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Honorary degree citation - Kamaljit Bawa

By: Selvadurai Dayanandan, June 2019

Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you Dr. Kamaljit Bawa, a pivotal figure in the fields of biodiversity conservation and climate-change science.

Dr. Bawa says that at the beginning of his pioneering multi-disciplinary studies in ecology, life was a bit lonely. Colleagues didn’t fully appreciate the many dimensions of his holistic approach – which was exactly what he found challenging and exhilarating.

But his five decades of research on biodiversity, climate change and people in some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems has attracted considerable attention. The quantitative method he developed to evaluate sustainable methods of harvesting non-timber forest products in the Himalaya have enhanced the livelihoods of the often-neglected rural poor who primarily depend on local resources.

Dr. Bawa aligns squarely with Concordia’s values in his ability to frame conservation as a justice issue – and nowhere more so than through the NGO he founded, ATREE.

ATREE combines ecology and economics to undertake and promote scientific, educational and development activities that advance protection of the environment, biodiversity conservation, sustainable resource use and poverty alleviation – all crucial issues for our increasingly hot, crowded planet.

Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and honour to present to you Mr. Kamaljit Bawa, so that you may confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

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