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Queen's Award for Forestry winners

2008 Kant | 2005 Prabhu

2008 Professor Shashi Kant

The CFA is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2008 CFA Queen's Award for Forestry is Shashi Kant, Professor of Forest Resource Economics at the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, Canada.  Professor Kant was given the Award in recognition of his contribution to the fields of forest resource economics and management.

The purpose of the Award, which comprises a cash prize and a travel grant to the combined value of £2000, is both to recognise the achievements and support the future work of an outstanding mid-career forester.

Professor Kant said " I am honored and thrilled with the news of the Queen's Award for Forestry. The award has provided the greatest strength to my belief system of cooperative behavior and collective good. Einstein once observed that problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that leads to their creation, but it seems that we have been ignoring this basic phenomenon when we are dealing with the issues related to sustainable development in general and sustainable forest management in particular. The Queen's Award recognizes my belief that a new economic theory, rather than a new public policy based on the old theory, is essential to guide humanity towards sustainability."

I plan to use the prize money to travel to few countries in south America to present my research on sustainability, economics and natural resources and to promote the basic objectives of the Commonwealth Forestry Association.

Prof. Shashi Kant has made exceptional and innovative contributions to the area of Economics of Sustainable Forest Management. His research has challenged traditional models of forest economics by introducing a new paradigm of economics, termed post-Newtonian economics, that incorporates the basic features of sustainable development and sustainable forest management. Kant is editor-in-chief of a new book series, Sustainability, Economics and Natural Resources, which aims to integrate the concept of sustainability into forest economics as well as reflect the multi- and interdisciplinary nature of economics. Professor Kant, for his pioneering work, has also received Ontario’s Premier’s Research Excellence Award (2004), International Union of Forestry Organizations (IUFRO) Scientific Achievement Award (2005), and the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF) Scientific Achievement Award (2007).

Shashi Kant’s greatest strength is his ability to seamlessly combine research and activism.  His research is continually complemented by his activism for sustainability, his advocacy for sustainable societies, his community work with local groups working towards sustainability, and his demonstration of the relevance of Gandhian philosophy and tools to sustainable societies through his actions. Kant has helped transform the value systems of hundreds of students with respect to forest conservation and co-operative behavior. He has also transformed the research philosophy of many organizations and forestry professionals worldwide.

Professor Kant’s journey started in a small village, Ahrola Noabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. After his education (B.Sc.) at S.M. College, Chandausi, U.P., and B.E. (Hons) at B.I.T.S. Pilani, Rajasthan, India, he joined Uttar Pradesh Forest Service in 1980, and later Indian Forest Service in 1985. His research career started with an exceptional work on Community-based Forest Management Systems in Orissa, India, and the Gandhian approach of many communities in Orissa towards forest management transformed his world view. After his Ph.D., he joined the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, in 1997, where he is widely recognized by his colleagues, students, and alumni, as one of the leading figures. Professor Kant is Indian by birth and Canadian by nationality, but he has contributed greatly to the global forestry sector. In 2007, he provided leadership to an International Congress which contributed to the development of a global vision of forestry in the 21st century.   

 

 

2005 Dr Bentval Ravindra Prabhu

 

The CFA is pleased to announce that the winner of the Queen's Award for Forestry 2005 is Dr Bentval Ravindra Prabhu of CIFOR, Zimbabwe.

Dr. Ravi Prabhu has made outstanding contributions to work on the Criteria and Indicators of Sustainable Forest Management, both globally and in many specific countries. He has also been a pioneering champion of moving from a rule based approach to forest management to an adaptive approach, where how one manages a forest changes over time as the objectives, context, and condition of the forest change. Dr. Prabhu has a firm commitment to and belief in transforming public sector forestry institutions into more dynamic, transparent and accountable, learning–based organizations.

He works tirelessly to encourage and mentor young developing country scientists, and many young leaders in Asia and Africa have benefited greatly from their relation to him. His work has taken him to many countries; and in each one the forestry professionals always speak highly of him. He is well known in international forestry circles, and organizations such as FAO, ITTO, and the World Bank. That is one reason that he was recently appointed to be a member of the task force on environmental sustainable of the United Nation’s Millennium Project, established by Koffi Annan and led by Jeffrey Sachs. He is a good and prolific writer, but an even better speaker, teacher, and facilitator. While he has a classical forestry training, he is truly multidisciplinary himself, and an excellent leader of multidisciplinary teams. Although he has worked with industrial forestry, community forestry, and government bureaucracies, he is at his best when he works on how to bring these different groups together.

The Queen’s Award for Forestry was presented to CIFOR's Dr. Ravi Prabhu at Buckingham Palace on 24 February 2005 by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

He is truly creative and is always looking for new 'out of the box' ways to do things, which often prove successful. Since finishing his doctoral degree at the University of Gottingen in Germany in 1994, Dr. Prabhu has spent most of the last ten years at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), where he is widely acknowledged to be one of the Center’s leading figures, who has been responsible for many of its most important achievements. Dr. Prabhu is Indian by birth and nationality, but he has also contributed greatly to the forestry sectors of a number of other commonwealth countries, including Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

 

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