Helicopter Tragedy, Nepal 2006: Book of Condolences: Messages so far

"Our deepest condolences to families, friends and colleagues of the deceased. This is a very sad loss."
IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

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"My heartfelt condolences to the families of the people who left us so tragically. I have worked and known many of them personally and to me it is a personal tragedy. It is also a tremendous loss to the world of conservation."
Seema Bhatt, India

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"During a visit to friends in Kathamndu last year we had the good fortune to spend an afternoon at Dr Chandra Gurung's home, and to enjoy the company of Dr Harka Gurung. Their commitment to Nepal and to the work of WWF was evident in their conversations and their loss will be felt beyond Nepal's borders. Our condolences on the loss of all those on board go to their families and colleagues."
Jeff Ainge & Laurel Daly, Vancouver Island, Canada

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"It was a great shock to find of this tragedy on the news in today's Dutch Newspaper. I hoped some miracle but found further news on your web with sad confirmation. Our deepest condolences to the victims' families and colleagues from Nepal and all over the world. Our dear and beloved great person Dr. Chandra P. Gurung will be sorely missed. Since the period of ACAP director in Ghandruk village, my wife and I had been always impressed by his energy and devotion to be working for such an important mission. God Bless all the missing individual and his/her families."
Marietta and Tadashi Shimizu, The Netherlands

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"I only met Chandra Gurung on a couple of occasions, once in Vietnam (1999) and once in Nepal (1998). Both occasions were in the context of IUCN Vietnam's Sustainable Tourism Initiatives Project. Chandra's work on community based ecotourism was the prime motivation for bringing him to Vietnam to present at a national seminar on the development of a National Ecotourism Strategy for Vietnam, and for also organising a study tour for Vietnamese Government tourism officials to Nepal - to see community based ecotourism first hand. He was, personally and professionally, someone whom I have looked up to ever since."

"I extend my sincere sorrow and wishes to the staff of WWF-Nepal and the families of all who lost their lives doing what they were best at, what they were passionate about and committed to."

"There is a huge gaping hole in the conservation movement in Nepal and beyond. I hope that a truly significant means of recognising their contribution to conservation and sustainable development can be found, such as the creation of a transboundary peace park in the region?"
Annalisa Koeman, Canberra, Australia

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"May lord rest their soul in peace. Lets save our planet."
Petu, NY, USA

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"To all at WWF, our heartfelt condolences for the tragic loss of your family. Our hearts go out to you, may they rest in peace."
Animals Asia Foundation, China

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"All at WWF have suffered a great loss, yet the future of conservation will suffer the most. I can only hope that with their departure from this earth, a seed has been planted in those of us who remain to continue the legacies of these amazing, passionate, and dedicated people."
Anon., WWF-US

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"My condolences to WWF and the families of those who perished in this terrible tragedy. They made the planet a better place - it is a great loss on such a grand scale it is difficult to comprehend. God bless them all and the WWF staff and families they leave behind."
Anon., Australia

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"Deepest condolences to the families...may the souls rest in peace!!!"
Dr. Binay Kumar Rauniyar, Nepal

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"To Keith and Mark Bowling, Jill gave her life for the continued upkeep of the wildness of this world. May God be with her. Many prayers have been offered for her in Australia, may she have eternal rest."
Kevin Jurek, Australia

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We have lost colleagues so dear to us. The tragedy will keep haunting us for years to come, but we must ensure that the whole WWF family stands strongly behind the good conservation work, they were doing, and the cause for which they lost their lives. Our heart goes out to the families who have lost their near and dear ones. It is indeed a sad time for us.

