On September 5, 2022, Anek Dhara, a public policy platform, organised a panel discussion on “Nature and National Development: Can They Go Together in India?”
Prof. Mahesh Rangarajan of Ashoka University and Prof. Harini Nagendra of Azim Premji University dwelt on the themes of “Nature and the Nation: History, Ecology, and Indian Futures” and “Ecology and the Indian City: Contestations and Collaborations” respectively. Sri Devender Singh IRTS (Retd), Naturalist, Bird watcher, Wildlife Enthusiast, Lepidopterist, Photographer, and Ex-Civil Servant, moderated the session.
Prof. Prof. Mahesh Rangarajan made a perceptible observation that Nature and Development conundrum could probably be resolved if one were to “draw on science” and also draw on “experience of democratic ways of functioning” as “the democracy provided checks and balances”.
Prof. Harini Nagendra presented how city development interacts with (or degrades) the nature in general and enriched her presentation with live examples from Bengaluru. She says with prescience that “unless we recognize local foraging, local cultural and spiritual values we can’t hope to protect urban ecosystems”.
Sri Devender Singh shared his thoughts on the topic and also moderated a lively discussion on a broad range of issues.