Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, MoEFCC, appreciates partnership with GIZ & the spotlight on economic valuation of ecosystems through TEEB India Initiative

The Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC) and GIZ’s Indo-German Biodiversity Programme, jointly organised a final review 2-day workshop on July 21st and 22nd, 2015 at New Delhi, that included presentations and discussion of results and recommendations by experts on the TEEB India Initiative case studies.

The 12 ecosystems case studies, on sectoral themes of Forests, Inland Wetlands and Coastal and Marine conducted from the economic, ecological and social perspectives, are expected to be presented at the upcoming International TEEB Dialogue slated for September 2015.

In his opening address, Mr. Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, MoEFCC, while appreciating the partnership with GIZ, stressed on the need to integrate sustainable practices in all initiatives. He mentioned that ecosystems valuation is not merely a concern restricted to India and Germany, but is an issue that needs to be focussed on globally. He was hopeful that these studies would ignite a public debate on the economic benefits of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Mr. Heiko Warnken, Head of Economic Cooperation and Development, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in India, thanked the MoEFCC for the fruitful collaboration with the German government and also for highlighting the significance of biodiversity.

Leading experts reviewed all 12 case studies presented by the study teams and commented on the learnings that had emerged. Focussed communication methodologies and a dissemination strategy were also discussed to maximise awareness of the economic value of assets and promoting a participatory approach.

Mr. Hem Pande, Additional Secretary, MoEFCC, while thanking GIZ, stated that the TEEB India Initiative had successfully synergised economy and ecology. He made a special note of the fact that this partnership was unique because the Indian ministry had been very well represented and engaged with since inception. According to him, this initiative had enabled the creation of a community of scholars, and he was hopeful that these studies would be showcased at COP Paris.

As a way forward, Mr. Pande hoped that the networking which had begun would continue, and that this initiative would be the starting point for many more studies to be conducted.

The event was moderated by Dr. J.R. Bhatt, Advisor, MoEFCC, and also saw the participation of GIZ India country director, Dr. Wolfgang Hannig and Mr. Edgar Endrukaitis, Director, Indo-German Biodiversity Programme.

Media coverage (BUsiness Standard, July 23, 2015) : http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/environment-min-holds-workshop-on-loss-of-biodiversity-115072301421_1.html

(In the photo, l to r: Dr. Bhat, Mr. Hem Pande, Mr. Ashok Lavasa, Mr. Heiko Warnken, Dr. Wolfgang Hannig, Mr. Edgar Endrukaitis)

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