Eastern Himalayan Rural Futures®:
Ecology for the New Economy
creating a Naturenomics™ Agenda – Ecology for the New Economy
Ushering in the Ecological Revolution
The first edition of the Naturenomics™ Dialogues, Ushering in the Ecological Revolution, explored how we can rethink our use of natural capital, to start a revolution to put ecology back in economy – the Naturenomics™ vision.
Joined by over 30 diverse experts, the dialogues extended across 7 sessions exploring a natural capital recovery in the Eastern Himalayas and India.
The series brought together eminent speakers such as Dr. Vandana Shiva (Navdanya), Amb. Shyam Saran (Center for Policy Research), Amb. Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, Amb. Gautam Mukhopadhaya, Dasho Paljor Dorji (Govt. of Bhutan), Dr. Ashok Khosla (Development Alternatives) and S. Ramadorai (ex-TCS).
Through hour long deliberations broadcasted to a live audience, our eminent speakers explored the following themes:
-Transforming Business & Policy
-Restoring & Managing Habitat
A New Era: Blueprint for the Naturenomics™ Revolution, Pt. 1
His Excellency Chandrashekhar Dasgupta
His Excellency Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, an Indian civil servant, diplomat, writer and a former Indian ambassador to the European Union, Belgium, Luxembourg and China. Mr Dasgupta entered Indian Foreign Service in 1962 and worked as a diplomat till his superannuation in 2000. Prior to his postings as an ambassador, he was the high commissioner to Singapore (1981–84) and Tanzania (1984-86) and held the vice-chair of the preparatory committees of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), popularly known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
Ranjit Barthakur is a social entrepreneur, with over 40 years of experience in both the public and private sectors in the areas of IT, hospitality, FMCGs, sports and mainstreaming sustainability practices in organizations including TCS. He is committed to pursuing social change through innovative cutting edge proprietary concepts such as Naturenomics™ and Rural Futures, driving community based conservation and livelihoods in the Eastern Himalayas through his organization, the Balipara Foundation. He also serves in senior advisory and governance positions in FICCI, Tata Trusts, CML, the British Asian Trust, ATREE, IIT-Guwahati and the Northeast Initiative Development Agency, among many others
Vandana Shiva is an Indian scholar, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, and anti-globalization author. She has written and spoken extensively about advances in the fields of agriculture and food and run campaigns on issues in intellectual property rights, biodiversity, biotechnology, bioethics, and genetic engineering. In 1991, she founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade. Navdanya, which translates to “Nine Seeds” or “New Gift”, is an initiative to educate farmers of the benefits of maintaining diverse and individualized crops rather than accepting offers from monoculture food producers. The initiative has established over 40 seed banks across India to provide regional opportunity for diverse agriculture.
Ambassador Shyam Saran
Shyam Saran is a former foreign secretary and has served as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Nuclear Affairs and Climate Change, chairman of the National Security Advisory Board, and chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries. He is currently a member of the governing board of the Center for Policy Research, Life Trustee of the India International Centre, a trustee of the World Wildlife Fund (India), a member of the National Executive of FICCI, and an independent director at the Press Trust of India.
Dasho Paljor Dorji (Dasho Benji)
Dasho Paljor Dorji (Dasho Benji) has served the government of Bhutan since 1966. He was appointed Chief Justice of Bhutan in 1985 to 1987 and then Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Social Services. In 1991 he was sent to Geneva as Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva and also was accredited to Austria, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, EU (Brussels) IFAD (Rome) and FAO (Rome). From 1994 to 1998 Benji served as Deputy Minister of the National Environment Commission and currently he is a special advisor to the National Environment Commission. Often referred to as Bhutan’s “Godfather of Conservation”, he established Bhutan’s first non-governmental organization, the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature in 1987 to conserve the country’s black-necked crane population and protect Bhutan’s biodiversity. He was also involved in the drafting of “The Middle Path” the country’s first National Environmental Strategy which was published in 1998.
A New Era: Blueprint for the Naturenomics™ Revolution, Pt. 2
Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhaya
Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhaya, who has served as India’s Ambassador to the Republic of Myanmar, Syria and Afghanistan. During his diplomatic career, Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhaya has also worked to promote India’s culture abroad and had coordinated the year long ‘Festival of India in France’ (1985-86). As a career diplomat he contributed significantly towards promotion of human rights, social development and advancement of women in International organisations such as the United Nations. He also served as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Defence in charge of Planning and International Cooperation between 2002-2005.
