A photo of a water body with ducks swimming and with vegetation nearby

Department of
Humanities and Social Sciences

Photo of Sharachchandra  Lele

Sharachchandra Lele

Adjunct Faculty

Humanities and Social Sciences

Sustainable and equitable development, forest and water management, environmental governance

Sharachchandra (Sharad) Lele joined as Adjunct Professor at IISER Pune in 2021. He is also a Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Policy & Governance at the Centre for Environment & Development, ATREE, Bengaluru (www.atree.res.in). Sharad has a B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay, an M.Sc.(Engg) in System Science from the Indian Institute of Science, and a PhD in Energy & Resources from the University of California Berkeley. He has held positions at the Pacific Institute for SIDES (Oakland), Harvard University, Tata Energy Research Institute, and Institute for Social & Economic Change in Bengaluru, before co-founding the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment & Development (CISED) in 2001. He led CISED till 2009, when it merged with ATREE. Sharad has also held visiting positions at Cambridge University, Stanford University and University of Waterloo, Canada. He is a Founder-Member and past-President of the Indian Society for Ecological Economics.


Sustainable and equitable development

Sharad is interested in exploring the concepts of ecological sustainability, development, and social justice as they intersect in environmental problems, both conceptually and empirically and empirically in the context of forests, water, energy, pollution and climate change. 

Forest and water management

Sharad is interested in the trade-offs and synergies between local and global stakes and forests and the question of how to make a transition to democratic forest governance in a country with a history of colonial forestry and strong asymmetries within and across local and global stakeholders. Forest cover monitoring, defining and enabling sustainable forest use, and forest economics are related areas of interest. In the water sector, Sharad has worked on forest-water linkages, urban water management, water pollution prevention & regulation and making water policy more hydrologically informed and socially equitable and democratic. 

Environmental Governance

Sharad is interested in understanding the interplay between the biophysical nature of environmental problems and the structures of governance used to address them, and in exploring the questions of law, science and bureaucratic accountability in the functioning of these structures. 

Selected Publications

Pascual, U., W. M. Adams, S. Diaz, S. Lele, G. M. Mace and E. Turnhout (2021). Biodiversity and the challenge  of pluralism. Nature Sustainability.

Lele, S. (2020). Environment and Well-being: A perspective from the Global South. New Left Review 123: 41-63.

Lele, S., E. S. Brondizio, J. Byrne, G. M. Mace and J. Martinez-Alier, Eds. (2018). Rethinking Environmentalism: Linking Justice, Sustainability, and Diversity. Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press.

Lele, S., V. Srinivasan, B.K. Thomas & P. Jamwal (2018). 'Adapting to Climate Change in Rapidly Urbanizing River Basins: Insights from a Multiple Concerns, Multiple Stressors, and Multi Level Approach', Water International 43(2): 281-304.

Srinivasan, V. and S. Lele (2017). From groundwater regulation to integrated water management: the biophysical case. Economic and Political Weekly 52(31): 107-114.

Lele, S., O. Springate-Baginski, R. Lakerveld, D. Deb and P. Dash (2013). Ecosystem services: Origins, contributions, pitfalls and alternatives. Conservation and Society 11(4): 343-358.

Lele, S. and V. Srinivasan (2013). Disaggregated economic impact analysis incorporating ecological and social trade-offs and techno-institutional context: A case from the Western Ghats of India. Ecological Economics 91: 98-112.

Heller, E., J. M. Rhemtulla, S. Lele, M. Kalacska, S. Badiger, R. Sengupta and N. Ramankutty (2012). Mapping crop types, irrigated areas, and cropping intensities in heterogeneous landscapes of southern India using multi-temporal medium-resolution imagery: Implications for assessing water use in agriculture. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing 78(8): 815-827.

Lele, S. (2009). Watershed services of tropical forests: from hydrology to economic valuation to integrated analysis. Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability 1(2): 148-155.

Lélé, S. and R. B. Norgaard (2005). Practicing interdisciplinarity. BioScience 55(11): 967-975.

Lélé, S., G. Rajashekhar, V. R. Hegde, G. P. Kumar and P. Saravanakumar (1998). Meso-scale analysis of forest condition and its determinants: A case study from the Western Ghats region, India. Current Science 75(3): 256-263.

Lélé, S. (1994). Sustainable use of biomass resources: A note on definitions, criteria, and practical applications. Energy for Sustainable Development 1(4): 42-46.

Lélé, S. M. (1991). Sustainable Development: a critical review. World Development 19(6): 607-621.