Sasmita Lanka, an Odisha forest officer, receives the UN’s Asia Environmental Enforcement Award for busting international smuggling rackets of ant-eating animal, Pangolins.
Cheers spread across the state on February 7 as an Odisha forest officer receives the UN’s Asia Environmental Enforcement Award.
Sasmita Lanka, a divisional forest officer in Athgarh, Cuttack, has received the award for her work in busting international smuggling rackets of Pangolins. She has been felicitated the award under the ‘Gender Leadership and Impact’ category.
This is why Odisha forest officer receives UN’s AEEA
Ms. Lanka had seized three Pangolins which also included a dead one. The pangolins were being taken to China, Vietnam, and Myanmar for black marketing. She had also arrested 28 smugglers in the same case while busting the network in Athgarh and Khunnpunni.
To catch the smugglers and bust the illegal racket, Sasmita Lanka had offered a reward of Rs 10,000 to villagers. Soon after, people from across 30 villages came to her with the information. Based on the tip, Ms. Lanka nabbed the smugglers.
Apart from this, Ms. Lanka has raised awareness about the illegal trade of Pangolins among locals through various campaigns. Where many of them were not aware of the smuggling, she helped in spreading information about the animal and its illegal trafficking.
Pangolins, which is the most trafficked mammal in the world, comes under the red list of threatened species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Sasmita Lanka has now been posted as deputy conservator of forest in the district headquarters of Bhubaneswar.