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Pavan Sukhdev
Sukhdev in October 2013
Born (1960-03-30) 30 March 1960 (age 63)
Delhi, India
Alma materCollège du Léman, Switzerland

Dover College, United Kingdom

University of Oxford, UK
OccupationEnvironmental economist

Pavan Sukhdev is an Indian environmental economist whose field of studies include green economy and international finance. He was the Special Adviser and Head of UNEP's Green Economy Initiative, a major UN project suite to demonstrate that greening of economies is not a burden on growth but rather a new engine for growing wealth, increasing decent employment, and reducing persistent poverty. Pavan was also the Study Leader for the ground breaking TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) study commissioned by G8+5 and hosted by UNEP. Under his leadership, TEEB sized the global problem of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation in economic and human welfare terms, and proposed solutions targeted at policy-makers, administrators, businesses and citizens. TEEB presented its widely acclaimed Final Report suite at the UN meeting by Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya (Nagoya Protocol), Japan.[1]

He is the Founder-CEO of GIST Advisory, a specialist consulting firm which helps governments and corporations discover, measure, value, and manage their impacts on natural and human capital.[2] In recognition of his continuing work in helping governments and corporations transition towards a Green Economy, UNEP appointed Pavan as the UNEP Goodwill Ambassador in the year 2012.[3] He was also selected as the "Personality of the Year" by, Environmental Finance in the year 2010.[4] The Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) have awarded Pavan their 2011 Medal.[1]

Pavan was a visiting fellow at Yale University from 2011 to 2014, where he was awarded the McCluskey Fellowship.[5] Whilst at Yale, he wrote the book "Corporation 2020" which envisions tomorrow's corporation, and shows how corporations and society can and should work together to achieve common goals and build a green economy.[1]

He has chaired the World Economic Forum's "Global Agenda Council" on Ecosystems and Biodiversity (2009–2011) and was a speaker at Davos in 2010 and 2011.[1] He currently serves on the boards of Conservation International, Global Reporting Initiative, TEEB for Business Coalition, Gulbenkian Oceans Initiative, and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. He was the president of the World Wide Fund for Nature from 2017 to 2021.



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Pavan Sukhdev has studied in private international school Collège du Léman.[citation needed] He graduated with a degree in physics from University College, Oxford.[6]

Financial markets

An international banker, Pavan was deeply involved in the evolution of India's currency, interest rate and derivatives markets in the mid-nineties, working with India's regulators and market participants.[7] He has been a member of several Reserve Bank of India (RBI) committees for the development of India's financial markets, including the Sodhani Committee on Foreign Exchange Markets. In 1997 Pavan co-founded FIMMDA (Fixed Income Money Market and Derivatives Association of India), India's professional association for fixed income markets, money markets and derivatives. He championed the introduction of Overnight indexed swap (OIS) into India, which is currently India's most liquid traded interest rate swap instrument.

He worked with Deutsche Bank for 14 years and then took a sabbatical to lead two major environmental projects, TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) and UNEP's Green Economy Initiative. While at Deutsche Bank in India, Pavan founded and later chaired GMC (Global Markets Centre) in Mumbai.


Alongside his financial markets career, Pavan pursues long-standing interests in environmental economics and nature conservation through his work with different environmental organizations and projects.

Green Accounting for Indian States Project

Pavan is the Founder-Director of the Green Accounting for Indian States Project, an initiative of the Green Indian States Trust (GIST) to set up an economic valuation and national accounting framework to measure sustainability at the State level for India, including the hitherto ignored but significant economic externalities from sectors such as forestry, agriculture, fresh water, health, and education.

Conservation Action Trust

Pavan is the Co-founder and Chairperson for the first six years of Conservation Action Trust, an Indian NGO dedicated to achieving ecological sustainability for India by originating and proving model conservation projects, by educating and lobbying decision-makers and the public about the importance of forests for our water and food security, and when all else fails, through public interest litigation.

