International conservationist

Doctor of Philosophy

Nepalese-born Dr Hum Gurung is only the third person from his home village of Sikles, to receive a university doctorate degree. This is due to his fundamental belief that the power of education carries extensive positive ramifications regarding national and global environmental issues.

He has dedicated his professional life to promoting environmental conservation and has become a respected ambassador for conservation between Nepal and Australia, and for Griffith University. In this capacity, he has provided and continues to seek opportunities to strengthen professional and volunteer engagement between the two countries. His environmental philosophy and world-leading research, along with his work as an influential administrator and global spokesman, align with Griffith University’s own guiding principles, thus translating into existing and ongoing positive outcomes in the name of sustainability.

A selection of Dr Gurung’s notable professional achievements include working with the Government of Nepal on the formulation of Nepal’s Sustainable Development Agenda and a think-tank chaired by the Prime Minister of Nepal, led by the National Planning Commission. Dr Gurung has also provided consultancy services to global environmental organisations, including the United Nations Development Program and the World Wildlife Fund.

Since November 2018, Dr Gurung has been based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as the Regional Project Manager for Southeast Asia and Pacific Forest Governance for BirdLife International. He continues to provide the strategic support to BirdLife Asia Secretariat in Singapore for network and partner development and forest conservation across the Asia region.

Dr Hum Gurung’s research interests now include participatory action research and community-based approaches for environmental education, sustainable development, climate change, biodiversity, sustainable tourism management and ecosystem services.

Importantly, he has always complemented his professional career by being a robust advocate of education experience and opportunities in Nepal and in Australia. He considers education the only long-term investment for building the capacities of underprivileged people and inspiring the new generation. As well as prioritising the interests of the local people through formal and informal education, he has made conservation and sustainable living a part of people’s lives.

His continuous efforts to ensure conservation is for, of and by the people, have brought a great sense of community achievement to the Nepal Himalayas.

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