Shri Shyam Saran
Shri Shyam Saran IAS 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 Centre 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. In January 2011 Shyam Saran was awarded the Padma Bhushan by Government of India, for his contributions to civil service. He writes and speaks regularly on foreign policy, climate change, energy security, and national and international security-related issues.
Dr. Vinod Mathur
Dr. Vinod B. Mathur is the Director of Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. Dr. Mathur obtained his doctorate degree in wildlife ecology from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom in 1991. He is the Regional Vice-Chair of the IUCN-World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA-South Asia) and member of the International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA). He is currently serving as member of Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF), Government of India Committees on World Heritage Conservation, Biosphere Reserves, Management Effectiveness Evaluation and Environment Appraisal of Coal and Thermal Projects. For the last three decades he is actively contributing to its wide range of training, research and academic programmes in the field of biodiversity conservation and research-policy interface. He has been actively contributing on research-policy interface issues and is the member of United Nations-Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (UN-IPBES) Multidisciplinary Expert Panel (MEP). He has been part of the official Indian delegation for CBD and UNESCO World Heritage Convention Meetings since 2006 and has in-depth knowledge about the working of these conventions.
Shri Kartikeya Vikram Sarabhai
Shri Sarabhai, the founder director of Centre for Environmental Education (CEE), is one of the world’s leading environmental educators and a dedicated community builder. He served on many committees set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India, primarily focusing on the greening of India’s formal education system, and initiatives for biodiversity education. He is a member of the Earth Charter International Council. He was also part of the delegations which represented India at the Earth Summit (1992) in Rio and the Earth Summit 2002 in Johannesburg. He was also instrumental in initiating the South and Southeast Asian Network for Environment Education (SASEANEE). He is currently vice chair of the Indian National Commission for the International Union Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Winner of Padma Shri award of Government of India, Shri Sarabhai has received several international awards including the Tree of Learning Award (1998) from the IUCN.
Dr. K. Venkataraman
Dr. Venkataraman, former Director of Zoological Survey of India, currently serves as Senior Scientific Consultant of the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), Chennai. An expert taxonomist and former Member Secretary of National Biodiversity Authority of India, he continues to work on coral reef research in India and published extensively on the topic. He has conducted underwater studies in India, Hikkadua, Sri Lanka, Townsville Australia, Bandos, Maldives, Lombongon Bali, Indonesia, Philippines, Florida Miami, and Mexico.
Dr Sanjay Molur
Dr. Sanjay is the Executive Director of Zoo Outreach Organisation, Coimbatore. He is global Red List focal point for primates and invertebrates. Sanjay has been involved in assessing the global and regional status of more than 4000 species in several orders of fauna, flora and fungi in several countries in South Asia since 1995 through Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (CAMP) workshops and more recently through the Global Species Assessment workshops of SSC/IUCN and CI/CABS. He has been involved in training and conducting assessment workshops in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal in South Asia, and in Sumatra and Philippines in Southeast Asia. Molur is also the founder/ chief editor of international “Journal of Threatened Taxa”.
Ms. Jyotsana Sitling
India’s first female tribal IFS officer, genuinely passionate about the environment, Ms. Jyotsana has carried her spirit for work over the years to become the recipient of the paramount honor for environment conservation in India – the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar. Not many would have expected Jyotsna, hailing from a nondescript village in Bengal, to move the mountains. In 2002 that Jyotsna joined the Nanda Devi Biosphere in Uttarakhand, as its Director. Jyotsna studied the issue with putting both the environmental conservation and the livelihood of the people at equal priority. And when she combined both, the result was an economic gain for the people and conscious and sustainable conservation for the environment.
Dr. Balakrishna Pisupati
Dr. Balakrishna Pisupati, former Chairman of the National Biodiversity Authority and former Vice Chancellor of TransDisciplinary University, Bangalore, previously headed UNEP’s work on biodiversity, multilateral environmental agreements and the SDGs based in Nairobi, Kenya. He oversees work related synergies and interlinkages among the environmental conventions and national implementation among other responsibilities at UNEP. Mr. Pisupati has held several senior positions within the United Nations such as the Chief of Land Law, Biodiversity and Governance at UNEP, coordinator of Biodiplomacy Programme at the United Nations University. He also served as the Head of Asia Regional Programme of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). He is a lead authority in the area of biodiversity and development with a special focus on issues such as access and benefit sharing, biotrade and governance issues. He served as the lead author for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in establishing the agrobiodiversity programme portfolio besides being a part of the Biodiversity Task Force under the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED). He holds a Ph.D. in Genetics with specialization in plant biotechnology.
