Rohan Chakravarty, a young Indian wildlife and environment cartoonist has won this year’s WWF International President’s Award for his efforts to inspire change and attitudes towards nature. The award is the global conservation organization’s top accolade to recognize outstanding leadership in young conservationists from around the world. Rohan was announced as one of the two winners of this award, alongside Indonesian environmental youth champion, Adeline Tiffanie Suwana in Indonesia today.
Rohan Chakravarty pursues a career that is far removed from what he has been trained in professionally. Set out to be a dentist, it was his sighting of a tigress at a waterhole that brought out the wildlife enthusiast in him and made him take up wildlife cartooning as a career path. Rohan, under the banner of Green Humour, runs a series of cartoons on nature conservation issues, possibly one of the largest cartoon collections in the genre in India today. Published across several wildlife and environment magazines and newspapers, Green Humour is also the first Indian comic strip to be distributed internationally. Rohan’s work can be found at www.greenhumour.com
Speaking about the award, Rohan Chakravarty, said, “I am honoured to receive the title, which, more than an award, is a reminder of my responsibility to both my art and my muse- wildlife. Cartoons and humour ensure that a reader not only retains a message but also responds to it, and are hence indispensable tools in both communication and conservation. I thank WWF for giving cartoons the importance they deserve, and for empowering me to do more with this art form.”
Present at the award ceremony, Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF-India, said, “Rohan represents the younger generation of conservationists in India, deep thinking, intrepid – one who combines his talent for fun, positivity, nature and science through his art, visualizing forests and wildlife in a refreshing yet compelling form. Through his work and dedication and his added ability to mentor, Rohan inspires individuals in a way that each person can make a positive difference with expression and knowledge.”
“The courage and selfless vision of exceptional young people like Adeline and Rohan has the power to transform communities and societies. What Rohan and Adeline have both done is remarkable and truly inspiring. They are bringing critical issues to the fore and reaching people in innovative ways to drive change and thinking around why nature is so vital for livelihoods and life itself. Rohan’s work has the ability to translate complex messages on wildlife issues and conservation into simple hilarious images. His cartoons make people laugh, but they also come with a serious conservation message. His dedication and amazing talent is exactly what we need to connect people with nature and understand its immense value to humanity,” added Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International.
The 2017 WWF International President’s Award is presented in Manado, Indonesia. The award acknowledges and encourages outstanding achievements of young people under the age of 30 who are making significant contributions to nature conservation. Nominations are invited annually via WWF offices around the world.