Nababrata Bhattacharjee is currently the Chairman of the Environmental Appraisal Committee, Meghalaya, expert member of the Meghalaya State Planning Board. He is a former commissioner of the National Green Tribunal and is involved with various committees of the National Green Tribunal, including committees for Meghalaya and the North East region. Mr. Bhattacharjee has served in multiple environmental advisory roles for the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Committee in Meghalaya, including serving as Environmental Safeguard Specialist for JICA. He has played a pioneering role in rolling out tea plantations in Arunachal Pradesh as a voluntary General Manager of cash crops with the Arunachal Pradesh government. Prior to this he served in the Arunachal Pradesh forest corporation and has trained with the Indian Forest Research Institute, MDI Gurgaon and the Tocklai Tea Research Association. Mr. Bhattacharjee is a member of the BCCI’s executive council, where he served on the Lodha Reforms Committee. He is currently a member of their North East Task Force.
Anirban Ghosh is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Mahindra Group. Under his leadership Mahindra has developed an award-winning Sustainability framework, become a founding member of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition and the first to commit to doubling energy productivity. He has, in partnership with the World Bank, facilitated the creation of the Sustainable Housing Leadership Consortium to accelerate the spread of green buildings in India. Anirban has been an invited speaker at COP21, The Climate Week, World Circular Economy Forum, GRI Global, EE Global, etc., featured in The Climate Reality Project and acknowledged as a Distinguished Sustainability Officer.
Dr. T. P. Singh
Dr. T. P. Singh is the Deputy Regional Director of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Asia. He has more than three decades of work experience at a senior management level in natural resource management, administration, organizational leadership and human resource development. He joined the Indian Forest Service in 1979. Besides serving in various capacities under State Governments as well as the Federal Government of India, he has served as Senior Fellow in the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) at New Delhi, where he helped set up and served as Vice Chancellor of TERI’s post-graduate research university. Dr. Singh has also served as lead author of reports prepared for the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); as an expert for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES); and is the author of several national and international publications.
Technology for Habitats: Innovating for Managing Natural Assets
Mr. Ramadorai is the former CEO and Vice Chairman of Tata Consultancy Services where he played a pivotal role in turning the company into one of the leading IT companies globally. He has served as the Chairman of AirAsia, Tata Advanced Systems Limited, Tata Technologies Limited and the Bombay Stock Exchange. In recognition of Ramadorai’s commitment and dedication to the IT industry he was awarded the Padma Bhushan (India’s third highest civilian honour) in January 2006. In April 2009, he was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to the Indo-British economic relations. He has also served as Chairman of National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) where he sought to standardize the skilling effort, ensure quality and commonality of outcomes by leveraging technology and create an inclusive environment to co-operate, collaborate & co-exist.
Dr. Anish Andheria
Dr. Anish Andheria is the President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Trust, a not-for-profit working in and around 160 national parks and sanctuaries in 23 states of India. He is a member of several Government Committees including the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), State Board of Wildlife of Maharashtra; the Executive Committee of the Gujarat State Lion Conservation Society and the Executive Committee of the ‘Village Social Transformation Programme’ of Maharashtra. He has been awarded the prestigious Carl Zeiss Conservation Award in 2008 and the UAA-Institute of Chemical Technology Distinguished Alumnus Award 2017. He is a large carnivore biologist with immense knowledge on predator-prey relationships and has contributed to several carnivore conservation projects across India. He has also co-authored two books on wildlife.
Dr. Irina Fedorenko
Dr. Irina Fedorenko is the co-founder of BioCarbon Engineering (now Dendra Systems), using drones and other emerging technology to enable land restoration around the world. She is the co-founder of the Kindness Collective, a social enterprise for supporting women farmers in India through social enterprise in organic detergents. She currently serves as Business Development Director for Earthbanc, a fintech service aimed at revolutionizing green banking and investment.
Dr. Bremley Lyngdoh
Dr. Bremley Lyngdoh is the Founder & CEO of Worldview Impact Foundation and is a Climate Change and Sustainable Development professional with over 20 years experience working with Governments, IGOs, NGOs and the Private Sector developing a range of innovative projects in Asia, Africa and South America aimed at producing ecologically sound and economically viable activities that contribute directly to reducing rural poverty, and generating productive sustainable livelihoods for vulnerable local communities. Through his previous assignments working with the United Nations and the World Bank in Asia, Africa and Latin America, he has gained expertise in the effective monitoring and evaluation of field-based programmes. He developed climate change adaptation projects combining integrated agroforestry, regenerative farming, sustainable tourism, and renewable energy technologies.
