Press kit for 8th TN Khoshoo Memorial Award and Lecture

Equitable and sustainable management of the commons

Ecology, Environment and development awards: TN Khoshoo Memorial Awards

Nobel laureate talks about collective action and polycentric governance in managing common property resources

Dr. Elinor Ostrom, 2009 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences gave the 8th TN Khoshoo Memorial Lecture held in Bangalore. ‘Socio-ecological systems are diverse, as should be the solutions for governing them’, she said.Talking about the many variables that can change the outcome of collective governance action in different social-ecological systems, Dr. Ostrom used a study on seven Bangalore lakes as an example. Only two of the seven lakes studied were able to cope with pollution and also had a high degree of collective action. She said that evidence of over twenty to thirty years work indicates that collective action is difficult but not impossible. She explained how effective collective action would be more effective with polycentric, but nested governance, particularly with interconnected urban lake systems.

TN Khoshoo Memorial Award is given annually to a young person who has made significant achievements in promoting inclusive conservation or advancing environmentally sound development. Two awards were given this year, one to Sandeep Tambe, Special Secretary in the Department of Rural Management and Development, Government of Sikkim, and Hemlata Pradhan, an artist who specializes in painting orchids.

Sandeep Tambe got the award for his efforts in sustainability and community-based governance of common property resources in Sikkim. His work ranges from improving efficiency in the management of NREGA scheme that has directly affected livelihood security, to biodiversity conservation, to addressing rural water scarcity through action on revival of local water bodies in drought prone areas of Sikkim.

Hemlata Pradhan’s work on Indian wild orchids and jewel orchids are part of her effort to immortalize the biodiversity she sees disappearing. Her works are exhibited at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens of England, and also feature on a set of six Bhutanese postage stamps. Her dream is to begin an art school to promote nature conservation from the grassroot level.

The first TN Khoshoo Ecology and Environment Award for Schools was presented by Dr. Ostrom to two schools from Bangalore: KK English High School (first prize) and Sri Vani Education Center (second prize); and two schools from Delhi, Salwan Public School (first prize) and Father Agnel School (second prize). The school awards are given for innovative and thoughtful action on local environmental issues.

About TN Khoshoo Memorial Award and Lecture
The TN Khoshoo Memorial Award and Lecture is the key activity of the Khoshoo Endowment Fund, set up in memory of the late Dr Triloki Nath Khoshoo, India’s first Secretary of the Department of Environment and environmentalist. The Khoshoo Endowment Fund recognizes outstanding contributions in the fields of environment and development in India. It has been set up by the Khoshoo family, along with partners who share its values of socially just conservation and environmentally sustainable development -- Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), and Institute of Rural Research and Development (IRRAD, a Sehgal Foundation Initiative).

Khoshoo speaker and awardee profiles