Veteran conservationist, D.V. Girish has been conferred the ‘Protect the Tiger’ award by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), a subsidiary of the RBS Group, for his life-long commitment towards protecting Karnataka’s Bhadra Tiger Reserve and its surrounding landscape in the Western Ghats.
A resident of Chikmagalur, Girish has been a staunch wildlife conservationist for over two decades. His most significant contribution to conservation was the catalytic role he played in facilitating the government sponsored voluntary relocation of more than 450 families from Bhadra in 2001-2002. Significantly, he continues to maintain an excellent rapport with the resettled families and is involved in ensuring their well being to this day. The Bhadra resettlement is widely regarded as one of India’s best and most equitable resettlement projects.
Girish has also campaigned tirelessly for the closure of mining projects, dams, damaging tourist resorts and other commercial projects in the Bhadra-Kudremukh landscape, and has been actively engaged in educating thousands of people and mentoring hundreds of youth. Since 1994 he has been associated with Wildlife Conservation Society-India and Centre for Wildlife Studies as a conservation partner. He has helped to establish many local conservation advocacy and grass roots groups, including Nature Conservation Guild and WildCat-C.
His earlier awards include the WCS Service Award in 1998, the Karnataka Rajyotsava District Award in 2001, the Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award in 2002, and the Tiger Gold award in 2004 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to wildlife conservation.