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Rajendra Shende

Rajendra Shende

Chairman, TERRE Policy Centre & former Director, UNEP

BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background

I am the Chairman of TERRE Policy Centre, a not-for-profit think-tank and action-forum. Former director at the United Nations Environment Program-UNEP, I am graduate and alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology and leading expert engaged as strategic advisor in transfer and development of the sustainable technologies and policies.

I worked at senior positions in private sector including Tata, before joining United Nations.  As head of the capacity building program in UNEP, I have advised 146 developing countries’ governments in developing and implementing the Montreal Protocol through their national strategies and management plans to eliminate use of Ozone Depleting Substances and contribute to mitigation of climate change.

ACHIEVEMENT/What is your project, initiative, start-up, company all about?

When in UNEP, through our five offices world wide i.e. Paris, Bangkok, Nairobi, Bahrain, and Panama city I built my program from scratch. The Montreal Protocol has been globally considered as the single most successful example of international environmental agreement so far.

– Coordinating Lead Author of IPCC-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with Al Gore
– Awarded USA’s prestigious Climate Protection award in 2009
– The programme I led became the first ever program in UN system to win Stratospheric Ozone Layer Protection award from USA in 2005.
– I won the special appreciation from the Heads of the State of Senegal, Mongolia, Bangladesh and Maldives.
– All the 53 African countries together felicitated me for my efforts to assist them in building their capacity to implement the Montreal Protocol.
– The Public-Private partnerships that I forged with industries and NGOs won number of awards at international forum including those instituted by UK Industries and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

As a Chairman of TERRE, my priorities include evidence-based policy making and scalable demo-projects in the two thematic area i.e. Energy and Food security, strategizing the use of IT to outreach environmental messages and engaging social groups though innovative partnerships to benefit the poor. My present project activities are in the field of renewable energy, water and waste management, climate change, ecosystem valuation and nature conservation through community development.
I continue to advisory role in United Nations Environment Programme and the Indian government in the area of climate change.

LOCATION/ In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?

India, in villages around city of Pune in Western India.

IMPACT/ What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental…of your activity, project, initiative, start-up, company?  

– Contribution in enabling developing countries in implementing the Montreal Protocol resulted in stabilizing the Stratospheric Ozone Layer and preventing the global catastrophe
– Capacity building programme became model and created lessons for Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change
– TERRE’s work at village level created model in the field of education, organic farming, renewable energy, water and waste management.

QUOTE/ A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something

Facts do not cease to exist because we ignore them – Aldous Huxley