Meena Gupta, India

18 April 2012 | Article

An important part of the work of IUCN is to persuade countries and governments to take action that is in the interest of the environment. Having worked with the intricacies of government policy making at a senior level in India, in sectors such as environment, forests and tribal affairs, I feel I would be able to contribute significantly to the way IUCN works with governments and influences policies.

Increasingly, conservation is seen as something that can be effective only if the people residing in that habitat are included. My experience in handling the concerns of tribal people, who, in India, live primarily in forest tracts, sometimes within protected areas, will, I believe, be helpful in bringing to the table the people’s perspective on conservation. India passed a landmark Act in 2006, granting tribal and other forest dwellers rights over the forests that they live in, and I was involved in the finalisation of that legislation.

I have been associated with the work of IUCN for some years, initially as part of the National Committee for India, and subsequently in an advisory role. I am also involved with some other non-governmental organisations that work in the area of people and conservation.