Plenary Speaker

Mihir Shah, Samaj Pragati Sahayog, Grass-Roots Initiative for Water and Livelihood Security, India

Mihir Shah

Mihir Shah - From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Mihir Shah was Member, Planning Commission, Government of India. Dr. Shah was chiefly responsible for drafting the paradigm shift in the management of water resources enunciated in the 12th Five Year Plan. He also initiated a makeover of MGNREGA, the largest employment programme in human history, with a renewed emphasis on rural livelihoods based on environmental regeneration.

Dr. Shah is Secretary, Samaj Pragati Sahayog (SPS), one of India’s largest grass-roots initiatives for water and livelihood security, working with its partners on a million acres of land. Before being invited by the Prime Minister to join the Planning Commission in 2009, he spent 20 years living and working in central tribal India, forging a new paradigm of inclusive and sustainable development.

He is a Member of the International Steering Committee of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) and Chair of the Revitalising Rainfed Areas Network in India. He has addressed audiences on his life’s work all over the world from Stanford University to the World Bank in Washington, the OECD in Paris, the Arctic Circle in Iceland, Chatham House and University College, London, UNESCO-IHE at Delft, the International Water Management Institute in Colombo and the Singapore Water Week. He was the Keynote Speaker at the Global Water Summit in Rome in 2012.

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