The Great Himalayan National Park: The Struggle to Save the Western Himalayas by Sanjeeva Pandey and Anthony J Gaston was introduced at the KSLF (Kushwant Singh Literary Festival) at Kasauli on October 2017.
Sanjeeva Pandey says, “This was a very special moment of my life when a panel of four prominent personalities from the world of nature conservation came together to introduce my book “The Great Himalayan National Park: The Struggle to Save Western Himalayas” on 12 October 2018 at the seventh chapter of KSLF (Kushwant Singh Literary Festival) at Kasauli. Dr M. K. Ranjit Sinh (a well-known conservationist of Himalayan fauna) moderated the discussions on the book; Mr Bikram Grewal (of Santuary Asia), Mr Vinay Tandon (a distinguished forester) and Dr Naresh Swami (a scholar on Himalayan flowers) contributed to the lively discussions on my presentation of the book. Let me express deep gratitude to all of my panellists, the audience, and the organizers of the KSLF. The audience was very receptive and showed a keen interest in the efforts being made to conserve the biological diversity of India’s seventh UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area.”
The Great Himalayan National Park: The Struggle to Save the Western Himalayas by Sanjeeva Pandey and Anthony J Gaston is an ecological and historical journey through the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (GHNPCA), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The book discusses the conservation effort in the region to protect the flora and fauna, the local culture, and history. The authors also consider future management of the GHNPCA. The book includes photographs that bring alive the beauty of the Western Himalayas. Be it trekkers, travelers, naturalists, scholars, or resource managers, there is plenty to glean about the GHNPCA in this book.
Response from wildlife biologist and conservationist Dr. George Schaller:
Yesterday, just in time to celebrate the New Year, I received your wonderful book in the mail. You and Anthony Gaston did a superb job of describing this beautiful park in all its physical, cultural, and ecological complexity. I do hope it gets a wide distribution in the world so that other protected areas are stimulated to emulate you. The many excellent photographs add much to the book, especially since the plants, birds, and others are identified. When I visited you two years ago, I was greatly impressed with your dedicated efforts to include and involve the local communities in the park. Your book so well describes the great persistence you had to have to achieve that, including such critical issues as settlement rights. I also much like reading about the various cultural and religious aspects. Now, at least, it is widely recognized that community involvement is essential for the long-term survival of protected areas, especially since governments may not provide sufficient funding or may even arbitrarily abolish protected areas, as is the case with the current administration in the US. I am also greatly pleased to read that your road-less policy and others remain in place. I did not realize until I read your book that the World Heritage Site designation involved such a huge amount of data and paperwork, and thanks to you this was accomplished and now remains as a symbol of your dedication to this area, one for all beings, including the human ones, to enjoy.
During my visit, I unfortunately was unable to trek in the park because I was part of an Institute tour which had made no time for that. Some day I look forward to doing do some leisurely hiking through your lovely high- country. This year I unfortunately did not return to India. Until I do, I shall travel in my mind by looking at and reading your book.
My greatest admiration to you and your staff and colleagues for all you have done to create the Great Himalayan National Park. May you all continue to prosper during 2019.
Read the book review of The Great Himalayan National Park: The Struggle to Save the Western Himalayas in Sanctuary Asia, October 2019:
Read the book review of The Great Himalayan National Park: The Struggle to Save the Western Himalayas by Malcolm L. Hunter, Jr: