February 16, 2012 – "Global Change, Biodiversity and Poverty: Insights from the Himalaya" with Kamaljit S. Bawa, Professor, Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts-BostonGlobal change in the form of climate, land use and biodiversity change is underway in the Himalayas at an unprecedented rapid rate. The Himalayas are the most spectacular of the 34 global hotspots of biodiversity. With about 15 000 glaciers—the highest concentration in the world— these mountains are also the source of Asia's eight largest rivers. More than 2.0 billion people inhabit the basins of these rivers. Thus global change in the Himalayas is likely to have serious consequences for almost one third of the humanity. In the first part of his talk, Kamal will present recent data from his group on climate and land use change in the Himalayas. In the second part, he will outline the constraints in maintaining multi-functional landscapes that could conserve ecosystem services and foster human wellbeing. In the third and final part, he will comment on the knowledge and institutions required to promote landscape resilience.
Kamal Bawa, an evolutionary ecologist and a conservation biologist, obtained his doctoral degree from Panjab University, India. He has held Bullard and Cabot Fellowships at Harvard University, and has also been named a Guggenheim Fellow as well as a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment. He is the editor-in-chief of Conservation and Society, an interdisciplinary journal in conservation and has served as the President of the Association for Tropical Biology. Kamal is the founder-president of the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), a non- governmental organization devoted to research, policy analysis, and education in India (www.atree.org). He is also a founder-trustee of the Center for Interdisciplinary studies in Environment and Development, Bangalore, India (www.cised.org).
The Biodiversity, Ecology, and Global Change lecture series is sponsored by the Harvard University Center for the Environment with generous support from Bank of America. The lecture will be followed by a reception.