After spending twenty years in Africa, first as a forester, then as a game warden and finally acting as adviser to the Ethiopian government on national parks and conservation, John Blower seized the opportunity when a fresh challenge, an exciting project arose in 1970.
Himalayan Assignment is a captivating account of his demanding and at times frustrating assignment in Nepal, planning and developing national parks for the national government. With his love of mountains and wide experience, who better for the task than the author?
Very different from Africa, Nepal’s extremes of scenery, climate, fauna and flora are brilliantly brought to life in John Blower’s sensitive and evocative prose. A skilled photographer, he accompanies his account with dramatic pictures of the scenery, wildlife and the fascinating people whose way of life has since changed for ever.
The attitudes of the local inhabitants towards conservation and their struggles to eke out a living in the often harsh and inhospitable landscape are powerfully depicted, as are the effects of overgrazing by domestic animals on the indigenous and rare wildlife. Problems to be faced were inefficient and corrupt administration and poaching, particularly in rhino horn, tiger skin and musk gland.
This episode in the author’s life, following his previous accounts Banagi Hill and In Ethiopia confirms John Blower as one of the foremost animal conservators of our time.
“It is a compendious work and botanists, ornithologists, zoologists in general will find it a must-have if they propose to visit Nepal or Bhutan…a worthy sequel to In Ethiopia.”