On 3rd March, 18 sustainability professionals gathered to explore what “Green Governance” and “Green Economy” mean and how Goa can engage with these new/21st century models

Key insights about the problem

    • Many called to the conversation by the “shock” they feel at the rapid decline in Goa’s


  • Greenery and wildlife


    • Goan village communities & their historically sustainable & natural practices for managing the land and its associated natural resources,
    • Ambient peace, wellbeing and quality of life that comes from Goas cultural way of life which attracts many from cities across India – paradoxically thereby changing that culture
  • There is a lack of awareness and acknowledgement of the problems/dangers of
    • the existing economic development model e.g. GDP as a measure of success; urbanisation along lines of Banglore, Mumbai, glamorization of ever-increasing consumption as indicator of human value/worth, increasing inequities of all kinds, not just financial but also eg health. Being sold a false story of success
    • existing governance mechanisms which are not appropriately overseeing/stewarding natural resources that we share with future generations
    • Existing economic narrative in Goa  that sees huge brain drain of locals out of Goa and lack of opportunities for young people
  • The grassroots do not necessarily see the bigger systemic picture
  • The terms “Green”, “governance” “ Green economy” are difficult to understand & define
  • Disconnect between policy-makers, scientists, environmentalists, ground communities/ rights holders, international sustainability discourse
  • Environmentalists are not getting a say in development decisions being made
  • Ecological Governance currently not happening. No enforcement of laws allowing looting
  • Time for radical change.

How do we design a system that can give back to Nature so as to sustain for future generations?

Key insights about the solutions


  • Educate people on the consequences and costs of the current destructive system that is known to be no longer working all around the world  – “Greed is no longer Cool!”
  • Educate people of the value of natural resources we have and the need to opt for a new course that protects them and has checks and balances. Monitoring and mitigation.
  • draw from international examples of where already successful


    • Do not try to compete with the big Indian States – find Goa’s own niche
    • Re-brand Goa as a green hub – rebrand tourism
    • Need a new language
    • Must involve stakeholders and local participation in economy and governance – non elites and youth, and communities. Be “flatter/more equal” and less hierarchical.


  • Value Goa’s inherent strengths, assets and talents
  • People are wealth.Tap their talents. Invest in them
  • Living ecosystem is wealth, conserve not deplete these resources and still get value


    • Put a pricetag on natural assets and manage them accordingly. Constraints are needed


  • Nurture Decentralised local green hubs in villages with their own distinct set of skills,crafts and opportunities –  building on existing talents and assets


    • Music, Food, Sports, Heritage conservation, Natural resource management
  • Decentralised eco management of water energy food which pays local people a salary
  • “Economy and Governance should work like a giant bank able to put back natural resources for future generations so we can provide intergenerational equity”
  • Need a holistic integrated model that weaves Education, Economy and Governance
  • Needs to be driven by people not politician-businessmen

Emerging Framework for research and Action

Green Education Green Governance Green Economy

-Education based on building on the existing strengths of individuals/communities, e.g: agro, animal husbandry, culinary, etc.

-Education based on emerging interests in school going children

-Experiential/Outside the classroom learning

-Knowledge sharing as a form of learning

– Sustainability awareness and education


  • Governance particularly difficult term to understand
  • Whose duty is Governance – government /people /??
  • We have to pass on what we inherit – how?
  • how to manage commons so that there is equality in resource access?
  • Radical Ecological Democracy where villages are self-sufficient

  • Not just profit, but balancing care for people and environment
  • Giving back to the natural systems that sustain us
  • Regeneration
  • Sustainability
  • Tie up between spatial and economic planning
  • Includes resolving inequalities in access eg in health
  • Health – connecting economy with what we eat and breathe
Key Insights

  • Start involving youth from colleges and schools in conversations
  • Educate locals in sustainable practices.
  • Provide practical education sessions outside the classrooms.
  • Have young / peer educators.
  • Conduct workshops by skilled / trained personnel.
  • Documentation of biodiversity
  • Encourage innovations
  • Add green education to school curriculum
  • Train youth/local people in crafts that cannot be automated and sustainable vocations eg solar
  • Nurture entrepreneurial spirit in sustainability
  • Educate youth of their rights and responsibilities
  • Financial education
  • Child/youth participation in environmental bodies
  • Build capacity/train people in how to perform good governance at village and higher levels and participatory democratic process
  • Build public awareness of the issues and alternatives through media and other channels
Key Insights

