Mr. Rajendra M. Shende, former Director at United Nations Environment Programme, is a leading expert in sustainable technologies and policies. As head of the Paris based Ozon Action Programme of UNEP, he worked with the governments of 146 developing countries’ to develop their national management plans to eliminate use of Ozone Depleting Substances and to contribute to the mitigation of climate change. Through the teams of professionals and experts that he led from UNEP’s five offices worldwide i.e. Paris, Bangkok, Nairobi, Bahrain and Panama City he led the capacity building and technology support programme under the Multilateral Ozone Fund and Global Environmental Facility (GEF). The programme has contributed in stabilizing the Stratospheric Ozone Layer and preventing a global catastrophe by enabling developing countries to comply with the Montreal Protocol. The Montreal Protocol is now considered as the most successful Multilateral Environmental Agreement so far, having put the Ozone layer on the path to recovery.
Mr. Shende was Coordinating Lead Author of Special Report on Safe Guarding the Climate and Ozone Layer prepared by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) that shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with Al Gore.
He was awarded USA’s prestigious Climate Protection award in 2009. The Ozon Action Programme that he initiated and managed within UNEP became the first ever programme in UN system to win Stratospheric Ozone Layer Protection award from USA, in 2005. He also won the special appreciation from the Heads of the State of Senegal, Mongolia, Bangladesh and Maldives. Recently, all the 53 African countries together congratulated him for his efforts to assist the African countries in building their capacity to implement the Montreal Protocol.
The innovative partnerships that he forged with industries and NGOs have made global impacts in the Consumer Good Forum and have won number of awards at international fora including Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Mr. Shende is a Chemical Engineer by qualification from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay. Before joining the UN, Mr. Shende had a senior management career in the private sector in India and was part of the task force set up by the Government of India to negotiate the multilateral environmental agreement, the Montreal protocol.
An active member of the IIT Alumni, Mr. Shende strongly believes that the solutions for global problems are potentially in the hands of local actors. While working globally he, along with his colleagues in TERRE, has launched sustainable and climate resilient programmes at the village level in India and China.
Author of numerous published policy papers, Mr. Shende has given various presentations to the public as well as to universities like MIT-USA, Swiss Technical Institute and Beijing University, INSEAD and HEC-Paris. He has been interviewed for TV, radio and number of international magazines including French and Italian. Mr. Shende's recent priorities have been to develop the use of Social Media networks to spread environmental messages and engage media though innovative partnerships. His present activities are in the fields of renewable energy, water and climate change. He is associated with number of training organizations in Scotland and Italy.