The Global Initiative Network

Expert

Belinda Wright

Founder and CEO, Wildlife Protection Society of India

Belinda Wright is a leading wildlife conservationist and the Executive Director of the well-respected Wildlife Protection Society of India.

Born in Kolkata, she has spent over 45 years working on wildlife issues in India, and wild tigers in particular, initially as an award-winning photographer and filmmaker and then as a full-time conservationist. Belinda founded the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) in 1994.

Over the past 26 years she has pioneered investigations into the illegal wildlife trade in India, Nepal and China, and helped expose the trade in tiger and other wildlife products. WPSI has hosted more than 420 wildlife enforcement workshops throughout India and provided training to over 24,150 Forest and Police officers in 17 states, as well as the National Police Academy, the National Institute of Criminology and Forensics Sciences, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI,) and other institutions.

As a filmmaker, Belinda won two Emmy Awards and 14 other major international awards for her 1984 National Geographic documentary ‘Land of the Tiger’. During the making of the film, she spent more than two years following the secret lives of wild tigers in Kanha and Ranthambhore Tiger Reserves. She has made 13 wildlife documentaries and co-authored five books, including ‘Through The Tiger’s Eyes; A Chronicle of India’s Wildlife’ (Ten Speed Press, 1997).

She has received various awards for her work as a conservationist, among them the O.B.E. from Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in June 2003 for “services to the protection of wildlife and endangered species in India”. Belinda received the Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award in April 2005, and was elected an Ashoka Senior Fellow in 2009. In November 2012, she received the Sanctuary Lifetime Service Award and in February 2016, the prestigious Indian of the Year 2015 Award for her work in saving wild tigers.

Recent publications
  • Sharma, K., Wright, B., and Taubmann, J., (2015). “Stretching applications of occupancy models; from local knowledge to monitoring crime.” ISEC Abstracts.
  • Sharma, K., Wright, B., Joseph, T., and Desai, N. (2014). “Tiger Poaching and trafficking in India: Estimating rates of occurrence and detection over four decades.” Biological Conservation 179: 33-30.
  • Wright, B. (2010). “Will the Tiger Survive in India?” In Tilson, J., and Nyhus, P.J. (eds.), Tigers of the World, 2nd Edition. San Diego: Elsevier, pp. 87-100.
  • Wright, P., and Mohanty, B. (2009). Simlipal Tiger Reserve: Assessment of recent elephant poaching and protection initiatives. Report prepared for the National Tiger Conservation Authority, Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi.
  • Wright, B. (2009). “The tiger’s last sigh.” Tehelka Issue 44, Volume 6.