Bhubaneswar: Odisha forest officer Sasmita Lanka became the first official in India to be felicitated with UN’s Asia Environmental Enforcement Award.
The divisional forest officer in Athgarh, Cuttack was awarded under the ‘Gender Leadership and Impact’ category for busting pangolin smuggling rackets in the state. Lanka has helped officials bust an international pangolin smuggling network in Athgarh and Khunnpunni.
The forest officer conducted several awareness campaigns among locals on the illegal trade of pangolins. Lanka said many locals were not aware that pangolins exist in the vicinity, but awareness about the mammal and strict action taken by the administration helped change the people’s mindset.