Archna Chatterjee, WWF-India

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"I was so shocked when I heard about this news. I prey to god that may their departed souls rest in heaven and to provide support and tolerance power for their family and friends. This is really a tragic accident that I’ll never forget in my life. This is great loss not only for WWF but for the entire nation."
Salina Poudyal, Centre for rural techonology

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"I was deeply saddened by news of the helicopter crash in eastern Nepal and would like to convey my condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives. My thoughts are with them at this unimaginably difficult time. My sincere hope is that others will strengthen their resolve to continue the significant conservation efforts of such a dedicated team of people. Although I did not know them personally, I am certain they will be greatly missed. "
Rebecca Tharme, IWMI, Sri Lanka

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"I am deeply sorry. Just now when the world needs more people like you. Please receive my condolences."
Sara Mateo, Peru

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"I am saddened with a profound loss that was beyond imagination just a few days ago. My heart goes out to all families who were left behind. Their legacy is an inspiration to all of us, and continuation of Kachenjunga Conservation will be a true condolence. Thank you for all the good work you are doing to make world a better place."
Rabi Chitrakar, Edmonton, Canada

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"i am shocked by incident at Taplejung of Nepal. My condolences to all immediate families of those who died in the incident."
Suraj Baral, Denmark

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"Our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased."
IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

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"The management team of the PAN Parks Foundation has heard the news of the tragic helicopter crash in Nepal. Our organisation would like to send its condolences to the WWF Network and the families of the victims. It is surely the most tragic event we've ever heard of in WWF history. Although PAN Parks Foundation does not work in Nepal, we feel we should commemorate those who lost their lives, which were dedicated to nature conservation."
PAN Parks Foundation

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"This is tragic loss on world conservation history. Even though we lost great personnels, they all died in their respective battle field too, therefore in the field of conservation and environment. Let us salute them as Martyrs for mother Nature and long live their efforts."
Navin Chalisey, MSc Environmental Management, schEMS Nepal

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"We mourn the loss of many of our decicated, dynamic and true conservationists. A big blow to the leaping conservation initiatives in the Eastern Himalayan region and Nepal. We will never ever get the same set of people again but we know we can fulfill their dreams in carrying their work forward."
Nakul Chettri, ICIMOD, Kathmandu

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"What a terrible, terrible loss for their families and for our planet. We must carry on."
Francis Vorhies, Geneva

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Devastating news one can only ask - "Why?". Special memories of Chandra and Mingma from various mountain/WCPA workshops - including Chandra getting WCPA delegates from around the world to sing in groups at the mid-term meeting field barbecue and dinner here in '97.. truly magic memories for all. Sincere condolences to all colleagues, family and friends.

John Watson, WCPA Mountain Network Member, Albany, Western Australia

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"I heard this dreadful news with great shock. There were so many heroes of the conservation movement among the list of names of those on board that ill-fated flight. Their tragic deaths represent a huge loss to conservation in Nepal and beyond."

"But beyond that, many of us have lost friends and colleagues. Their deaths touch us all. This tragedy reminds us that conservation can be a dangerous business - they are not the first, and they will not be the last, of those who fight for a better world who will die in tragic circumstances. Conservation calls for mental and phyical courage."

"I offer my deepest condolences to the friends and families of those who died in Nepal."
Adrian Phillips, Chair World Commission on Protected Areas (1994-2000)

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"We receive news about this tragic accident with deep, heartfelt sadness.  It is almost beyond comprehension that so many wonderful people lost their lives in an instant while doing the work they loved. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends, and colleagues of these incredible people. May their souls rest in peace."
P. Sato, TNC Hawaii

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"My heart goes out to all of you who were tragically touched by the disaster. When I visited you in the spring I had the honour to meet some of you as well as Dr Gurung and a few of the others who perished in the accident. They were good and exceptional people and they will be sorely missed, naturally for the persons they were but also for the huge difference they made in their work. WWF Nepal impressed me immensely with the dedication and efficiency of all its staff. This disaster makes us aware of how precious people are."
Minna Tallberg, Espoo, Finland

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"All our condolences to the families and friends."
Hugues Fanal, Bird Protection Belgium

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"This is great loss for Nepali conservation. I offer condolence to WWF on the loss of the great conservation staff members."
Nimesh Regmi, Nepal

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"This is a terrible tragedy for both Nepal and the conservation movement in general. My thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues of all those who were lost. Their work made a difference and that is a lasting legacy that those they leave behind can be proud of. May peace be with them."
Philippa, Sri Lanka

