Renowned Indian environmental economist Pavan Sukhdev has been chosen for the prestigious global environment award i.e., The Tyler Prize 2020.
Sukhdev’s contribution to finding economic consequences of environment degradation and bringing them up for discussions at the corporate and policy levels has been tremendous.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) hosted Sukhdev’s 2008 report titled The Economics of Environment and Biodiversity (TEEB), which laid the foundation for the Green economy movement.
Eventually in 2009, the UN Environment appointed Sukhdev to lead the movement that strives for greening of economies as a means to encourage employment and fight poverty.
“His work, particularly with UNEP’s TEEB and the Green Economy Initiative has led to extraordinary improvements in our understanding of the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Tyler Prize Chair on Sukhdev’s achievement.
Sukhdev’s Reaction to Tyler Prize 2020
“This award is equally a recognition of UNEP and its vibrant and active TEEB community,” says Sukhdev.
He further explains that one need not necessarily be an environmentalist to care for environment.
“Just ask a farmer who now has to rent beehives to pollinate his crops, because there are no longer enough bees in wild nature to do the job for free. But bees don’t send invoices, so the value of their services is not recognized,” Sukhdev adds.
What UN Environment Said?
Sukhdev’s works on ecosystem services and biodiversity have helped in understanding their role in ensuring a healthy global environment and 2020 will be crucial in realizing this goal, says the UN Environment.
The UN body further informed about the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030).
“Sukhdev’s phenomenal contribution to the global understanding of ecological and environmental value will define our approach to conservation for generations to come,” says Satya S Tripathi, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of UNEP New York.
Sukhdev will receive the Taylor Prize along with Gretchen C. Daily, Bing Professor of Environmental Science at Stanford University and founder of the Natural Capital Project. The duo will get a gold medallion and also a USD 200,000 cash prize.
Sukhdev is currently the president of WWF International and also owns an NGO named GIST that works on economic externalities arising from natural and human capital.