Yasmeen TelWala joined the Biodiplomacy Initiative at UNU-IAS as a JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellow in September 2012, with an adjunct affiliation to Sophia University, Tokyo. Her current research aims at exploring the available Benefit Sharing Mechanism (BSM) in the forestry sector cross Asia and Africa. She plans to conduct a comparative assessment of the lessons of BSM using the earlier Participatory Forest Management (PFM) approach with the recently institutionalized Payment of Ecosystem (PES)/ Forest Carbon conservation approach under REDD+. Her research will reflect on the mechanism which can ensure equitable, efficient, effective and transparent distribution of REDD+ benefits to the indigenous communities.
She completed her PhD at the Department of Environmental Studies and Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Mountain and Hill Environment (CISMHE), University of Delhi. Her PhD thesis was entitled “Biological Response to Climate Change in Sikkim Himalaya” and her research focused on the impact of climate change on the alpine plant species in the Himalayas (Sikkim). She used a spatio-temporal model to relate past, present and future plant species and community scenarios to identify the most sensitive and threatened communities/ plant species under the impact of future climate change and warming scenarios in the Himalayas. She was also engaged in Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan (EIA/ EMP) studies of Hydropower Projects (HEP) in the Himalayan region with CISMHE for the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India. She has also worked as Low Carbon Farming (LCF) facilitator with Fairclimate Network Ltd. (India). One of the major aims of LCF was to earn carbon credits for pro-poor communities through encouraging sustainable agricultural practices.
Yasmeen is an Indian citizen and is fluent in English and Hindi.