  • Strict governance is needed to overcome human greed & “consumer” narrative
  • International examples of where co-operatives manage everything providing greater accountability and local livelihood
  • Need People pressure demanding accountability
  • Create a youth charter and people’s charter regarding needs and demands.
  • Do not base the movement  on single or timebound issues but bring all the issues together as one picture eg OROR, GAC, MOPA, Mining, Tourism, infrastructure etc
  • Checks and balances for new development
  • Have accountability of leaders and governing body through vigilance committees/ local stewardship
  • Governance of common resources should be done by citizen bodies
  • Start participating in local governance
  • Checks and balances for all new development projects
  • Create an instituionalised committee compromising experts to draft policy on all governing issues (like a “shadow” government) including civil society experts
  • For policy formulation and monitoring
  • At village level, committees need proper governance oversight
  • People should be paid to play this role, as a servant of the people to make participatory democracy function
Key Insights

  • Decentralised hubs (local villages)
  • Understand and provide solutions for sustainable development
  • Defn. of progress and development needs to be changed
  • Understand and promote agri-tourism
  • Find sustainable energy solutions that will work in Goa. e.g. Solar, Tidal etc
  • Develop local sustainable transport
  • Build capacity in people in sustainable practices
  • Promote small scale industries and local culture
  • Research sustainable job opportunities
  • Connect and bridge local resources
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Invest in local people/talent craftmanship and new sustainability livelihoods
  • Example low footprint industries:
  • Culinary arts
  • Musical arts
  • Sports
  • biotech/pharma
  • Festivals (leave no trace)
  • Health/Wellbeing
  • Ecotourism & agro tourism
  • Local (organic) food supply chains
  • Slow down debt for destructive development
  • Microfinance  and local innovations
  • Regeneration, not consume and dispose
  • Invest in community building infrastructure
Feasible next steps

  • Start engaging with students in schools and colleges
  • Start a media campaign raising awareness of the shortcomings of existing model and opportunities for alternatives
Feasible next steps

  • Encourage people to start participating in local governing bodies e.g. panchayat committees
  • Document the assets (wealth) we have – flora, fauna, natural resources, human talents
Feasible next steps

  • Research low footprint industries that are viable in Goa

Taking the whole agenda forward


  • People’s charter for a green future and sustainable wellbeing
    • Start working on a youth and people’s manifesto taking inputs from different communities and building on the existing charters (Father Simon, GMM 2017 etc)
  • Encourage participation in governing bodies eg Panchayat citizen committees
  • Research provisions in the law and viablity for people’s vigilence/stewardship committee
  • Document Goas assets through asset mapping exercise.



  • Research low footprint industries, building on Goas assets and talents
  • Draw on and inform asset mapping excercise above



  • Start /continue engaging with youth and schools
  • Education and awareness raising about the value of what we have, existing assets
    • Connect children, youth and general public including local government representatives with assets


Strategy and communications

  • Develop a strategy as a community
  • Develop a new narrative and build awareness  – a narrative that acknowledges destructive path & discuss how to course correct
  • Get the media on board with the new narrative
  • Formalise the group – either an entity or a political party with a green agenda for Goa


Outstanding questions

  • Is the green economy slower?
  • What do we aspire to as a community/society?
  • What do we value appreciate in eachother?
  • How to create non-corrupt vigilence and accountability when no-one wants to spend time on committees?


Closing thoughts – what do we see?

  • People with the right intention, passion, persistence, have come together and are willing to take action in their own spaces and together. All present understand the issues and have a desire to influence them
  • Between us we are working at the macro and micro levels. We need to share strategies  and roles – eg some good at organising, others strategies etc
  • Lots of negativity in Goa these days, but this feels hopeful.
  • Blessed with many activists in Goa, working together we are a formidable force
  • We need to now follow through and do the work


Our proposed plan for taking the conversation forward…

  • This document is open for consultation until end March – please circulate to people in your networks who could help us shape the ideas further and/or who have specialist knowledge. Use this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-6nP2OQRdvb1JoCpsjRq1JfQyomTwrxJEFh1e3krlaQ/edit?usp=sharing
  • The emerging framework will then be formulated into a research proposal for research over the next 1 year to provide a solid evidence base for future actions. Funding will be sought
  • Meanwhile we propose 4 task forces in 1) Education 2) Economy 3) Governance 4) Narrative  – see table below to sign up
  • We suggest task forces meet in hosted ONLINE circles to enable easier and broader access and participation. Circlewallas is happy to co-ordinate these
  • The various roles we have identified to date that you can play are a) advisor b) task force member c) funder d) connector to specialists e) task force hosts f) others?


We will be in touch soon! 🙂


Thank you to Tallulah, Viola, Vishal, Rahul, Shraya, Marishia, Nathan, Dean, Rose, David & ? (works in health inequality), Joanna Tamer, Arnaldo, Pooja, Darryl, Father Simon, ? (cycle tours) for your wisdom, intelligence time energy enthusiasm and active participation