GUWAHATI, Dec 2 - The eighth edition of the Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics� Forum, the flagship annual event of the Balipara Foundation, went live on Tuesday virtually with a global audience on the theme of �Ecology is Economy�.
Bringing together 110 speakers across 23 countries, the Forum will be running live digitally till December 5, bringing together experts and leading voices across continents and the Eastern Himalayan region to discuss the pathway to a green recovery with ecology at the centre.
Balipara Foundation founder, Ranjit Barthakur, opened the forum by introducing a striking vision for the North-east and the Eastern Himalayan countries for creating the natural wealth of nations. He called for the better valuation of nature, and the creation of an ecological budget across the Eastern Himalayan region � and for this to be the driver behind all financial budgets.
�Using natural assets to create natural capital would create much more than the employment we are creating in cities. We had the agricultural revolution, industrial revolution, technology revolution and now it is time for the Naturenomics� revolution � the interdependence between nature and economics. The time for a revolution in ecology and economy is here,� he said.
This was followed by a short talk on how the Balipara Foundation�s proprietary framework Rural Futures has created $73 million in natural capital across 5,000 hectares in Assam, delivered by Saurav Malhotra, co-designer of the framework.
The Balipara Foundation then launched the second volume of Rural Futures, titled, The Naturenomics� Ecological Revolution, based on recommendations from the first Naturenomics� Dialogues hosted virtually in June this year, with experts and thought leaders from around the world. The report expands on these recommendations and analyses the potential of a re-wilding economy in the North-east, estimated to be 4.2 million hectares and Rs 4.2 trillion over a 30-year period.
The next session brought together global leaders like Amitabh Kant (CEO, Niti Aayog), Shyam Saran, TV Narendran (Tata Steel), Desiree Driesenaar and S Ramadorai to share their thoughts on the roadmap to achieving �ecology is economy�.
�Ecology and social capital and value is when we are able to see the value of a tree that is growing in the forest and the value it is creating for us,� said Shyam Saran, pointing to the fact that without sustainable development, all development will end up at a dead end.
�The North-east can be a powerhouse for �ecology is economy�,� said Amitabh Kant. �By re-wilding the economy, building local sustainable value chains, driving mitigation and adaptation, balance the urban and rural to build Rural Futures, then the North-east can truly become a global leader.