Alexander Girvan

Obsessed with how humans’ interaction with the environment shaped the growth and collapse of civilizations, Alexander was driven to pursue physical science. However, he soon realised that the physical sciences were losing the battle for sustainability to a much less ‘scientific’ field- Economics. Alexander saw opportunity: synergy not conflict could be sought between conservationists and economists alike. He understood that in order for sustainability goals to be realised sound scientificresearch must be coupled with a detailed understanding of the economic and cultural frameworks of our communities. For the past 4 years Alexander has been working as an environmental economist with regional and international institutions such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the University of the West Indies to advance the inclusion of environmental factors in policy making decisions. His research has focused on the contribution of flood prevention, pollination and water provision in terms of valuable dollars to T&T’s bottom line, and the consequences of leaving these values off the record. Alexander headed an evaluation of the importance of biodiversity to T&T’s socio-economic welfare and has presented his research to the UN Forum on Forests, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity initiative and at the Eco balance forum. Alexander believes that change, particularly in the way we manage our environment, is possible through a thoughtful re-examination of how we communicate available scientific knowledge on environmental issues.

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