The future of biodiversity?

  • November 13, 2012
The future of biodiversity?

India's approach to biodiversity could be a model for other countries around the world, according to a UNDP report co-authored by a Gates Cambridge Alumnus.

India’s approach to biodiversity could be a model for other countries around the world, according to a new United Nations Development Programme report co-authored by a Gates Cambridge Alumnus.

The UNDP report ‘Conservation Across Landscapes: India’s Approaches to Bio-diversity Governance’, co-authored by Sushil Saigal [2006], calls for a “landscape approach” to biodiversity governance which allows a range of ecosystems to thrive.

The report provides a detailed review of the five main bio-diversity management models in India and explores their effectiveness in conserving biodiversity, providing community access to resources and sharing of benefits and institutional design. It concludes that solutions to conservation challenges require a variety of approaches. The models reviewed are protected areas, territorial forests, community efforts, co-management of forests and decentralised governance of biodiversity.

The report says India’s huge biological diversity and different ways of using its natural resources have led to a range of different approaches to conservation.

It concludes: “There is no one-size-fits-all solution for effective biodiversity management. Neither ‘exclusive’ protected areas nor community-based conservation is a solution for all conservation problems.

“The Indian experience of employing a range of governance models to balance conservation and development in different contexts has immense relevance across the world. One picture is clearly emerging – while operating under different policy, planning and institutional frameworks, a common thread runs through all these models – an increasing shift towards a landscape approach anchored strongly on participatory approaches.”

The book, whose publication has been covered by the Indian media including Outlook India,  was released by India’s Environment & Forest Minister during the recently concluded Conference of Parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

It can be seen/downloaded from the UNDP site.

Sushil, who has just completed his PhD in Human Geography, has recently joined USAID-Government of India “Forest PLUS” project as Institutional Development/Governance Advisor. 

He says: “The project aims to promote sustainable landscapes with a focus on forests to address the issue of climate change. It is being implemented in three landscapes in the Himalayas, Western Ghats and forests of central India.”

Photo: UNDP

Latest News

New app aims to help women through the menopause

A new app which helps women to manage the menopause was soft launched last month in collaboration with Mumsnet. Stella is the first product by Vira Health, a company which was co-founded in 2019 by Gates Cambridge Scholar Rebecca Love. Stella offers women relief from the most common symptoms of menopause, including sleep disturbances, hot […]

A global perspective on gender and health

The middle of a global pandemic may not seem the ideal time to move country with a new baby, but Johanna Riha [2011] took up her new role as a research fellow at the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) in Malaysia during the pandemic and moved to Kuala Lumpur around a […]

Scholars share 2021 Bill Gates Sr. Prize

Two Gates Cambridge Scholars are sharing the 2021 Bill Gates Sr. Prize in recognition of their outstanding research and social leadership. Emma Soneson and Maša Josipović have been selected for the prize which was established by the Gates Cambridge Trustees in June 2012 in recognition of the late Bill Gates Sr.’s role in establishing the […]

The censoring effect of populist anti-media messages

Populist attacks on the press should be viewed as a form of soft censorship which uses journalistic norms regarding objectivity to undermine the media, according to a new study by a Gates Cambridge Scholar. The study, Covering populist media criticism: When journalists’ professional norms turn against them, by Ayala Panievsky, is published in the International […]