Dr. S.C. Gairola
Dr. Suresh Gairola is the Director-General of the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE and Additional Director General (Wildlife) at MoEFC. He holds Ph.D. in Forest Management was awarded to him by the Forest Research Institute (Deemed) University, Dehradun. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore from where he completed the postgraduate programme in public policy and management. Gairola is a forestry professional with 35-years experience and expertise in forest conservation and management, wildlife management, public policy, environmental law, research, and administration. Earlier, he has worked extensively in forest areas of Maharashtra, at policy level with Government of Maharashtra and as a Group Coordinator Research/ Director at Institute of Wood Science and Technology, Bengaluru. He was a member of Board of Governors of the ICFRE and a member of Board of Directors of Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra.
Dr. M. K. Ramesh
A highly reputed teacher of law in India, Professor Ramesh is associated with the National Law School of India, Bangalore. He also serves Chair Professor, Urban Poor and the Law, Govt. of India. His areas of specialization include International Law, Human Rights Law, Environmental Law, and Natural Resources Management Law. He is the Founder Editor of Indian Journal of Environmental Law. Recipient of the “Best Professor of Law” by the Devang Mehta Education Awards, for the year 2015; and serving as the non-official Law Expert Member of the National Biodiversity Authority. He is also a Post-Doctoral Fulbright Fellow and Visiting/Adjunct Professor in a number of Academic and Research Institutions and Law Schools in India and Abroad (KTH, Stockholm; Zurich Law School; Pace Law School, White Plains, U.S.A; Dalhousie Law School, Canada; Warwick Law School, U.K). He also advised Govt. of India on Climate Negotiations leading to the Paris Agreement, 2015.
Justice (Retd.) Prabha Sridevan
Justice (Retd.) Prabha Sridevan served as a judge of the Madras High Court and post-retirement, appointed as the Chairperson of the IPAB (Intellectual Property Appellate Tribunal) from 2011 to 2013. In her capacity as Chairperson of the IPAB, she delivered a number of important IP decisions including one relating to India’s very first (post TRIPS) compulsory licensing case. She also played a monumental role in improving the functioning of IPAB (documented here, here and here). Over the years, she’s had numerous distinctions conferred on her, two of the most important are She was named as one of the 50 most important persons in the IP world in 2012, 2013 and 2015 by Managing Intellectual Property, She was awarded the Justice Shivaraj V. Patil Award for Service to Humanity and In 2004, she was tasked by the government to head an IPR Think Tank to formulate India’s IPR policy. She is also a prolific writer and public intellectual and pens regular columns for both English and Tamil newspapers on a range of social, legal and political issues.
(Chairperson) Managing Trustee, Navdanya
Dr Vandana Shiva
Indian scholar, speaker, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, and alter-globalization author, Dr. Shiva is the founder director of Navdanya and the Chairperson of International Biodiversity Congress. Hailing from Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand, India, she completed her MSc in Physics from Punjab University, and Ph.D. from University of Western Ontario, Canada on quantum theory. She later went on to interdisciplinary research in science, technology, and environmental policy at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. In 1982, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology. This led to the creation of Navdanya in 1991, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seed, the promotion of organic farming and fair trade. She received the Right Livelihood Award in 1993, an honor known as an “Alternative Nobel Prize”.
Prof. Biswajit Dhar
Prof. Biswajit Dhar is with Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He served as Professor and Head, Centre for WTO Studies, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade; Senior Fellow, Research and Information System for the Non-aligned and Other Developing Countries, New Delhi; Senior Consultant, Planning Commission, Government of India. He works in fields such as trade and development issues; International finance; Intellectual property rights, traditional knowledge protection and sustainable use of biodiversity; Trade and environment; Agriculture.
Dr. RV Varma
Dr. R.V Varma is the Former Chairman of Kerala State Biodiversity Board. He is the co-chair of the expert committee on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) in National Biodiversity Authority. Dr.Varma is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society (FRES), London and a life member of the Indian Society for Biocontrol Advancement. He is highly acclaimed for his work on termites in forest ecosystems. Dr.Varma has over 30 years of research experience and has been working on various aspects of forest insects during his tenure at KFRI. H has over 90 publications in National and International Scientific Journals.
