Environmental economist Karachepone Ninan spent the spring in Gothenburg
Teaching doctoral students, cooperating with researchers and learning about the Swedish culture has been the life of environmental economist Karachepone Ninan for the last few months. He has been the Visiting Professor of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, which is a programme sponsored by the Indian Embassy, at the Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg.
So what have you learned about Sweden?
– As far as academic life is concerned I have found that there are a lot of activities taking place in the department, such as several research seminar series and international collaborative projects. I am very proud to be associated with this particular department which has internationally well-known professors, like Thomas Sterner. I feel very privileged to have been interacting with the doctoral students. I have taught some classes in the course on Natural resource modelling and policy instruments, mainly on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and social cost benefit analysis using case studies from India.
– Apart from the academic experience I have learned a lot about Swedish culture. For example, in India you never see men pushing prams with babies which I see as a sign of gender equality here. People are quite reserved here, so life is very different compared to in Bangalore city from where I come.
What will you do when you go back to India?
– I am involved in the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), which is similar to the IPCC (climate panel). I am one of the co-chairs representing developing countries of the methodological assessment of scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystem services. This assessment report prepared by over 80 scientists from all over the world will aid governments and decision makers to know the usefulness of using scenarios and models to visualize plausible futures of environmental outcomes and take proactive steps to address these such as global warming, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
– Also, I am editing a book on building a climate resilient economy and society-challenges and opportunities jointly with a professor from the University of Tokyo.
Climate change in India
Recently Karachepone Ninan held a public lecture on "Climate Change: Economics, Environment and Public Policy - With Special Reference to India" where he discussed the challenges facing India in transiting to a low-carbon economy and society, especially in accelerating economic growth and meeting pressing development needs such as eliminating poverty, improving access to health and sanitation, etc. without compromising the need to address the risks posed by climate change. One of the participants was Vijai Kumar, Counsellor at the Embassy of India (right).