Designing Interdependence: Reintegrating People, Ecology and Economy
Dr. Ashok Khosla
Dr. Ashok Khosla is the Chairman of the Development Alternatives Group, a consortium of social enterprises based in India whose mission is to create technologies, businesses and markets for large-scale generation of sustainable livelihoods. An environmentalist and proponent of sustainable development, he served as the director of Infoterra at the United Nations Environment Programme. Since then, he has served on the governing bodies of the IUCN, WWF, Club of Rome, IISD, the Stockholm Environment Institute, WETV and several other Indian and international organizations. He was Special Advisor to the Brundtland Commission and Chairman of the NGO Forum at the ‘92 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.He has been board member of many government, industry and NGO bodies in India, including the National Security Advisory Board, the Science Advisory Committee to the Cabinet and the National Environment Council.
Sarala Khaling is the Regional Director of ATREE’s Regional Office for the Eastern Himalaya-Northeast India. Her main work is on managing projects, research design, and analysis, fundraising, networking and policy inputs. She has more than 15 years” experience of working in the field of ecology, people and their relationship with biodiversity in the Himalaya. She also has experience of managing large field projects on conservation and livelihoods, monitoring and evaluation and organisational learning. Prior to joining ATREE, she worked for WWF and for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund-Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot Program.
Shankar Venkateswaran is a part of the founding team of ECube Investment Advisors that is setting up a fund to invest in publicly listed companies and help them improve their sustainability/ESG performance. He was Chief of Tata Sustainability Group at Tata Sons Limited where he guided the Tata group on sustainability and corporate responsibility initiatives. He served with audit and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India as Director of Sustainability. Prior to this, he spent around 15 years in social development with the international NGO, ActionAid and the American India Foundation (which he helped establish in India and served as its first Executive Director – India). While at ActionAid, he also set up Partners in Change, a non-profit that pioneered corporate sustainability and CSR advisory services in India. He was a part of a two-member panel that drafted the National Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct, released by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in March 2019. He is also a member of a committee that is developing the Business Responsibility Report aligned with these guidelines.
Redefining Rural Futures: Building Local Natural Capital Economies
Dr. Anish Andheria
Anish Andheria, the President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Trust, a not-for-profit working in and around 160 national parks and sanctuaries in 23 states of India. He is a member of several Government Committees including the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), State Board of Wildlife of Maharashtra; the Executive Committee of the Gujarat State Lion Conservation Society and the Executive Committee of the ‘Village Social Transformation Programme’ of Maharashtra. He has been awarded the prestigious Carl Zeiss Conservation Award in 2008 and the UAA-Institute of Chemical Technology Distinguished Alumnus Award 2017. He is a large carnivore biologist with immense knowledge on predator-prey relationships and has contributed to several carnivore conservation projects across India. He has also co-authored two books on wildlife.
Saurav Malhotra is the Co-Founder & Chief Designer of the Balipara Foundation’s Rural Futures Framework. Through human-centric conservation design, the Rural Futures programme provides a framework for the restoration of forests linked to the socio-economic mobility of the forest-fringe communities through various sustainable livelihood generating programmes
Rita Banerji is a renowned environmental filmmaker and the founder of the Dusty Foot Initiative, to encourage young environmental filmmakers and the founder of Green Hub, to train the youth of the North East & use film as a medium for conservation. Both initiatives focus on youth from indigenous and grassroots communities for conservation though visual media, through youth fellows encouraging the development of ecological restoration projects across the North East (e.g. Karbi-Anglong, Eagle’s Nest AP)
Pradeep Banerjee is the former Executive Director of Supply Chains at Hindustan Unilever in India and currently serves as an independent advisor. With Hindustan Unilever, he has held a series of assignments in Supply Chain, Research & Development and Categories serving as Vice President – Technical (Home and Personal Care) and Vice President, Global Supply Chain for Personal Care Category.
