Colloquium on Forests and Climate

New Thinking for Transformational Change

24 September 2014, Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University, New York

Pushpam Kumar

Green economy for rural prosperity

One of the major emerging issues for the global community is the question of how to enhance human capability to bring transformational change toward a green economy. Two elements are critical for bringing about this transformation for the seven billion people on the planet: to organize and resolve trade-offs; and to identify indirect drivers of change such as investment and other macroeconomic factors. If we manage to change the ways in which progress is measured, and at the same time succeed in demonstrating and internalizing the economic worth of natural capital, we have a chance of making the green economy a reality.

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Dr Pushpam Kumar is currently Chief, Ecosystem Services Economics Unit, Division of Environment Programme Implementation, UNEP, where he works on mainstreaming of ecosystem services into development policy.  He has engaged in international scientific assessments on biodiversity and ecosystems and climate change. Dr. Kumar was Co-coordinating Lead Author and Co-coordinator, Responses Working Group for Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and Lead Author for the Fourth Assessment of the IPCC (Mitigation) – recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He was also the Scientific Co-coordinator of the Conceptual Framework for the TEEB. Dr. Kumar has published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals of international repute.  He has authored, coauthored, edited and co- edited more than 10 books. Currently, he also leads the GEF-supported project “Mainstreaming of ecosystem services into development policies (project known as ‘Proecoserv’), coordinates the “Inclusive Wealth Report”, “Valuation of Options” under Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Partnership, and co-chairs the Policy and Technical Expert Committee (PTEC) of the World Bank-led Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES).