CEPF Mourns Loss of Colleagues, Partners

Sept. 25, 2006

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) offers its deepest condolences to our colleagues at WWF and to the families and friends of all the victims of a tragic helicopter crash in Nepal on Saturday.

The crash in the mountainous far east of the country took the lives of seven WWF staff from its offices in Nepal, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as high-ranking government officials from Nepal's Ministry of State of Forests and Soil Conservation, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, and the Department of Forests.

Representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Finnish Embassy in Nepal were also onboard, as were Nepali journalists and Nepali and Russian crew members.

Among the passengers were WWF Nepal Director Chandra Gurung and WWF Eastern Himalayas Managing Director Mingma Norbu Sherpa, both of whom played pivotal roles in developing the CEPF investment strategy for the Eastern Himalayas.

Sherpa, who also served as the head of CEPF’s implementation team for the Eastern Himalayas, has long been a source of inspiration for his colleagues. His dedication to conserving the biodiversity of his native country of Nepal and of the entire region made him a shining star for all who knew him.

The loss of these close colleagues and of all the passengers and crew fills us with great sorrow.