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"It was with great sadness that we learned of the tragic accident in Nepal involving a number of WWF employees and others who had gone to the Kangchenjunga Conservation Area handover. We send our condolences to the families of all those who have lost loved ones. Our thoughts are with both them and the staff of WWF who have lost not only friends but valued colleagues who have contributed greatly to the important work being done by your organisation."
Jardine Lloyd, Thompson UK - Maidenhead

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"The helicopter crash in the heart of Kanchenjunga Conservation Area is in fact a collapse of mountain in the field of nature conservation not only for the WWF-Nepal but also for the entire conservation community in Nepal and abroad. We are deeply moved on the demise of a distinguished scholar of Mountain Geography and Development Planning like  Harka Gurung, untiring wild life conservationist like Tirtha Man Maskey and  Narayan Poudel, towering WWF figures like Mingma Norbu Sherpa, Chandra Prashad Gurung and Yeshi Lama who were couragiously dedicated for people based conservation. Similarly our heartfelt condolences goes to the families and the loved ones of our conservation colleagues specially Jill Bowling , Jennifer Hedley and Mathew Preece."

"Our sorrow and grief further deepens with the sad demise of Damodar Parajuli, Sharad Rai, and Bignan Acharya whose contributions to  resource management will be remembered for all the time to come. Our young and enthusiastic nature journalists like Hem Raj Bhandari and Sunil Singh have also passed away leaving deep scars in our mind."

"Our sorrow does not end there. It goes further to the loss of a dynamic Minister Gopal Rai and his wife, and Dawa Tshering of Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. Our great supporters in nature conservation Pauli Mustonnen, Charge de Affairs and Margaret Alexander, USAID-Nepal, and all the crew members of the ill fated helicopter will remain in our memory. While we express our heartfelt condolences to the families of all the deceased soul we do believe that all our efforts in the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area will turn to be the tribute to their life and work."
Tirtha B. Shrestha, Chairperson, Nepal National Committee of IUCN members

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Tragic accidents like this one are never easy to come to grips with. They leave you cold, numb and helpless bringing home the fact of the fragility of our life. A bitter irony then that this should happen to those who work in difficult conditions to save natural life. It was just another day in office for them. My condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives. This is an irreparable loss to the conservation work.

Anon., India

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"This is a great loss for WWF, for Nepal and for conservation. My sincere condolences to the families and friends of all those affected."
Clare Perry, UK

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"As we all mourn this immense loss, I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and pray for their strength."
Bandana Shakya, Nepal

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"My deepest condolence goes to the deceased, their family members and friends. I feel I lost my own relatives. All senior conservation professionals who lost their lives are heros. I will always remember them and their efforts and continue to work in the field of nature conservation."
Susmita Dhakal

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"To the family of Chandra Gurung: with you we mourn the loss of a gregarious friend, mentor, inspiration, life-changer who was immensely proud of his origins, and respectful of all. Chandra, may you be at peace. My deepest condolences to the families of the people who died tragically while expressing the commitment and passion of their great work."
Sandra Meihubers, Sydney, Australia

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"This unimaginary tragic accident has put irrecoverable loss in the field of nature conservation. We have lost our national heros who ever took leadership themsevles and provided guidence to all of us in successful integrated conservation and development. The individuals we lost are those stars for whom we can examplify in the blessings to our offsprings to be like those in thier future. In this gloomy moment I would like to pray for their soul rest on peace and hearlfelt condolences to the families. I wish WWF team in Nepal to be able to keep up patience and meet the organization's conservation goal"
Dinanath Bhandari, Former WWF-Nepal staff

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"This is an enormous tragedy. Jill, we will remeber you always."
Gerrit Marais, SGS Qualifor, South Africa

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"I am writing this with a complete sense of loss. WWF is so close to my heart that I can feel the tragedy. I extend my condolences to the families of the affected, and pray for peace of the departed souls."
Livleen, India

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Dear Jill, We only met for an afternoon of tea and toast but you made a lasting impression. You were a wonderful lady and even though we hadn't met before, we knew we were friends. Thank you for your support and thank you for caring about my work. I will pray for you and your family. God Bless You.

Mary Colwell, BBC Natural History Unit, England

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