Pavan Sukhdev has been awarded the 2020 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for his work bringing the finance and environmental sectors together.
Mr Sukhdev was chosen to lead a study into the economic benefits of biodiversity and the economic costs of its degradation and loss, which lead to the publication of first report of ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity’ (TEEB) in 2008. Following the publication, news outlets around the world began to dedicate headlines to the staggering cost of deforestation to the global economy. The TEEB report then went on to become a foundation for the Green Economy movement.
The UN appointed Mr Sukhdev to lead the ‘Green Economy Initiative’, one of the nine Joint Crisis Initiatives launched in 2009 by the UN Secretary General. The Initiative demonstrated that the greening of economies is actually a new engine for economic growth, a source of new employment, and a means to poverty alleviation.
Describing the economic invisibility of nature, Pavan said:
You don’t have to be an environmentalist to care about protecting the 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
Satya S. Tripathi, UN Assistant Secretary-General has said “Mr Sukhdev’s phenomenal contribution to the global understanding of ecological and environmental value will define our approach to conservation for generations to come.”
Pavan was awarded the CIEEM Medal in 2011 for his distinguished contribution to the economic valuation of the natural environment.