Dr Brij Gopal is RBS Earth Hero

RBS India, the innovation and operations hub of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has announced the winners of the RBS ‘Earth Heroes’ Awards for 2018. The eight winners were felicitated by the Vice President of India, Shree Venkaiah Naidu, for going beyond their call of duty to save the planet’s ecological assets.

RBS set up the RBS Foundation India in 2007 and has since been strengthening communities, improving livelihoods and promoting conservation in over 1100 villages. The Foundation’s 22 projects, across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Odisha, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh, are benefitting over 124,475 families.

While presenting the RBS Earth Heroes Awards to those who contributed to protect and conserve the environment, the vice president of India, Venkaiah Naidu said, “I congratulate The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for having instituted these novel awards which identify and honour outstanding individuals and institutions that have made significant contribution to protect and conserve the valuable resources of our planet.”

Pankaj Phatarphod, managing director and country head of Services; India Chairperson – RBS Foundation India, said, “The consequences of climate change and the planet’s depleting natural resources are much closer. Solving these grave issues is not a question of legislation alone but of our own positive actions. The RBS Earth Heroes Awards’ journey has been humbling and inspirational, as it allows RBS an opportunity to honour entities and individuals for their relentless work in conservation and sustainability. It is indeed a privilege for us to be hosting these awards each year.”

N Sunil Kumar, head of Sustainability, India, Royal Bank of Scotland and Director, RBS Foundation India, said, “The nominations we have received for our awards have been an experience in humility for all of us. The number of individuals who have taken upon themselves the duty of protecting our natural heritage, with some of them risking and sacrificing personal assets and wellbeing, is a true celebration of India’s spirit of public service.

The winners of the 2018 RBS ‘Earth Heroes’ Awards are:



Award category


Dr Brij Gopal

RBS Earth Hero’ Award – For extraordinary achievements of an individual who has worked a lifetime in the conservation of wildlife, natural resource management, and environment and has influenced policy.


Special Task Force (Wildlife), Madhya Pradesh Forest Department

RBS Earth Guardian’ Award – For making exceptional contributions in the field of conservation of wildlife, human life, and property in wild habitats, natural resource management, environment, wildlife research, and awareness building.


Peera Ram Bishnoi

RBS ‘Save The Species’ Award – For protecting any endangered species and contributing to education, awareness programs, capacity building and resolving man-animal conflict.


Devender Singh Chauhan


Rita Banerji

RBS Inspire’ Award – For inspiring action on the conservation of wildlife, natural resource management, and environmental protection through creative expression.


Abhilash Khandekar


Lalit Kumar Bora

RBS Green Warrior’ Award – For commendable work in conservation of wildlife, natural resource management, environment protection, human lives, and property.


With the growing ecological imbalance impacting communities, wildlife, and their habitat, RBS Earth Hero Awards were institutionalised in 2011 to provide a national platform to those individuals and institutions who have espoused and undertaken actions to protect our endangered forest, wetland, and other natural ecosystems. The winners of these awards were carefully selected by an independent nine-member jury, comprising some of the most respected names and authorities in conservation and field biology, out of over 60 nominations from across the country.

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