A young passionate conservationist leader!

Shahriar Caeser Rahman is working as co-founder and the CEO of the Creative Conservation Alliance in Bangladesh. For his great contribution towards conservation of Biodiversity, he has received the Future for Nature 2017 award. Riasat Raihan writes about this passionate wildlife lover and his journey as a conservationist.

 

Shahriar Caesar Rahman has recently graduated from School of Environment Science and Management of IUB. For his great contribution towards conservation of Biodiversity, he has received the Future for Nature 2017 award. The Future for Nature award is given to young conservationist by the Future Foundation with the goal of protecting species of wild animals and plants and conserving nature in general. Conservationist means a person who works to protect animals, plants and natural resources or to prevent the loss or waste of natural resources. Caesar had the passion and love for the wildlife from the very beginning of his childhood.

downloadCurrently, he is working as co-founder and CEO of The Creative Conservation Alliance in Bangladesh. The alliance is dedicated to ecological and cultural preservation within Bangladesh’s last remaining wild places. Over the last 5-6 years, he has been working to make a difference in conservation of biodiversity of Bangladesh. Caesar had a deep and profound love for the nature ever since his childhood. Although, his admiration for nature was not supported by then, it didn’t stop him to achieve his goals or dreams. Like every other boy, he used to think that one day maybe he would become a computer scientist or pilot or doctor or an engineer despite having profound love for the nature and wildlife. He knew that it wasn’t easy to choose career of own interest in our country; because generally, our society expects a doctor, or an engineer or a BBA graduate or even a cricketer but not anything else! It almost happened to him but it was his passion and love for wildlife which saved him! The driving pact of his passion towards nature was the thrill and adventure he loves such as, to remain busy in working with people of different tribes, to learn the languages of different tribes in hill tracts etc.

301RoyBorghoutsFotografie-1After attending university in America, Caesar started different volunteering works with wildlife programs across the country. It was much needed force for him to pursue career in wildlife. At first he used to do those volunteering works just for his own satisfaction. Eventually, he understood that wildlife is his thing and this is the thing he loves to do. He wanted to keep working in wildlife and for this he got back in Bangladesh. After coming to Bangladesh, he started the Bangladesh Python project which is the first ever radio telemetry study of Burmese Pythons in south Asia. Caesar was looking out wildlife in the remotest parts of the country such as Chittagong hill tracts, which is a part of Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. He initially started looking for pythons and other reptiles and by doing so, the love for the nature and local people returned to him from his childhood. As a result, his career in conservation began to evolve. His passion for working in wildlife and exploring it became a fully-fledged conservation program. Caesar has only one hope and desire is to save the last remains of the wildness of Bangladesh. Due to political unrest, the work of biodiversity in Bangladesh was lacking behind. It had become very tough for the researchers to work in the field of conservation of biodiversity. But it wouldn’t stop Caesar from doing what he loves to do. Caesar turned the hunters into co-scientists for his work. Doing so, he has conducted the most comprehensive wildlife survey ever done. He and his team documented 26 globally-threatened species which were thought to be extinct in Bangladesh. Among the 26 globally-threatened species, critically endangered our con Flores turtle, keeled box turtle, Asian giant tortoise, Asiatic wild dog, sun bear, Chinese pangolin, clouded leopard and the marbled cat are mentionable. His work was highlighted by the government and many International organizations. Caesar stated that, hunting and poaching are threat to these species existence. That’s why an agreement was made with local communities to offset the cost of conservation he would set primary schools of biodiversity crafts if village is agreed to end hunting of these species. Schools are now in four most remote villages and hunting of turtles and tortoises has reduced by 70% in the study area. Caesar and his team were able to rescue 70 highly imperiled turtles and released them back in the wild. The team is now working with government closely for the critically endangered tortoises to increase their numbers and eventually release their offspring in the wild. Caesar also formed livelihood programs such as crafts for conservation to empower women. By doing all these, Caesar and his team are taking a remarkable step through partnership with different government agencies and local communities to ensure the protection of the forests and everything that lives in them. His initiative is proven successful but it is not sufficient for the survival of this imperiled forest. For the betterment of our country’s wildlife, we need younger conservationist like Caesar. Caesar is true inspiration for all young conservationists out there in our country. If anyone is willing to focus conservation as a career, he or she can directly follow the footsteps of Caesar. In Caesar’s words he says, “First you have to explore yourselves. By exploring, you will face many ups and downs. Through these ups and downs you will find your passion or the things you like to do or you are good at. Then you have to gain specific skills if you are committed to pursue career on those things. Most importantly, you have to focus on your strengths not weaknesses. Make your strengths higher, and then weakness won’t matter. “

The commitment of Caesar tells us that we should never stop following our dreams. If you 100% willing to build a career on the things you love to do, then it’s a matter of time you achieve your goals and success to come by.

 

 

 

Riasat Raihan is a student of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh

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