Marsh Marjan Award

This Award is run in partnership with the Marjan Centre for the Study of Conflict and Conservation within the Department of War Studies at King’s College.

The Award is given annually to someone who has made an invaluable contribution to an area where conflict and conservation overlap. In parts of the world, the need for conservation is great, due to a high density of species or richness in natural resources. However, quite often these areas are also marked by human conflict which infringes on the need for conservation.

The Marjan Centre seeks to understand these threats, help create a sustainable future for societies living under these conditions and support their transition from conflict to post-conflict planning.

The 2013 winner is Sonali Ghosh

Sonali Ghosh has been awarded for her work on the Mannas project. Delivered by the Marjan Centre in partnership with Indian representatives, the project works to protect the biodiversity of the much contested Manas eco-region in the Himalayas, focusing on the conservation of the Bengal tiger.

As rivalry between India and China heightens, the region of Assam north-east India becomes ever more significant, given its proximity to both China and Myanmar and its borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh. Assam has endured thirty years of conflict with fluctuating intensity in its Bodoland region, driven by a series of inter-locking issues such as autonomy, land reform, ecological degradation and an influx of non-Bodos.

The Manas National Park in Assam combines with the Royal Manas National Park over the border in Bhutan to form a key conservation area, demonstrating how biodiversity can play a central role in trans-boundary security issues.

The Manas complex represents some of the last and best remaining habitats of the Bengal tiger, clouded leopard, leopard, Asian elephant, Asiatic water buffalo, gaur, greater one-horned rhinoceros as well as a huge variety of other fauna and flora. The preservation of the Bengal tiger is a catalyst for tackling the human and ecological problems that have contributed to insecurity on local levels.

Sonali Ghosh has worked as a forest officer in Assam, having gained an MSc in both Wildlife Science and Forestry. She is now completing a PhD on the use of technology for mapping tiger habitats in the Indo-Bhutan Manas Tiger Conservation Landscape. In 2012, Sonali Ghosh gave a presentation at the Royal Geographical Society’s Annual Meeting titled: ‘armed conflict and its impact on wildlife habitat: a case study from the Manas Tiger Reserve and World Heritage Site, India’. Her contributions to this all-important area of work have been exceptional.

Pictured above: Sonali Ghosh with a patrol team at Manas National Park


The Marjan Centre



Previous Winners:

2012 John Kahekwa