Mr. Shrestha recently attended the UNEP 26th Governing Council/Ministerial Environment Forum held
from February 21 to 25, 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya to receive the "UNEP-Sasakawa Prize 2010-2011" as co-winner for his organization Manahari Development Institute -Nepal (MDI-Nepal) in recognition for its contribution to innovative, ground breaking and sustainable grassroots environmental initiatives.
Mr. Shrestha received his graduate degree in Agriculture from Tribhuvan University of Nepal in 1982, under a scholarship. After his graduation, he worked for a number of institutions particularly in government for almost 10 years and then with NGOs for 15 years. In 2001, he established MDI-Nepal, a non governmental organization committed to the promotion of responsible agroforestry in the hill slopes of Nepal where only 7% of the land is cultivable and the rest are under serious threat of destruction from deforestation and unsustainable practices. With the involvement of the indigenous community, MDI-Nepal delivers economic benefit to more than 2000 households by improving productivity of marginal lands with the planting of various fruit crops and by providing clean energy technologies.
Under his leadership, MDI-Nepal has also received the "Ryutaro Hashimoto APFED Award" in 2008 and in 2010 was awarded the UNEP-Eco Peace Leadership Center (EPLC) in collaboration with Kangwon National University of South Korea for piloting an "alley cropping system" in the hill slopes.
Mr. Shrestha has been involved as an expert for different research studies in addition to his regular work at MDI. He has applied this combination of practical and academic experience to a variety of organizations in Nepal, particularly UNDP, IFAD, World Bank, ADB and others in designing appropriate agricultural and forestry projects in uplands and is largely recognized by these organizations.