Ashoka University’s Dr Divya Karnad Wins the Prestigious Future for Nature 2019 Award


New Delhi: Dr Divya Karnad, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Ashoka University is one the three recipients of the Future For Nature 2019 Award for her work on sustainable fishing of sharks and Olive Ridley sea turtles. Dr Karnad, successfully reduces the unwanted bycatch of endangered sharks along the Coromandel coast of India through her project – InSeason Fish. She will receive this prestigious nature conservation prize and 50,000 Euros during the Future For Nature Awards Event on 3rd May in the Netherlands.

The Future For Nature Award is a prestigious international award that celebrates tangible achievements in protecting wild animal and plant species. The Award provides the winners international recognition, financial support and reinforced linkages to an international conservation network. From 125 global applications, an international jury of experts has chosen Divya Karnad (India), Fernanda Abra (Brazil) and Olivier Nsengimana (Rwanda).

“Divya is clearly an outstanding leader, and has already initiated an impressive number of programmes and organisations focused on marine species conservation in India. She is now giving her attention to multiple globally threatened shark species, working with an impressively wide array of stakeholders. She is clearly a creative, serious, focused person with an excellent understanding of social, political, economic and biological issues, and the need to integrate these.” – Simon Stuart, International Selection Committee.

Divya Karnad received her PhD in Geography from Rutgers University, USA and completed a Masters in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from the Post Graduate Programme run by the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Centre for Wildlife Studies and Wildlife Conservation Society – India. During her Bachelor’s degree she created a Young Women in Conservation programme that enabled 480 students to participate in marine conservation.

During her Masters she identified light sources that had the least amount of impact to use on coastal beaches to successfully protect over 200,000 Olive Ridley sea turtles. Based on the results of her PhD work Dr Karnad co-founded InSeason Fish, a sustainable seafood initiative. The focus of this work is to connect seafood consumers to fishermen using sustainable practices, in order to promote grassroots level change across the fisheries.