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36. Biodiversity & agriculture: appreciating the trade-offs (Prabhu Pingali)

September 2023


In decades past, conservation was notorious for ignoring other development goals. These days, its focus has expanded to consider those other goals, including the prevention of poverty and hunger. In fact, there seems to be a tendency to assume that conservation is always compatible with them, and necessary to achieve them. There is certainly truth in that, but are we talking enough about the inevitable trade-offs? And, if everyone agrees that we should minimize trade-offs, why is the Green Revolution - one of the greatest “trade-off minimizers” in history often vilified by environmentalists?

In this episode of The Case for Conservation Podcast, Prabhu Pingali shares his thoughts on the green revolution, and more generally on trade-offs between development goals. Prabhu is Professor of Applied Economics at Cornell University and has worked in senior positions at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, FAO, the CGIAR, and other key development institutions.

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