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Pavan was appointed by Germany's Environment Minister Gabriel and EU Environment Commissioner Dimas as the Study Leader for their G8+5 study on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). TEEB's Interim Report (2008), was welcomed globally for its fresh economic outlook, for demonstrating the economic significance of the loss of nature's services, and for connecting the economics of biodiversity and ecosystems with ethics, equity, and the alleviation of poverty. The Interim Report of TEEB was presented at the Ministerial session at COP-9 of the Convention of Biological Diversity (Bonn, 2008) and the final reports (a series of five solution-oriented studies) were presented at CBD Cop-10 (Nagoya, 2010). These reports have gained considerable currency with governments in both developing and developed nations, with business leaders, and with conservation NGO's. Later, in 2011, as part of his activities as the McCluskey Fellow, 2011, Pavan designed and delivered a 25-lecture, full 3-credits, post-graduate course on TEEB at Yale's School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.[8]

Green Economy Initiative

UNEP appointed Pavan to lead its major initiative to demonstrate that the greening of economies is not a burden on growth but rather a new engine for growth, a source of new employment, and a means to poverty alleviation. The final report Towards a Green Economy of the Green Economy Initiative was presented at UNEP's general Council meeting at Nairobi, February 2011.[9] Pavan continues to support this initiative as a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador.[3]

World Economic Forum

Pavan chaired the Global Agenda Council on Biodiversity and Ecosystems for the World Economic Forum (2009-2011) to evaluate the problems of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss in the context of global risks and global co-operation. He speaks at the Forum's annual meetings at Davos.

Corporation 2020

Pavan launched a global campaign called "Corporation 2020" at the Rio+20 conference in 2012. This campaign focusses global attention on the challenge of re-designing the Corporation through critical changes in four key areas of corporate performance (reporting, leverage, advertising, and taxation) to deliver a ‘green economy' from the micro-level upwards in order to achieve the goals of sustainable development.

President of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) International

From 2017 to 2021 he was the president of the World Wide Fund for Nature. Pavan succeeded Yolanda Kakabadse in this position[10] and was followed by Neville Isdell.[11]

GIST Impact

Pavan is the founder and CEO of GIST Impact.[12]

Honours and awards

Board memberships

Past board positions

Publications and articles




His articles include two opinion pieces for Nature (2009 and 2012), several blogs for The Guardian, and an opinion piece for The Economist Debate. From 2000, he has also written frequently for several Indian newspapers and magazines (Economic Times, Indian Express, Sanctuary) to popularize the concept of "Green GDP" in India, measuring holistic economic growth as against measuring increasing production and ‘GDP growth' as a yardstick of progress.


  1. ^ a b c d "Biography Pavan Sukhdev". Archived from the original on 2015-01-29. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  2. ^ "UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors". Archived from the original on 2014-03-08. Retrieved 2014-03-08.
  3. ^ a b "UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors". Archived from the original on 2014-03-08. Retrieved 2014-03-08.
  4. ^ "The World Future Council: Pavan Sukhdev". Archived from the original on 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2015-01-29.
  5. ^ "Introduction to Valuing Nature - Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies". Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement - University College Oxford - Univ". University College Oxford. Retrieved 2021-10-07.
  7. ^ "EUROPA - European Commission - Environment - Green Week". Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  8. ^ "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: TEEB @ Yale - Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies". Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Green Economy Report". Archived from the original on 2014-03-13. Retrieved 2014-03-08.
  10. ^ "Pavan Sukhdev named as new President of WWF International's Board".
  11. ^ "Presidents - past and present". Retrieved 2022-12-23.
  12. ^ "About us". GIST Impact. Retrieved 2022-12-23.
  13. ^ "UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Pavan Sukhdev Wins Prestigious Blue Planet Prize - UNEP". United Nations Environment Programme. 2016-06-15. Archived from the original on 2016-06-16.
  14. ^ SIngh, Deepshikha. "Pavan Sukhdev Gets 2020 Tyler Prize for TEEB Report". No. Online. ABC Live India. ABC Live India. Retrieved 1 February 2020.