Tribute to Dr. Bhuwon Ratna Sthapit

We are deeply shocked and extremely sad to inform the untimely demise of Dr. Bhuwon Ratna Sthapit (Founder and Executive Board Member, LI-BIRD) during treatment at James Graham Brown Cancer Hospital, Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Dr. Sthapit was an inspirational figure and a legend in the field of agrobiodiversity research, conservation and development. He was an inspiring role model, mentor and visionary leader contributing and guiding significantly in the establishment and institutional development of LI-BIRD. 

His expertise on participatory plant breeding, community-based biodiversity management, home gardens, tropical fruits and in situ and on-farm conservation will continue to remain instrumental in guiding researchers, academicians and students across the world. 

We, LI-BIRD Family, are bereaved on the loss of Dr. Sthapit. We will never forget his dedication, commitment and ability to inspire professionals. 

May his departed soul rest in peace in heaven. May God provide strength to the family to bear the irreparable loss.

The ‘Condolences Pustika’ is kept at Sthapit Residence, Nadipur and LI-BIRD Office, Gairapatan. Interested individuals can visit either of the two places. The Pustika will remain open until Friday, 1st September 2017. 

Condolence message can be dropped at LI-BIRD’s Facebook page

Below we have collected messages, in loving memory of Dr. Bhuwan Ratna Sthapit, from LI-BIRD’s colleagues:

Dr. Sthapit has been contributing to agricultural research and development. His demise is an irreparable loss to the agricultural science community not only at national level but also at international level. We will miss Dr. Sthapit a lot.

 – Krishna Prasad Baral, Chairperson, Executive Board, LI-BIRD

Dr. Sthapit in conversation with Dr. Thapa.

Simplicity, walk-the-talk and very approachable yet bold when needed, were some of the qualities that made Bhuwon a very special person in our heart. His contribution to LI-BIRD remained ‘Abiral’ from day one until the day he passed away, but his legacy will remain with us forever. Bhuwon will be remembered for many years to come for his visionary work on participatory crop improvement by his Alma matter and the scientific community both in Nepal and abroad. 

Bhuwon and I knew each other for more than 35 years, but our friendship deepened some 22 years ago when we were together in the UK pursuing our higher studies. While in the UK, we enjoyed each other’s hot and spicy cooking, with a bit of buzz – we really had a great time. The concept of LI-BIRD was conceived in one of our Friday cookings and buzzing events. On return, it was Bhuwon and few close friends from Lumle and Pakhribas who gave birth to LI-BIRD. Today, LI-BIRD stands as a well recognized institution, and continues to grow from strength to strength. I feel very fortunate to lead LI-BIRD, especially at a time when Bhuwon is no longer with us. Albida Bhuwon and salute to you. 

– Dr. Balaram Thapa, Executive Director and Founder Member, LI-BIRD

The void created by Dr. Sthapit’s untimely departure will never be filled but the knowledge and legacy of participatory research in the field of plant breeding and agrobiodiversity conservation he has left will definitely fill many voids. He will always be in our hearts. His contributions to the in-situ conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity and to participatory crop improvement were acknowledged and appreciated globally. He was a farmers’ scientist, always putting farmers at the centre of his work.

– Dr. Pratap Kumar Shrestha, Founder Member and Ex-Executive Director, LI-BIRD 

Through the Eyes of Media and Partners:

Call for Contribution: Bhuwon Ratna Sthapit Fellowship for Agrobiodiversity in Nepal