Credits: Scott Trageser
Award winner 2017
Reptiles
Location: Bangladesh

Shahriar Caesar Rahman

From an early age, Shahriar Caesar Rahman had a profound love for nature. His wonder for the natural world was discouraged by his high school in Bangladesh. But when he attended university in America, Caesar was able to listen to his heart and get involved with different wildlife projects across the country. Convinced that he had to follow a path towards wildlife conservation, he returned to Bangladesh and initiated different wildlife projects. Caesar is committed to bringing the Asian giant tortoise, and other highly imperilled turtle and tortoise species, back from the brink of extinction.

Vision and Approach

“I firmly believe that empowering the native communities to take action is the most effective means towards achieving the conservation of their unique ecosystem and culture.” – Shahriar Caesar Rahman

Caesar works in the remote Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh, which is part of the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot. In order to save wildlife, Caesar saw that he had to work together with the local people and communities. To achieve this, he co-founded the Creative Conservation Alliance (CCA), an NGO. Their mission: to protect the forests of southeast Bangladesh and the astounding biodiversity within. Before the destructive practices of wanton land developers erase what is left. Through a comprehensive approach; CCA empowers local people to become stakeholders in their own landscapes.

“Mr Rahman has demonstrated the wisdom of combining top-down with bottom-down approaches to species conservation across diverse landscapes. His innovation in mobilizing primary schooling opportunities to the communities of remote villages is a fundamental step forward in conservation strategies. He has proven that tenacity, vision, and personal commitment can achieve results even in the poorest and least cared-for countries of the world.” – 2017, Brian Huntley, International Selection Committee