Our People

Priya Shyamsundar

Lead Economist

Arlington, VA

Priya Shyamsundar Priya Shyamsundar, Lead Economist. © Bill Marr / The Nature Conservancy


Economics, Environment, Development


Matt Miller
ph. +1 208 343-8826


Priya Shyamsundar is Lead Economist at The Nature Conservancy.  With extensive experience on the economics of environment and development, Priya’s research covers a range of local to global urban and rural environmental problems. 

At TNC, she leads a Global Science program on the economics of conservation that focuses on valuing green infrastructure, evaluating economic and social outcomes, identifying economic instruments and assessing behavioral nudges that may motivate environmental actions. 

Previously, Priya was Founder Director of SANDEE, a research network that helps examine and identify solutions to shared environment-development challenges across seven countries in South Asia.   Priya has served on advisory committees associated with the Government of India, the World Bank and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program. 

She has also consulted extensively for the World Bank, most recently working with the Program on Forests to develop a comprehensive framework on forests and poverty. 

Priya currently serves as member, SANDEE steering committee, Nepal; Fellow, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota, USA; member, Advisory Board of the Journal Ecology, Economy and Society, India, and International Vice Chair, Board, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Canada. 

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Visit Priya's Google Scholar Profile for a full list of publications.


P. Shyamsundar, N. P. Springer, H. Tallis, S. Polasky, M. L. Jat, H. S. Sidhu, P. P. Krishnapriya, N. Skiba, W. Ginn, V. Ahuja, J. Cummins, I. Datta, H. H. Dholakia, J. Dixon, B. Gerard, R. Gupta, J. Hellmann, A. Jadhav, H. S. Jat, A. Keil, J. K. Ladha, S. Lopez-Ridaura, S. P. Nandrajog, S. Paul, A. Ritter, P. C. Sharma, R. Singh, D. Singh, R. Somanathan. (2019) Fields on fire: Alternatives to crop residue burning in India. Science, 09 AUG 2019, 536-538.

Shyamsundar, P., S. Ahlroth., P. Kristjanson and S. Onder, 2019. Supporting pathways to prosperity in forest landscapes – A PRIME framework, World Development. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.104622

Busch, J., Engelmann, J., Cook-Patton, S., Griscom, B., Kroeger, T., Possingham, H., Shyamsundar, P. 2019.  “Potential for Low-Cost Carbon Dioxide Removal through Tropical Reforestation.” Nature Climate    Change 9, 463–466. doi: 10.1038/s41558-019-0485-x


Rai, R.K.; Shyamsundar, P.; Nepal, M.; Bhatta, L.D. 2018, Financing Watershed Services in the Foothills of the Himalayas. Water10, 965. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10070965

Cheng, S. H., K. MacLeod, S. Ahlroth; S. Onder, E. Perge, P. Shyamsundar, P.  Rana, R. Garside, P. Kristjanson, M.C. McKinnon, D.C. Miller. 2018. What is the contribution of forests to poverty alleviation? A systematic map of global evidence, Environmental Evidence.

Shyamsundar, P. 2018. Can We Use Delhi’s Air Pollution Crisis to Improve Agriculture?  Conversations 2: Air Pollution, Ecology, Economy and Society – the INSEE Journal, 1(2): 91-93.


Cheng, S.H., Ahlroth, S., Onder, S., Shyamsundar, P., Garside, R., Kristjanson, P., McKinnon, M.C. & Miller, D.C. (2017). What is the evidence for the contribution of forests to poverty alleviation? A systematic map protocol. Environmental Evidence, 6, 10.

Sharma, B., Shyamsundar, P., Nepal, M., Pattanayak, S. & Karky, B. (2017). Costs, cobenefits, and community responses to REDD+: a case study from Nepal. Ecology and Society, 22.


Rai, R.K., Shyamsundar, P., Nepal, M. & Bhatta, L.D. (2015). Differences in demand for watershed services: Understanding preferences through a choice experiment in the Koshi Basin of Nepal. Ecological Economics, 119, 274–283.


Griggs, D., Stafford Smith, M., Rockström, J., Öhman, M., Gaffney, O., Glaser, G., Kanie, N., Noble, I., Steffen, W. & Shyamsundar, P. (2014). An integrated framework for sustainable development goals. Ecology and Society, 19.

Haque, A.K.E., Khan, Z.H., Nepal, M. & Shyamsundar, P. (2014). Red Wells or Green Wells and Does It Matter? Examining Household Use of Arsenic-contaminated Water in Bangladesh. In: Environment and Development Economics (eds. Barrett, S., Mäler, K.-G. & Maskin, E.S.). Oxford University Press, pp. 174–199.

