2 September 2021

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta awarded Kew International Medal

Economist Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta was awarded the prestigious medal following the publication of the landmark report ‘The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review’.

By Kew Science News

Terraces of green grass in Madagascar

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta has, today, been awarded the 14th Kew International Medal for his passion and commitment to protect nature and stop biodiversity loss for the long-term benefit of people and the planet.

Dasgupta, who is one of the world’s most respected economists, was chosen to receive the prestigious medal following the publication of his ground-breaking report ‘The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review’, published earlier this year.

Bringing together the language, terms and concepts of economists and ecologists to explain the economics of biodiversity, the report delivers the clear-cut message that our relationship with Nature must change if we are to survive.

It further highlights that biodiversity is being lost faster than at any time in our human history and how economies and financial systems need an overhaul.

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta holding the Kew International Medal
Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta has been awarded the 14th Kew International Medal © Ines Stuart-Davidson/RBG Kew.

Director of RBG Kew, Richard Deverell, said:

“The premise of Dasgupta’s Review is very much at the heart of RBG Kew’s own work and mission – that all life on Earth, including humanity, depends on Nature. Kew’s experience in over 100 countries documenting, protecting and promoting the sustainable use of biodiversity supports his conclusion that our demands on Nature are untenable. We are extremely thankful for Partha’s authorship of this review, the first of its kind and delivered at a critical moment for humanity with planetary health on a knife edge. As we look ahead to COP26 we hope Partha’s report will materially shape global policies and commitments.”

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta behind a podium delivering a lecture at Kew Gardens
Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta delivering a lecture at Kew Gardens © Ines Stuart-Davidson/RBG Kew.

Dasgupta was awarded the medal at a lecture at Kew Gardens and said:

“Our long-term prosperity relies on rebalancing our demand of Nature’s goods and services with its capacity to supply them. To do so requires bringing face to face economics and ecology. I’m delighted and honoured to accept this award, from a world-renowned institution which continues to contribute so much to our understanding of the latter.”

What is the Kew International Medal?

Established in 1992, the medal is presented to one individual a year whose vital work is in line with Kew’s mission.

While anyone can submit a nominee, the recipient of the annual medal is selected by a panel comprising the Director of RBG Kew, Trustees and Executive Board Members, for their valuable work in science and conservation.

Previous medal winners 

The Kew International Medal has previously been awarded to many notable figures for their important work in the fields of science and conservation, including Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury (1994), Sir David Attenborough (1996), Stella Ross-Craig (1999), Margaret Stones (2000), Mary Grieson (2003), Peter H. Raven (2009), Jared Diamond (2012), E. O. Wilson (2014), Dr Kiat W. Tan (2015), Professor Sebsebe Demissew (2016), President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón (2017), former Irish President, Mary Robinson (2018) and Professor Sandra Diaz (2020).

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