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BC3 Seminar: Ecosystem Services, Climate Change, and the Environmentalists’ Paradox

May 31, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

BC3 Seminars
“Ecosystem Services, Climate Change, and the Environmentalists’ Paradox”

Dr. Sharachchandra Lele

Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Policy and Governance
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)


The latest IPBES report warns us of ongoing biodiversity collapse. The Ecosystem Services framework suggests that this will seriously affect human well-being. But policy-makers do not seem to respond with any great alacrity to these warnings. Some skeptics even point to rising human well-being as an indication that the claims linking nature and well-being are exaggerated. This is the Environmentalists’ (or rather Conservationists’) Paradox: rising well-being but declining biodiversity. How does one resolve this? And where does climate change fit into this? I will seek to lay out the strengths and limitations of the Ecosystem Services framework and the broadening of the framework that biophysical science (especially climate science) and political economy both call for.

Website: https://www.atree.org/users/dr-sharachchandra-lele

About the Lecturer

Sharachchandra (Sharad) Lele got a B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering in IIT Bombay (1984) but then decided that environmental studies was more exciting and socially relevant. So he did an M.S. on the environmental impacts of large dams at IISc, Bangalore (1987) and then a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley (1993), focusing on forest use in the Western Ghats. Since then, he has worked at Pacific Institute, Harvard University, and Institute for Social & Economic Change. He co-founded the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment & Development in 2001, and led it till 2009, when it merged with the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE: www.atree.res.in). He is now the Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Policy & Governance at ATREE.

Sharad is an interdisciplinary environmental researcher, bridging the natural sciences, economics, and political science to understand the concepts of and pathways to environmentally sustainable and socially just development. He has worked on sustainable forest management and forest governance, forest hydrology and farmer linkages, landuse change, watershed development, water governance, urban water management and pollution regulation. This research has been published in a variety of interdisciplinary journals. Sharad has also co-authored a book on “Community-based Natural Resource Management in South Asia”, (Sage:2007), and edited “Democratising Forest Governance in India” (OUP: 2014) and “Rethinking Environmentalism: Linking Justice, Sustainability and Diversity” (MIT Press: 2018).

Sede Building (Room Aketxe), Scientific Park of the University of the Basque Country, May 31 (2019), 12:00-13:00

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May 31, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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BC3-Basque Centre for Climate Change
Sede Building 1, 1st floor, Scientific Park of the University of the Basque Country
+34 944 014 690
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