Dr Ritesh Kumar heads Wetlands International South Asia.
Over the last two decades, Dr Kumar has led integrated management planning for several wetlands in South Asia region, and coordinated multidisciplinary projects on wetlands assessment, ecosystem services evaluation, water management, sustainable livelihoods, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Dr Kumar has been part of several policy making processes related to wetlands in India, key being a part of the drafting team of national regulation on wetlands, the National Biodiversity Targets under the Convention of Biological Diversity and indicators for Sustainable Development Goals. He advises several state governments on policy and management aspects of wetlands.
Dr Kumar has been involved in several global, regional and national assessments. These include being a Lead Author of Global Wetlands Outlook (2018), as Coordinating Lead Author of the IPBES Regional Assessment on Status of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Asia and Pacific (finalized in 2019), and the methods assessment of multiple values of nature (ongoing).
Dr Kumar has been closely associated with Ramsar Convention processes. As an expert member of the Convention’s Scientific and Technical Review Panel for three trienniums, he has worked on various themes including wetlands and poverty reduction, ecosystem services, disaster risk reduction, health, agriculture, tourism and others. Notable contributions include drafting Resolution X.28 on Wetlands and Poverty Reduction, the Changwon Declaration on human well-being and wetlands, policy briefs on multiple values of wetlands and wetlands and disaster risk reduction. He is also an associate editor of ‘Marine and Freshwater Research’ a multidisciplinary journal publishing original research and reviews on all aquatic environments and subject areas.