Tuesday, 6th of December 2016

About BNHS

 

An illustrious past

BNHS was started by eight amateur naturalists of Mumbai, of which two were Indians. These pioneers were Dr D Macdonald, Mr E H Aitken, Col C Swinhoe, Mr J C Anderson, Mr J Johnston, Dr Atmaram Pandurang, Dr G A Maconochie and Dr Sakharam Arjun. During its journey from an amateurs’ organization to a professional organization, the guiding principle of BNHS has been that conservation should be based on scientific research - a tradition exemplified by its former president, Dr Sálim Ali - world renowned ornithologist and receiver of Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awards by Government of India. Other past stalwarts at BNHS included Mr B G Deshmukh, former president, who was Cabinet Secretary, Government of India and Mr J C Daniel, former vice-president and director, who was an internationally known wildlife biologist and conservationist.

 

A happening present

Today, BNHS has a vibrant presence at dozens of places across India covering diverse habitats such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, mountains, deserts and marine areas. This includes work in the Global Biodiversity Hotspots such as Western Ghats and eastern Himalaya. Over 150 scientists and professionals work on and off the field to further the tasks of research, conservation and nature education. BNHS has been designated as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (SIRO) by Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and is the Partner of BirdLife International in India.

 

Main activities and departments of BNHS include the following:

          Natural History Collection

          Research on various species and habitats

          Conservation of landscapes and seascapes

          Environmental Information System

          Outreach (camps, exhibitions, lectures, other events)

          Conservation Education Centres

          Communications and Advocacy

          University Studies

          Library

          Wildlife Publications

          Souvenirs

 

A promising future

As India marches ahead in its quest for development and nation building, conservation of the natural environment remains a major challenge as well as an opportunity. In the true spirit of sustainable development, BNHS aims to continue its conservation mission with a professional approach and strong research background, while closely working with various stakeholders including government, research institutes, academia, corporates, civil society groups and the general public. The following thematic areas are of importance, going forward:

     Research and Conservation programmes covering various species and habitats (including protected and non-protected areas)

          Programmes in line with AICHI Targets of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

          Multi-disciplinary programmes for community-based conservation

          Active cooperation with international agencies on various conservation issues 

          Extensive outreach activities through communications, advocacy and education