Women’s Livelihoods: Securing Resilient Incomes through Natural Capital
Hasina Kharbhih is an Ashoka Fellow and Aspen ILI Fellow, Founder and Managing Director of Impulse Social Enterprises and Founder Chair of Board of Impulse NGO Network. For 30 years now, she been working to provide sustainable livelihoods in a safe environment for women and children. She created the nationally and internationally acknowledged Impulse Model (formerly known as The Meghalaya Model) a holistic method to address human trafficking. The Impulse model has won awards such as the Japanese Award For Most Innovative Development Project from the Japanese Social Development Fund, which has also supported the organisation to scale its work in Myanmar since 2013, Nepal and Bangladesh. Ms. Kharbhih has gained a multi-sector expertise, including leadership and Institutional Management, human rights, livelihoods and rural development, anti-human trafficking, migration, gender based violence, child rights, HIV/AIDS education and intervention, substance abuse and adolescent health.
Jacob Ninan is the Executive Trustee and CEO at the Axis Bank Foundation, where he is responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the Foundation. In a banking career of over 3 decades, he has served in various capacities and dealt with the areas of Retail Banking, Corporate Finance, MSME Lending & Trade Finance among many other functions. His last stint in banking was heading Axis Bank business in the Middle East and Africa, based in Dubai. Forbes Middle East in 2014 recognised him for his contribution to the local economy and listed him in the top 100 CEOs. He is also a director on the Board of Maharashtra Village Social Transformation Foundation, a Section VIII company formed in collaboration with Government of Maharashtra.
Julie Stein is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, an initiative for certifying rural enterprises that assure people and nature co-exist. Ms. Stein has worked on large carnivore and endangered species conservation issues in the Greater Yellowstone, Latin America, Asia and Africa for 20 years. She has examined conservation and community conflict for Jane Goodall Institute’s Congo Basin Program, served as Community Reconciliation/Conservation Conflict Fellow for the Andrus Family Fund, and acted as Science and Policy Coordinator for the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force. A founding member of the Human Wildlife Conflict Collaboration (now the Center for Conservation Peacebuilding) contributing to and team teaching that organization’s Conservation and Conflict training program for wildlife professionals around the world. Ms. Stein holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of Virginia, and an M.E.S. in Conservation Biology from the Yale School of Forestry, currently serving as an Environmental Leadership Mentor for Yale FES graduate students.
Putting Women Front and Centre: Women for Forests
Diana Owen, Dr. Owen is the Director General at the Royal Over-Seas League, where she plays a number of senior roles in numerous Commonwealth-related bodies. She is the first woman to have held this position, as well as the first woman to have been Director & CEO at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. In this capacity, she has grown the SBT’s national and international profile and reputation, leading significant cultural and capital projects in Stratford and with partners worldwide. Diana has extensive experience of working in cultural and landscape conservation with the National Trust. For this work and her work with the SBT, she was awarded an OBE in 2018 in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s list.
Karuna Singh is the Country Director of the Earth Day Network, India. For years now, Karuna A. Singh, has worked towards building awareness around environmental and climate change issues across a wide spectrum of audiences. As a senior executive in the State Department’s US Consulate at Kolkata for over two decades, she has organized several seminars, film screenings, workshops and other media events to educate and inspire the youth of the nation to work for the environment. Her work area covers 12 states of eastern and north-eastern India. She has helped initiate several cross-border programs on subjects like Coastal Zone Management and is currently the Country Director for Earth Day Network, the world’s largest environmental movement. Karuna Singh is also one of the few mentored by the acclaimed activist, Al Gore, to advocate on climate change issues.
Trisha is the Project Director of The Habitats Trust, which works towards protecting habitats and their indigenous species. She is a part of the strategic team shaping the Trust’s activities and engagements. An avid lover of wildlife and the forests, Trisha has spent close to a decade working on conservation issues in India. Over the span of her career she has worked with some of India’s premier conservation organizations, including WWF-India and the Wildlife Protection Society of India. Trisha has worked on a myriad of conservation issues including human-wildlife conflict, poaching and illegal trafficking in wildlife parts, habitat loss and fragmentation, conservation awareness generation, and support to forest fringe communities.
Tamara Law Goswami
Tamara has been in the environmental science and management space for the last twenty years. Early in her career she worked on pollution prevention and control for industries and then moved into renewable energy systems. In the 2013-14, she was part of the TERI Team working with the then Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change to identify Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) for India. Before moving to the North East, she worked with a social enterprise in sustainable agricultural systems and chemical-free food. A nature lover at heart, she finds herself involved more and more in education and awareness, related to issues of sustainability and conservation, in North East India,today.