Mukhopadhyay, P., Nepal, M. & Shyamsundar, P. (2014). Building skills for sustainability: a role for regional research networks. Ecology and Society, 19.

Shyamsundar, P. & Ghate, R. (2014). Rights, Rewards, and Resources: Lessons from Community Forestry in South Asia. Rev Environ Econ Policy, 8, 80–102.


Griggs, D., Stafford-Smith, M., Gaffney, O., Rockström, J., Öhman, M.C., Shyamsundar, P., Steffen, W., Glaser, G., Kanie, N. & Noble, I. (2013). Policy: Sustainable development goals for people and planet. Nature, 495, 305–307.

Shyamsundar, P. (2013). Accounting for natural wealth—Practical challenges ahead. Environmental Development, 7, 181–183.


Gundimeda, H. & Shyamsundar, P. (2012). Forests, sustainability and poverty in India. Environment and Development Economics, 17, 373–378.

Mukhopadhyay, P. & Shyamsundar, P. (2012). Economic Growth and Ecological Sustainability in India. In: The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Economy (ed. Ghate, Chetan). Oxford University Press.


Bandyopadhyay, S. & Shyamsundar, P. (2011). Examining the effectiveness of irrigation management reforms in the Philippines. In: Institutional Aspects of Water Management: Evaluating the Experience, Water Resource Planning, Development and Management (ed. Herath, G.). Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, NY.

Bandyopadhyay, S., Shyamsundar, P. & Baccini, A. (2011). Forests, biomass use and poverty in Malawi. Ecological Economics, 70, 2461–2471.

Haque, A.K.E., Murty, M.N. & Shyamsundar, P. (eds.). (2011). Environmental Valuation in South Asia. Cambridge University Press.


Bandyopadhyay, S., Shyamsundar, P. & Xie, M. (2010). Transferring Irrigation Management to Farmer’s Associations : Evidence from the Philippines. Water Policy, 12, 444–460.

Kumar, K.S.K., Shyamsundar, P. & Nambi, A.A. (2010). Economics of Climate Change Adaptation in India. Economic and Political Weekly, 45, 25–29.


Bandyopadhyay, S., Humavindu, M., Shyamsundar, P. & Wang, L. (2009). Benefits to local communities from community conservancies in Namibia: an assessment. Development Southern Africa, 26, 733–754.


Shyamsundar, P. (2008). Decentralization, Devolution, and Collective Action—A Review of International Experience. In: Promise, Trust and Evolution (eds. Ghate, R., Jodha, N. & Mukhopadhyay, P.). Oxford University Press.


Devarajan, S., Ferro, M.V., Shah, S. & Shyamsundar, P. (2007). Accelerating Poverty Reduction in South Asia by Scaling Economics Education and Policy Research. In: Capacity Building in Economics Education and Research (eds. Bourguignon, F., Elkana, Y. & Pleskovic, B.). The World Bank, Washington, D.C.


Dasgupta, P., Shyamsundar, P. & Mäler, K.-G. (2004). The economics of environmental change and pollution management – issues and approaches from South Asia. Environment and Development Economics, 9, 9–18.


Bernow, S., Costanza, R., Daly, H., DeGennaro, R., Erlandson, D., Ferris, D., Hawken, P., Hoerner, J.A., Lancelot, J., Marx, T., Norland, D., Peters, I., Roodman, D., Schneider, C., Shyamsundar, P. & Woodwell, J. (1998). Society News: Ecological tax reform. BioScience, 48, 193–196.


Shyamsundar, P. (1997). Benefit–cost analysis as a mechanism for evaluating conservation policies in developing countries. Environment and Development Economics, 2, 195–221.

Shyamsundar, P. & Kramer, R. (1997). Biodiversity Conservation: At What Cost? A Study of Households in the Vicinity of Madagascar’s Mantadia National Park. Ambio, 26, 180–184.


Shyamsundar, P. (1996). Constraints on socio-buffering around the Mantadia National Park in Madagascar. Environmental Conservation, 23, 67–73.

Shyamsundar, P. & Kramer, R.A. (1996). Tropical Forest Protection: An Empirical Analysis of the Costs Borne by Local People. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 31, 129–144.


Shyamsundar, P. & Lanier, G.K. (1994). Biodiversity prospecting: an effective conservation tool? Tropical Biodiversity, 2, 441–446.