Kedar Girish Gore
Wildlife Service Awards 2023
Kedar Girish Gore
Wildlife conservationist, environmental educator, strategist for nature
Looking at a tiny bird through his binoculars when he was just 10 years old opened Kedar’s eyes to the fascinating natural world, and to his future. His passion as a birdwatcher won him a Master’s in Zoology, which flowed organically into a full-time, committed involvement with India’s conservation movement in 1996. Today, with over 25 years of experience under his belt, he is a leader and a driver of conservation actions across India.
In 2009, Kedar took over as the Director of The Corbett Foundation (TCF) established by the late Dilip D. Khatau, a former Member of the National Board for Wildlife in India, and his wife Rina Khatau in 1994. The NGO is dedicated to wildlife conservation and its purpose is to involve, consult and work with local communities, whose knowledge Kedar says is vital to all conservation objectives. Kedar credits Dilip Khatau’s close oversight and shared beliefs for the ongoing success of The Corbett Foundation, and its continuing ability to walk the tightrope between nature conservation imperatives and ensuring human-wildlife coexistence.
Kedar’s nature conservation repertoire is extensive – human-wildlife interactions and mitigation, biodiversity and ecosystem protection, responsible ecotourism, sustainable livelihoods, environmental awareness, strategy planning, resource management and hard core administration. A tough, but immensely likeable leader, he has been involved with conservation issues across the Indian subcontinent, including the Terai Arc Landscape, Western Ghats, the central Indian landscape, and the Northeastern states.
Kedar’s passion, expertise and commitment is well represented by the many hats he wears. He is a member of multiple IUCN Commissions – Commission on Education and Communication (CEC), Species Survival Commission (SSC) Bustard Specialist Group and World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). He is also a Member of the Indian National Committee of IUCN-India and is a Member of the BNHS Governing Council. A Conservation Fellow of the iconic Born Free Foundation, he has worked with WWF-India and TERI, and Kedar was presented the first IUCN CEC Excellence Award 2019 for South and Southeast Asia, Excellence in Biodiversity Conservation and Environmental Awareness by Think Wildlife Awards in 2018, and was honoured by one of the 50 Most Impactful Social Innovators Award by World CSR Congress in 2018.
A hands-on leader, he lobbied to stop an ecologically destructive dam in the Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary, and demanded the realignment of a railway line away from the Sanjay-Dubri Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. All this in addition to uncounted urban nature conservation programmes – beach clean ups in Mumbai, highlighting the issue of idol immersions during festivals, protecting the integrity of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, and fighting against mangrove destruction in Mumbai.
A quintessential all-rounder, he sets a high quality bar for young entrants into the critical field of nature conservation in the midst of our planet’s most serious climate emergency. All this while he guides the work of The Corbett Foundation towards the conservation of less recognised ecosystems such as the grasslands of Kutchh, upon which the future of the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard is linked.
For his indomitable spirit, commitment to wild India, relentless and consistent efforts, we honour this valued conservation leader.