Originally published in Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research (PAR)
“In loving memory of Dr. Bhuwon Ratna Sthapit, Community Based Agrobiodiversity defender, mentor and dear friend of PAR”
We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dr. Bhuwon Ratna Sthapit, Senior Scientist at Bioversity International in Nepal. Bhuwon will be dearly missed, and greatly remembered among the agrobiodiversity community. A true pioneer, leading expert, and mentor on participatory methods to assess and use agricultural biodiversity, participatory crop improvement, in situ and on-farm conservation, home gardens, community-based biodiversity management, and community seed banks, Bhuwon always put farmers always at the centre of his work.
His passion, commitment and knowledge that he shared with and accredited to local communities for over 30 years will never be forgotten. It will echo through future generations of participatory in-situ researchers that have taken inspiration from him. To honor his life’s work of mentoring young scientists from developing countries, Bhuwon’s friends and colleagues are currently reaching out to set up an annual Bhuwon R. Sthapit (BRS) Fellowship for Asia that will support for young scientists to continue his work.
We feel grateful that PAR has had the opportunity to work closely with Bhuwon and his team, and his ideas will continue to inform our efforts to continuously improve participatory efforts in agrobiodiversity research and community-based conservation. We will never forget his indomitable spirit, kindness, and intelligence and we join with many of his friends and colleagues from around the world in mourning his loss.
We convey our heartfelt condolences to Bhuwon’s wife and his 3 children.