Indian born conservation biologist has worked extensively in the Himalaya on biodiversity conservation to climate change issues
Dr. Kamal Bawa, a noted, Indian born, conservation biologist and President of the Bengaluru, India-based Ashoka Trust for Research and Ecology and Environment (ATREE) has been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences.
Election to the 170-year-old Academy is a recognition of the significant contributions to science by its members, ATREE said in a press release on May 5. Bawa is also an elected fellow of the Royal Society (London) and the American Philosophical Society.
“The election is the reaffirmation of our important work on the ecology, conservation, and management of tropical forests that are declining all over the world but are critical to humanity’s well-being,” said Bawa.
Biodiversity in tropical forests and other natural habitats is an important source of many ecosystem services and for the mitigation of climate change. ATREE, founded by Bawa is well recognized for its work on assessing and managing biodiversity, climate change, and water.
A Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Bawa has done extensive work in the Himalaya for a number of years on a wide range of issues from biodiversity conservation to climate change.
A few years ago, Dr. Bawa brought together scientists from India’s leading institutions to develop the National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Wellbeing under the banner of the Biodiversity Collaborative.
The effort was supported by the office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and is currently funded by the Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies.
“Biodiversity is an integral part of our lives and the ways we can enhance and use it to secure food and nutrition, fight climate change, and restore our degraded landscapes are some of the important goals of the Mission in making,” said Rohini Nilekani.
“Kamal Bawa’s election underscores the importance of our biodiversity and ATREE’s important work in this crucial area that is so important for our future,” remarked Professor P. Balaram, former Director of the Indian Institute of Science, and Co-Chair of ATREE’s Board of Trustees.
Bawa has published more than 200 papers and has authored or edited more than 10 books, and special issues of journals.
His latest coffee table book Himalaya: The Mountains of Life, a companion volume to Sahyadri: India’s Western Ghats, was published in 2013.