Dr. V.S. Vijayan
Dr. VS Vijayan is an Indian environmentalist, wildlife biologist, ornithologist, an admirer of naturopathy and the founding Director of the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History. He is currently the chairman of the Salim Ali Foundation. He served as the Chairman, Kerala State Biodiversity Board and contributed to the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) known as Gadgil Committee as a member which mooted several controversies and agitations across the Western Ghats states. His report on the Impact of a hydroelectric dam on wildlife in Silent Valley was the first scientific basis for the start of the Save Silent Valley movement. Vijayan brought the attention of the public and policymakers through his reports on the environmental impacts of the proposed Pathrakadavu hydroelectric project, Pooyamkutty hydroelectric project, Athirapilly hydroelectric project, Aranmula International Airport, genetically modified crops. He was instrumental in developing the Pupil’s Biodiversity Register for each Grama Panchayath in the state of Kerala. He also developed an organic farming policy for Kerala state
Dr. R.S. Rawal
Dr. Ranbeer S. Rawal is the Director of G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development, Uttarakhand. He completed BSc degree in 1984 from Kumaun University, Nainital, and Uttarakhand. Postgraduate degree in 1987 and doctoral degree in 1991 from the same university. His Area(s) of Specialization: Biodiversity; Floristic Ecology. R. S Rawal carrying the Designation, Scientist ‘F’. He also employed as a Director (Research and administration duties) at GBPNIHESD, Almora, and Uttarakhand and designated as a scientist at GBPIHED, Almora, and Uttarakhand. He is an expertise for Biodiversity conservation (assessment, monitoring, documentation, valuation, propagation, conservation education). .Major Activities are Research on Floristic Ecology; population studies of RET species; In charge Lead Botanical Garden GBPIHED. He has won ICFRE Award of Excellence in Forest Conservation.
Dr. Om Prakash Chaurasia
Dr. Om Prakash Chaurasia is the Director of the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), Leh-Ladakh from 15th Feb 2017. Born in 1966, Dr. O P Chaurasia obtained his Ph.D. in Botany from Magadh University, Bodh Gaya, Bihar. As an ethnobotanist par excellence, he has extensively surveyed flora of both coastal regions like Andaman & Nicobar Island as well as the trans-Himalaya region of Ladakh and Lahaul-Spiti with emphasis on medicinal plants of Defence importance. He has pioneered research on cold arid agro-technologies and protected cultivation that has largely contributed towards food security of troops in strategic Ladakh sector. He has also developed several herbal products viz., Seabuckthorn Beverage, Seabuckthorn Herbal Tea, Seabuckthorn Soft Gel Capsule, Herbal Antioxidant, Herbal Adaptogenic Appetizer, Herbal Adaptogenic Performance Enhancer, Joint Care Gel, Anti Blemishes Cream etc., from indigenous trans-Himalayan medicinal plants, especially Seabuckthorn, with targeted health benefits for troops deployed in high altitude regions. He has 11 patents for which technology has been commercialized. Dr. Chaurasia has published more than 50 research papers in various national and international journals and authored books on Cold Desert Plants in 05 volumes and Ethnobotany & Plants of trans-Himalaya.
Shri Dorjey Mutup
Dorjey Mutup is the Chairman and Chief Executive Councillor, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh. He is committed to achieving the goals taking together all parties for common good and welfare of people of Leh district. Stressing on the phrase, ‘equality is the quality of Hill Council’ Mr. Mutup said that his endeavor would be to ensure equal development in all sectors, regions, and communities with quality work.
Ms. Renate Elly Künast is a German politician of Alliance ’90/The Greens and a lawyer. She was the Minister of Consumer Protection, Food, and Agriculture in Germany from 2001 to 2005. In 2010, Künast was named by Foreign Policy magazine to its list of top global thinkers, for taking Green mainstream. She was a pioneer in the area of consumer protection and was involved in many reformative steps in Germany including empowering consumers and their rights, supporting organic farming, and improving animal welfare. She is one of the loudest voice in the arena of organic food production and author of books in the fields of ecology and health. She also played a key role in making Germany a leader in wind power production and the second most leading country in solar power in the world. Today Künast is often known as Berlin’s most powerful Green and is a strong voice in the fight against global climate change.
