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Need to look at biodiversity to fight poverty: Gunter Pauli

May 15, 2015

There is a need for celebrating biodiversity as an important component for eradicating poverty, said Gunter Pauli, author of the book, The Blue Economy, version 2.0.

To Choose our Future and The Blue Economy

New Delhi: There is a need to outcompete the existing systems that fail to reach out to the majority of the population and the idea should be to translate growth into better nutrition and more jobs for the majority of people instead of filling the pockets of just a few.

These were some of the thoughts that emerged during the release of two books, To Choose Our Future by Dr Ashok Khosla and The Blue Economy, version 2.0 by Professor Gunter Pauli. The books were released in New Delhi by Maneka Gandhi, India’s Minister for Women and Child Development.

Summing up the ideas contained in these books, both the authors called for building people’s capacities to earn decent livelihoods. Drawing attention to the potential of biodiversity in not just eliminating malnutrition but also for creating jobs in a sustainable way, Gunter highlighted the need for celebrating biodiversity as an important component for eradicating poverty.

“Poor people are heavily relying on a starch based diet. We can exploit locally grown fruits and vegetables to make the diet of people protein rich. And, one does not need to worry too much about the investment for creating rich biodiversity as bees and birds are working enough to ensure that biodiversity remains rich,” he said.

Gunter Pauli’s book, The Blue Economy, demonstrates ways by which science can help society in designing meaningful opportunities for creating livelihoods and also the goods and services that enable ordinary people meet their everyday needs.

Ashok Khosla, Chairman of Development Alternatives, a civil society organization, believes that developing countries like India need to invest heavily in women and children for improving the overall human well being.

Stressing on the need for nurturing all types of capital including the human, natural, physical and financial, Khosla urged for enhanced investment in the natural resources.

Realizing that the government alone cannot achieve the goal of sustainable development, Khosla called for strengthening civil society to improve governance.

Khosla’s book, To Choose Our Future, describes alternative development strategies that can enable the human society to pass on to the future generations, a more prosperous, vibrant and sustainable India than the present times.

The book draws upon lessons from 30 years of work on sustainable national development, led by Development Alternatives under the Chairmanship of Dr Ashok Khosla. The book presents some basic scenarios of the future to enable the people and the policy makers to make better informed choices among possible pathways that will lead to sustainable outcomes in the least possible time – for the greatest common benefit, and at least overall cost.

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