The United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) chief environmental economist and senior economic advisor, Pushpam Kumar, will give a virtual talk, “Making Nature Count through Inclusive Wealth Measurement,” through Zoom on Friday, May 28, at 10 a.m. at Cal State San Bernardino.

Kumar leads work on Response to COVID-19, Pollution and Human Capital, Nature Based Solutions, Inclusive Wealth, Sustainable Development Goals and Nature-Human Development Nexus. He has been a key figure in designing, implementing and providing leadership to the operationalization of concept of natural capital and its mainstreaming into development design and policy. 

Natural capital can be defined as the world’s stocks of natural assets, which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things. It is from this natural capital that humans derive a wide range of services, often called ecosystem services, which make human life possible.

Following Kumar’s talk will be a 15-20 min Q&A session, said Mahmood Nikbakhtzadeh, an assistant professor of environmental health science in the Department of Health Science & Human Ecology, who invited Kumar and coordinated his talk.

The talk is funded through the university’s Intellectual Life Fund, which is designed to enhance the university’s intellectual vitality by bringing campus presenters such as professors, artists, policymakers, professionals, public servants, or diplomats that have something unique and important to offer to CSUSB students, faculty and staff. 

Kumar has been elected member of the Board of International Society for Ecological Economics, Indian Society for Ecological Economics and European Society for Ecological Economics. He has many publications in peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Bioscience, Ecological Economics, Ambio, and Ecosystem Services and International Development. His opinion pieces have appeared in State of the Planet (Earth Institute, N.Y.), Down to Earth (India), and the World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland).

Kumar has a Ph.D. in environmental/ecological economics and has been with the University of Liverpool and the University of Delhi from 1991-2010 as a professor in environmental economics. He holds the position of Honorary Research Scientist at the Earth Institute of Columbia University in New York and is a distinguished professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is one of the global experts of the master’s Academy of DeTao Group, Shanghai, China. He has taught in India, the United Kingdom and the United States, and regularly conducts training programs in economics of nature for senior policy makers. 

For more information on Pushpam Kumar, visit his biography page at the UN Environment Programme website.

Also visit the Cal State San Bernardino Intellectual Life Fund’s website for information in its programs.