International Director, Regeneration International, Queensland, Australia
Mr. Andre Leu
Mr Andre Leu is the International Director of Regeneration International, an organization that promotes food, farming and land use systems that regenerate and stabilise climate systems, the health of the planet and people, communities, culture and local economies, democracy and peace. Author of ‘Poisoning our Children’ and the ‘Myths of Safe Pesticides.’ He is the president of IFOAM – Organics International, the world change agent and umbrella body for the organic sector. Andre has a degree in Communications, with a double major in Video/TV Production and Socio-political Theory. He has post-graduate qualifications in adult education. He lectures and teaches at universities, institutions and workshops around the world. He speaks at numerous conferences, seminars, workshops as well as United Nations events on every continent. He meets with governments, industry, farmers, consumers and NGOs on the multi-functional benefits of regenerative organic agriculture. He has an extensive knowledge of farming and environmental systems across Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa and Australasia from over 40 years of visiting and working in over 100 countries.
Shri T. Vijay Kumar
Shri T Vijaya Kumar I.A.S (Retired) is Advisor, Agriculture, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh. He is the prime mover of Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) in Andhra Pradesh, a movement to remain away from synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and rejuvenate the degraded soil. Under this initiative Andhra Pradesh inches towards becoming India’s first natural farming State, covering 60 lakh farmers and 12,294-gram panchayats by 2024, and 80 lakh hectares or 90% of the cultivable area by 2026. For Mr. Kumar, a 1983-batch IAS officer, heralding a natural farming era is a dream and comes at the end of a long career, 28 years of which were spent on the Tribal, Rural, and Agriculture Development Departments. After retiring in September 2016, he became an adviser to the government on agriculture and vice-chairman of the Rythu Sadhikara Samstha, a not-for-profit company set up by the government to usher in natural farming.
Dr. G.G Gangadharan
Dr. G. G. Gangadharan, a practicing Ayurvedic physician, is currently the Director of MS Ramaiah Indic Centre for Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine based in Bangalore, India. He started his career at Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, India, and has been actively leading many initiatives to promote Ayurveda and use of medicinal plants. He then served as head of the healthcare center at FRLHT for over a decade. He is an expert on authentic Ayurvedic methods of diagnosis – especially pulse diagnosis – and treatment and successfully treats lifestyle disorders. He has dedicated himself to the propagation of Ayurveda knowledge and promoting the use of Ayurveda and local health traditions at the grass root level in rural parts of India. He obtained his Ph.D. from Tilak Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, Pune in 2013 and a Master of Management degree from McGill University, Canada. He also has a fellowship from Ashoka Innovators for the Public (FAIP, USA). He is on the advisory boards of many governments and private bodies dedicated for education and promotion of Ayurveda and medicinal plants. He is proactively involved in the activities of organizations like CISSA, where he is the president, which engages itself in activities that purport to restore the glory of Ayurveda in particular and holistic traditions in general.
Dr. Mira Shiva
Dr. Mira Shiva, MD in Medicine from Christian Medical College Ludhiana, Punjab is engaged with Comprehensive Primary Health Care, issues of Gender justice, social and health equity over the last three decades. She was involved in relief work and health impact studies after Bhopal Gas Tragedy. She has been involved with issues of Rational Drug Policy & Rational use of Drugs, Women & Child Health, Food & Nutrition security, Food Safety & Biosafety, Environment & Health, Using law for Public Health. She is a Founder Member of Peoples Health Movement and its Steering Committee Member. She is Founder Member & former Chairperson of Health Action International (Asia Pacific) and is Coordinator of Initiative for Health & Equity in Society, Founder Coordinator & Co-convenor All India Drug Action Network. She is also the recipient of the Women Scientists Award in 2006 by Science and Society section, Dept. of Science & Technology for “prevention of misuse of Medicines & Medical Technologies.
Dr. James P Buchanan
Dr. JP Buchanan serves as the Professor and Executive Director, The Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, Xavier University, USA. He studied comparative religions and ethics at Yale University and the University of Chicago, where he completed a Ph.D. He also studied and taught in Paris, Moscow, Beijing and Hong Kong. Buchanan formerly held the Besl Family Chair and Professorship in ethics/religion & society at Xavier and the Carolyn Werner Gannett Chair in humanities at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has lectured worldwide and published widely on a range of global ethical issues.
Dr. Erach Bharucha
Dr. Erach Bharucha is the Director of Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research. He has been active in various fields of wildlife and nature conservation over the past 45 years. He has been a member and an executive functionary on several conservation institutions including the Bombay Natural History Society, Worldwide Fund for Nature, Wildlife Institute of India and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History. He developed the BVIEER in Pune which has grown into a multi-faceted environment educational institution.
