Manoj Gautam
Senior Project Manager, New Era World Model

One of Nepal’s leading activists, Manoj has been working to protect the vulnerable wildlife, animals and people of his home country from a very young age. Growing up in a remote farming community, Manoj developed an innate understanding of the fundamental aspects of conservation such as community psychology, livelihood, ecological services. For 20 years he has been working to address the most pressing issues in natural resource management and human-wildlife conflict through his organization, the Jane Goodall Institute Nepal.

Working with the communities which live closest to Nepal’s wildlife, Manoj seeks new ways to integrate conservation into peoples’ daily lives, for instance in 2005, on learning of the deaths of large numbers of vultures due to consumption of Diclofenac-poisoned carcasses, he developed the concept of ‘Vulture Restaurant’, where villagers can dump safe cattle carcasses for vultures (vulture nests increased from 3 to 27 in his region and the concept has been replicated across south Asia). Over the years he has built a network of several thousands of other young Nepalese who care deeply about the country’s biodiversity.

From suing the government to uprooting the companies harming animals (including US funded breeding facilities exporting animals for experimentation) Manoj combines legal tools with public campaigns to change the hearts and minds of individuals and populations. His campaigns have changed the fate of thousands of animals in Asia and the mindset of thousands of people. His lessons from the field come from dealing with thousands of people across different communities in different circumstances. They are very simple and practical yet powerful.

For his tireless and game-changing efforts Manoj has been awarded with many national and international awards including Jane Goodall’s Global Youth Leadership Award in 2008 and the Future For Nature Award in 2015.