00:00:00 Introduction

00:01:00 Growing up in Humla, Nepal

00:09:30 Changes in the landscape and culture

00:14:00 Supporting the future of this remote region

00:16:28 Snow leopards folklore and significance for the Himalayas

00:20:00 Living in the field for seasons at a time

00:23:00 Rinzin’s aspirations


Thank you to Tashi R. Ghale for many wildlife photos included in this interview and to Karma Lhazom for filming.


Rinzin Phunjok Lama is an internationally acclaimed wildlife biologist and conservationist from Nepal. He is the first Nepalese to receive the Rolex Awards for Enterprise for his work on community-based biodiversity conservation

A native of Nyinba Community in Humla District of Nepal, Rinzin comes from one of the world’s wildest and most isolated places and has been an advocate for local community engagement for biodiversity conservation and sustainability.

From government schooling in his native village, one of the most rural parts of Nepal, to the University of Göttingen in Germany and Lincoln University in New Zealand, he was the first graduate in the field of nature conservation from Humla. His vision is to strengthen community-based conservation focusing on capacity building of community institutions, promotion of local citizen scientists, social enterprise development for livelihood diversification and promoting good governance to build more pliable and self-reliant communities. He is particularly interested in high-altitude wildlife and their ecology, human-wildlife conflict, human footprints and landscape change, climate change, citizen science and indigenous system of resource management.

Rinzin Lama has been awarded the Times Next Generation Leader in 2022, World wildlife federation Nepal Conservation Award in 2020 and the Rolex Award for Enterprise 2021 in recognition of his effort for biodiversity conservation in Nepal’s Trans-Himalayas.













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