Paresh Chandrakant Porab

Wildlife Service Awards (2009)

For his fierce commitment to the Goa forest lands under his control and his courage in the face of powerful vested interests who have been unable to deter him from his mission to protect the wildlife of India.

Paresh Chandrakant Porab, Goa Forest Department, conducts raids on poachers, protects turtle nesting sites, and surveys forest lands to identify them for their potential as future sanctuaries and national parks. He was key to the team that conducted the scientific surveys that resulted in the declaration of the incredible Mhadei and Netravali Wildlife Sanctuaries in Goa. His tryst with nature conservation began in 1987 when he joined the WWF-Goa Nature Club in 1989 and soon became known as one of Panjim’s prime snake rescuers. He was nominated an Honorary Wildlife Warden, but in 2001, he went back to school, studied at the State Forest Service College, Coimbatore and won a position as Range Forest Officer at the Cotigaon Wildlife Sanctuary. Always at the forefront of tough operations, he won a State Bravery Award for his courage during a particularly dangerous leopard rescue.

When one of Goa’s finest wetlands, the famous Carmbolim Lake, began to die at the hands of invasive weeds, he mobilised citizens, including children who helped clean up the lake. Their work resulted in a High Court order directing government agencies to protect the lake, which has since been promoted to the status of a Protected Area. He has also encouraged young persons to patrol nesting sites of sea turtles along the Goa coast and is currently fighting off politicians who want him to back away from a tiger-poaching case he is pushing in Keri.