Sri Anant Hegde Ashisar
Sri Anant Hegde Ashisar is the present chairman of Karnataka Biodiversity Board. He hails from Sirsi in Uttara Kananda district of Karnataka. By profession, he is a progressive farmer, respected environmentalist and committed social service person. He has more than four decades of experience in working for the cause of conservation of natural resources, both at grass root level actions and policy advocacy fronts. By training he is a rural economist, as he holds M.A. in Economics from Karnataka University, Dharwad.
As an environmentalist, he has emerged as one of the credible voices who is committed for the cause of environment protection and conservation of natural resources in Karnataka. As part of a conservation movement, he is steering in several field actions, awareness building, education, research and policy advocacy works. He is actively engaged with all government departments and civil society organizations for the cause of helping the needy people, who are economically, socially and ecologically marginalized ones. For two and half decades, he has been the back bone of a school meant for mentally challenged children, as a trustee of Ajith Manochetana Trust, based in Sirsi, Karnataka.
It is his active collaboration with all sections of the society, has taken him to a few major government responsibilities to earlier. He was chairman of Western Ghats Task Force (WGTF), constituted by Govt. of Karnataka during 2008-13, as a high level special purpose committee to design and implement conservation actions in Western Ghats of Karnataka. In this capacity, he could able to initiate many useful govt schemes like, “ Devara Kaadu Samrakshana Yojane” ( Sacred Grove conservation scheme), “Karavali Hasiru Kavacha Yojane” (a scheme for arresting beach erosion in sea front ) etc. During this period he served as vice chairman for Karnataka Biodiversity Board and Karnataka Medicinal Plant Authority KaMPA) too. As vice chairman of KBB, he could able to motivate several Grama Panchayats to take up People Biodiversity Register (PBR) activity and to identify many regions for Biodiversity Heritage Sites. In fact, he was associated with the biodiversity conservation movement in Karnataka right from the period of drafting Biodiversity Conservation Bill and voluntarily tried to come up with “People’s Biodiversity Register” (PBR) studies in many villages. As vice –chairman, he further strengthened those activities. He has the experience of serving as expert member in standing committee of CAPART, Dept of Rural Development, Govt. of India, too.
His achievements are many. He has inspired hundreds of organizations and thousands of youth to take part in the conservation practices in the rural and urban areas of Karnataka over the years.
He has spearheaded many constructive mass movements for protecting natural resources in river valley and mountains of Western Ghats. He has been responsible for saving thousands of hectares of forest in the Malnad and coastal area through peaceful and democratic efforts by collaborating with local people and engaging with govt. He is also responsible for establishing and empowering grass root level organizations Village Forest Committees (VFCs), School Eco-clubs, tribal groups etc for the cause of forest protection and sustainable development.
Being a strong believer of science based restoration of degraded ecosystems; he has initiated many ecological research works in association with various credible research institutes, universities and colleges. He has taken part as resource person in several international and national level workshops and conferences. He has organized hundreds of training camps and workshops to bring build awareness impart skills and implement conservation actions in the field. His lifelong commitment for the cause and contributions are recognized by many civil society felicitations and awards like “Parisarashri Award” the Environment Award of Karnataka Govt. in 2003.
As Chairman of KBB, now he is looking forward to apply all his experience and expertise to further realize all the objectives of Karnataka Biodiversity Board.