Rooting for the orchids - Nepal Conservation Fellows

Fellows Stories

Rooting for the orchids


Reshu Bashyal,

Having grown in a rural village where we hardly visited the doctor, most of our treatment would be done (most often) at home using locally available plants. My grandfather was well respected for knowing plants and using them as different local medicines. My kid mind used to ask hundreds of questions with him but they were never solved. With these unsolved queries, I grew up curious to know about these plants; sadly, traded for the same reason.

Since then, I wanted to explore more about them trying to curb their illegal trade and started haunting for opportunities. In search of the right platform, I grabbed very “diverse” jobs including an Environmentalist for a ministry and a Capacity Development Officer for one of the most reputed organizations, UNDP. Unfortunately, none of them was on conservation; compelling me to continue the haunt until one day I realized I could work with Greenhood Nepal where I was voluntarily working for a few years. And coincidently, I came to know about the Nepal Conservation Research Fellowship and didn’t waste a day to apply for it.

On being selected for the mentorship, I could now make a breakthrough in my conservation career with my “dream” project concept on illegal orchid trade. I am currently preparing a baseline on the illegal trade of medicinal orchids in Nepal under Dr. Jacob Phelps and Dr. Amy Hinsley who have helped me to see conservation from a different perspective and that there are always hopes for a better future.