Cherla Sastry was born in Andhra Pradesh, India and came to Canada, as a graduate student, in the early sixties. He studied biology, forestry and forest products at Andhra University, India and University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada respectively. Dr Sastry’s experience includes professional positions with the University of Toronto, Canada, the University of British Columbia, the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada, Forintek Canada Corporation, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Agriculture University, Malaysia, theWestern Forest Products Laboratory (Environment Canada), Vancouver, the Ministry of Defense, GOI and Andhra University in India.
Dr Sastry joined the International Development Research Centre of Canada in 1983 to conceive, develop and administer the IDRC’s Forestry, Environment and Natural Resources programs in Asia and South Pacific. In this capacity, he was instrumental in developing a number of successful multi-disciplinary projects and networks [such as Bamboo and Rattan, the Medicinal Plants] in the region, some of which became global activities with multi-donor support. In 1993, Sastry developed the Bamboo and Rattan Network into a formal operation linking governments NGOs, and research institutions throughout the region, based in New Delhi. He raised millions of dollars for its operations and created the organization as an IDRC Special program in 1994. In November 1997 he was appointed Founding Director General of the newly created International Network for Bamboo and Rattan [INBAR], as an independent international organization established through treaty, with head quarters in Beijing, PR China. He was lovingly known as the father of INBAR.
He retired from service at the end of 1999 after two decades of distinguished service with these Organizations. In September 2000, he was appointed as an Adjunct Professor of Forestry and an Associate of the Institute for Environmental Studies, at the University of Toronto Dr. Sastry also is active as a consultant to FAO, UNIDO CIDA, the Government of India, Cuba and others since retirement. Dr. Sastry has been a member of several international forestry and forest products research and technical associations. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the University Pertanian Malaysia, the Forest Products Research and Development Institute [1989 and1999] of the Philippines as well as the Kasetsart University and the Royal Forest Department Thailand. In 1990, the Chinese Academy of Forestry awarded him the title of “Honorary Research Professor” for his outstanding contributions to the development of forestry research in China. He was appointed UNESCO chair in China in 1996. The Society of Indian Foresters has honored him in 1994, with a plaque and a shawl for his lifetime contribution to the cause of forestry research and international cooperation. The Chairman and the Board of Directors of INBAR, in January 2000, have conferred on Sastry the honorary title “Distinguished Fellow of INBAR for life” in recognition of his outstanding service and contribution to the organization and its aim.He was recently a chief guest at a held in Beijing by the Govt. of people republic of China and 32 member countries of INBAR at its 10th Anniversary held in Novemeber 2007 at the guest wall of people. Dr. Sastry has author or co-authored over 50 scientific and technical publication and books in forestry, forest product and agro-forestry and lectured at several national and international workshops and conventions. Dr. Sastry holds a MS in Forestry and Ph d in Forest products from the University of British Columbia and an MSc and a BSc (Honors) in Botany and BSc (Biology) from Andhra University in India.
Some select Lifetime achievement awards/recognitions Sastry received:
- Zayed International Prize for the Environment, Dubai- UAE
- Awarded to the Authors of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
- Distinguished Fellow of INBAR for Life- for outstanding contributions and Service for the Development of the Sector- Board of Directors INBAR, Govt. of PR China and 31 other Countries of the Council of INBAR.
- Recognition of Outstanding Service -IDRC-Canada Honorary Research Professor- Chinese Academy of Forestry; PR China
- Honorary Member-The Chinese Society of Forestry-for outstanding contribution to Forestry
- Plaque of Appreciation, Gov. of Thailand—Active Contribution, support, esteemed Advice on Forestry and Friendship
- Outstanding Service Award- Univ. Pertananian Malaysia/Gov Malaysia–CIDA Visiting Professor and Advisor of Forestry.
- Plaque of Appreciation- Republic of Philippines-for Invaluable contribution to Forest Products R&D in Asia and the Pacific.
- Certificate of Appreciation–Govt of Indonesia–Contributions to Forestry Devt. Award-Society of Indian Foresters–a Plaque and a Shawl-for a lifetime of dedicated service to the cause of Forestry.