Ramesh Pandey, Chief Conservator of Forests & Field Director, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, was conferred the 'excellent contribution' governance award at the 6th Gfiles Governance Award for his various contributions in the field of biodiversity conservation and environmental protection.
An Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer of the 1996 batch, Uttar Pradesh Cadre, Ramesh Kumar Pandey has been recognised for his honest, disciplined and targeted approach towards conservation and environment protection. He has more than twenty years of work experience in an array of areas ranging from economics to ecology. The award recognises his unique contribution in all three verticals of Sustainable Development - economic growth, ecological stability and social equity and in each field carved a niche with his innovative approach and upright demeanour.
As Deputy Project Director in the World Bank assisted watershed management project, Pandey’s river training efforts of Nandaur saved seven villages from the recurring flood problem, changing the economic landscape of the area. As Divisional Forest Officer at Kashi Wildlife Division, Pandey led the team and nabbed a notorious poacher gang, penalising them with a fine of Rs. 7.20 lakhs, the highest ever in the history of tackling wildlife crime in the country.
As DFO of Pilibhit Division, Pandey’s work in tiger conservation was a stepping stone for the creation of the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. He also resurrected the Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, which had been written off by conservationists, by unveiling the modus operandi of organised tiger poachers and eliminating them.
Working at the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) at New Delhi, he played an emblematic role in combating organised Wildlife Crimes and implementing Multilateral Environmental Agreements. Along with investigating agencies, he busted many organised tiger and other wildlife poaching networks which helped in reviving tiger population in the country.
Serving as the Joint Development Commissioner at the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, at Government of India, Pandey played a big role in making MSMEs efficient. As Conservator of Forests, Agra, Pandey cracked the whip on the interstate mining mafia and took to task more than 200 encroachments in Mathura. In his latest stint as the Chief Conservator of Forests & Field Director, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, he has led the Operation Monsoon by motivating the frontline staff and putting technology to good use.