Dr. Konrad Uebelhör
Dr. Konrad Uebelhoer is the Director of the Indo-German Biodiversity Programme. Indo-German Biodiversity Programme. Dr. Konrad Uebelhör holds a Ph.D. from the University of Munich, specializing in the fields of silviculture, forest ecology, and management. Since 1984, he has worked in long-term assignments in the Philippines, Malaysia, Honduras, and Namibia on tropical silviculture, natural resources management, and environmental policy. At GIZ head office, Dr. Konrad was responsible from 2004-2010 for the sectoral project “Implementing the Biodiversity Convention”.
Dr Deepak Apte
Dr. Deepak Apte is currently serving as the Director of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). He did M.Sc. in Zoology and Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from the University of Mumbai. Prior to becoming the Director, he was the Chief Operating Officer and has previously worked as a Principal Scientist. Dr. Apte is an active researcher in various programmes related to conservation action and advocacy. He established a full-fledged Marine Conservation Programme in BNHS, apart from various conservation initiatives in terrestrial habitats across India. Dr. Apte will now be responsible for managing the overall working of BNHS, including its future course of action, based on the in-house Strategic Initiatives. He aims to strengthen and expand the research and conservation action of BNHS by inviting efforts from scientists, conservationists, and young researchers.
Prof. Mohammed Latif Khan
Dr. Khan is Professor at Dept. of Botany, Dr. Hari Singh Gour Central University, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. He served as Coordinator of Scientific & Industrial Research Cell and also Deputy Coordinator of Bioinformatics Centre at North Eastern Regional Institute of Science & Technology, Arunachal Pradesh. He is a plant ecologist and conservation biologist, obtained his doctoral degree from North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India. His research interests have gradually expanded from tree regeneration to the fields of biodiversity conservation and eco-restoration. Dr. Khan is presently engaged in the studies on conservation and regeneration of endangered and medicinal plant species, inventory and analyses of biodiversity of sacred groves, exploration of germplasm of bamboo and cane species. He also has a research collaboration with Concordia University, Canada, Grand Valley State University and Kansas University, USA. He is a recipient of DST-BOYSCAST and DBT-Overseas fellowships in thrust area ‘Biodiversity Conservation’ and worked as visiting faculty at University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA, and Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Dr. Khan is the member of several professional national and international societies.
Dr. A Biju Kumar
Dr. Biju Kumar is currently Dean of Science, Director of Centre for Global Academics and Professor in the Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, University of Kerala. An expert in biodiversity and aquatic ecosystem studies, who described more than 25 new species and several new genera, Dr. Kumar is the recipient of several awards including the young scientist awards of Government of Kerala and Indian Academy of Environmental Sciences. He has served as the member secretary in-charge of Kerala State Biodiversity Board. Authored 29 books, over 200 research papers, and over 300 popular articles, he likes to travel, public speaking and photography.
Shri Bittu Sehgal
An environmental activist and writer, is the founding editor of Sanctuary Asia, a wildlife and ecology magazine based in India. He is a member of the National Board for Wildlife of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. He founded Sanctuary Asia in 1981 at the suggestion of Fateh Singh Rathore who told him to “start a wildlife magazine. So that city people learn to appreciate wildlife and do less damage!”. He founded Cub Magazine. He has authored numerous book on wildlife including, most recently: India Naturally, The Bandhavgarh Inheritance, The Sundarbans Inheritance, The Bharatpur Inheritance, The Kaziranga Inheritance, The Corbett Inheritance, and The Periyar Inheritance. He writes for both English and local language newspapers and magazines in India. He has produced over 30 conservation-related documentaries.
Shri B.P. Singh
Shri Balmiki Prasad Singh was the 14th Governor of Sikkim, India. He is an intellectual, writer and former IAS officer, who has written a number of books and articles relating to Indian culture, in particular, the culture of North-East India. Among his prominent books are Bahudha and the post 9/11 World and The problem of change: a study of North East India. He presided over the four-day Global Buddhist Conference in 2011 to mark the 2,600th year of Buddha’s enlightenment. Around 1,000 Buddhist scholars, thinkers and followers from over 30 countries were present.. B.P. Singh is also the principal architect of the Bahudha Approach, which outlines a path towards a harmonious world, as against the clash of civilizations. Over the past four decades, Shri B.P. Singh has held a variety of important positions within Assam as well as in the Government of India. He was Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forest (1993–95), Culture Secretary (1995–97) and Home Secretary (1997–99) in Government of India.