonzon did his PhD research in Langtang area on the topic” Ecology and conservation of the Red Panda in the Nepal-Himalaya”, from University of Maine, USA around 1989. Dr. Yonzon was President of Nepal Zoological Society during 1990-92 and Lecturer of Zoology in Natural History Museum, TU, Nepal. During that time Nepal Zoological Society published Directory of Zoologists of Nepal, and a regular news bulletin – Habitat Himalaya.
During late 30s he was teaching in TC campus also. After a long activities outside the university, he was mentoring the students of Environment Science in Tribhuvan University few years before and produced thesis for dozens of young graduates.
Besides his many activities and valuable research on wildlife in the Nepal Himalayan region including Bhutan and Vietnam, Dr. Prahlad Yonzon was also the first President of the Society for Conservation Biology – Asia Section and was very active in organizing the first Asia section regional meeting that took place in Kathmandu in 2005. He was Trustees of NTNC and wildlife consultant of UNDP.
He was one of the author of Nepal’s Snow Leopard Action Plan drafted in 2003 some other documents in mega herbivores. Dr. Prahlad Yonzon was the founder of Resources Himalaya Foundation, and the team leader of Environmental Graduates in Himalaya (EGH).
Nepal lost a prominent wildlife Biologist.
Mukesh K. Chalise, PhD
Central Department of Zoology
Tribhuvan University, Nepal
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Memorial posted on the Resources Himalaya website, http://www.resourceshimalaya.org/:
Dr. Pralad B. Yonzon On 31 October 2011, Dr. Pralad B. Yonzon met with an accident while cycling home from office at around 4:00 PM. He took his last breath in Kathmandu Hospital, Tripureshwor, Kathmandu. His body was cremated on 2 November, 2011.
Dr. Yonzon has three advance degrees (MSc, MSc and PhD) in biology, wildlife and ecology from Tribhuvan University, Colorado State University and University of Maine USA, respectively. Dr. Yonzon, a Fulbright scholar, has researched in the Himalayas, which range from high-altitude pastoral systems, cheese and tourists to red pandas, fishes, birds, elephants, rhinos, snow leopards and tigers. One of his many field research that has social contribution has been included in the prestigious publication “Readings From Conservation Biology: The Social Dimension” by the Society for Conservation Biology, USA.
Technically, Dr. Yonzon has developed over 35 years biodiversity/human – related experience in Nepal, Bhutan, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. His professional experiences include advisors to various governments in the Himalaya, park design and management, integrated regional development and landscape-level planning. He has co-edited a book entitled “People and Protected Areas in South Asia” comprising papers from 24 authors from six countries, jointly published by IUCN and Resources Himalaya. He is much familiar with regional development and collaborations in developing priorities, and to secure resources necessary to implement those initiatives.
Dr. Yonzon, a Golden Ark recipient, prepared several national and regional management plans. Dr. Yonzon led a team of social and economic planners to produce the first 10 volume reports on Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) which has brought UNDP and other 8 donor agencies together. He has prepared the Snow Leopard Conservation Action Plan for the Nepal Government and Elephant Conservation Action Plan as well.
Dr. Yonzon has shown leadership and raised funds to transform Resources Himalaya, a 18 – year old private institution into a non-government, not for profit, regional research foundation through Nepal Government approval in 2004. Not only he had donated his personal assets and cash worth of US$ 108,571 (audited by Associates of Pricewater Cooperhouse in 2005) to the Foundation, he also enabled the Foundation as a think-tank regional institute for nomination of the Global 2007 Innovative and Leadership Institution Award for which the Foundation received $ 350,000. In his last assignment, he was engaged in scoping biodiversity priorities in the Sikkim Himalaya for a $ 100 million grant project by the Government of Japan.