Following the passing of Dr Asish Ghosh, two of his colleagues on the governance and stakeholder engagement work package, Andrew Allan and Chris Spray from the University of Dundee, pen a personal tribute to him.
“Our respected colleague, Dr. Asish Ghosh, sadly died on the 2nd of April. He was the lead researcher in India on governance and stakeholder engagement for the DECCMA Project, and a tenacious advocate for those affected by environmental change. His work on the project took up only a relatively small part of his time – but he worked energetically on many different issues right up to the end of his life. He led the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) in Kolkata for over 20 years and contributed regular articles for the environmental journal, Down to Earth, writing his last only in February shortly before his 80th birthday.
For those of us who worked with him on the DECCMA project, he was a man of forthright views and a wealth of expertise informed by over 50 years of experience in environmental and biodiversity-related issues. The range of his experience was not always evident: his extensive consultancy and research work was acquired only after he had retired from his post as Director of the Zoological Survey of India in 1996.
We often had long and fascinating conversations about British and Indian history, about which he was passionately interested. He had a wicked sense of humour and British staff remember being recipients of many jibes related to that history – always delivered in good humour with a grin. He was also very modest. One of our historical discussions involved mention of T.N. Annandale, the first Director of the Zoological Survey, who had grown up near to us in Edinburgh. Asish never mentioned the fact that he had been one of Annandale’s successors.
He was a staunch defender of the interests of the researchers at the CED and worked diligently for the DECCMA project over the past four years. He will be greatly missed.