Statement from Professor Lawrence S. Hamilton
Senior Advisor, Mountain Biome World Commission on Protected Areas/IUCN

25 September 2006

The Mountain Protected Areas Community has been dealt a grievous wound, in the tragic death of two outstanding members of our Network.

I have known, and have had deep affection and respect for them for well over fifteen years, in Chandra's case, over 20 years. I have always considered them to be the most capable, dedicated and effective workers on the Himalayan scene. They will be sorely missed, and are mourned by their legion of friends and colleagues. One is hard-pressed to think of two more enthusiastic advocates and doers on behalf of the people, biological diversity and landscapes of these magnificent mountains. They did indeed "die with their boots on", and in the mountain terrain that they loved.

They were original members of the group of 41 persons who formed the Mountain Protected Areas Network, following a "Workshop on Parks,Peaks and People", held in Hawai'i in 1991. They have remained steadfast contributors to the WCPA Mountain Theme/Biome Program since then. We all so very much looked forward to working with them again at the Ecuador gathering planned for November.

There will be a big hole in the shared knowledge of our group. And, of course we have lost the valuable services of Deputy Vice-Chair Mingma, who helped to plan this event. It is proposed to dedicate the book emanating from this event to these two outstanding mountain men, and gentle friends.

I would also pay tribute to Narayan Poudel, Director General of Parks and Wildlife for Nepal, whom I knew as an enthusiastic young community forestry worker, back in 1993, who, through hard work and effective leadership, rose to this responsible position. He will be sorely missed. I nominated him for WCPA membership.

We can best honor their memory by increasing our efforts and support to create new Mt PAs, enlarge existing ones, connect them where possible, and manage them more effectively. And we send our heartfelt solace to their families and friends.

--Larry Hamilton, who was "gifted" by having known and worked with them.