Rajendra Shende is technology and policy advisor in United Nations on implementation of activities related to ozone layer and climate protection in more than 146 developing countries. He is heading the OzonAction Branch of the United Nations Environment Programme, Division of the Technology, Industry and Economics ( UNEP DTIE), with the annual budget of about US$ 25 million, with his team of 50 staff from 30 nationalities that work in UNEP’s four Regional Offices and Paris office. The resources for the Programme come from multiple sources like Multilateral Fund, GEF and nearly 16 contributing developed countries.
He closely works with governments and industry to provide strategic guidance on policy and technology on multitude of benefits from global environmental accords. He is expert on transfer of environmentally sound technologies and the implementation of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in the developing countries and countries with economies in transition. His current activities span across the world and include the specific capacity building and technology support projects in 147 countries that are engaged in implementation of the Montreal Protocol to protect the Ozone Layer . He has helped more than 100 national governments in developing their strategies and action plan to comply with the Montreal Protocol.
Before joining United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mr. Shende gained experience of nearly 20 years in one of the best managed corporate sector companies including group of Tata in India. He rose to senior corporate management position in charge of large scale project management, research and development, diversification, environmental impact assessment, cleaner production and renewable energy. He studied Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai.
His achievements during his work in the private sector include: successfully leading a team of engineers and managers in setting up of the large project to manufacture high engineering plastic, developing the cleaner and energy efficient process to manufacture the semi-synthetic antibiotics, developing alternatives for Ozone Depleting Substances and deployment of renewable energy in the operation of the chemical industry.
In 1988 he was nominated by Government of India on the National Task Force to carve out India’s strategy leading towards its ratification of the Montreal Protocol. Later as, private sector representative and advisor, he was part of the India’s international negotiating team for establishing the financial mechanism for the implementation of MEA i.e. the Multilateral Fund for the implementation of Montreal Protocol on the substances that deplete the Ozone Layer. It remains most successful global environment fund with more than US 2 Billion already allocated to the developing countries.
He joined UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics in Paris in 1992 to launch the capacity building and technology transfer programme to implement the Montreal Protocol in the developing countries. As Programme leader he set up the systems for the global cooperation among the developing countries and countries with economies in transition as well as between the developed and developing countries. He pioneered new approaches to mainstream small countries in the implementation of the Global Environmental Accords.
In 1999 he was appointed on the higher post as Chief of Energy and OzonAction Branch that was the first time the Division initiated the Energy Programme. Policy advice to the governments on the energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change activities for the benefit of the developing countries were the key activities that he undertook. He has also organized workshops on Clean Development Mechanism in more than 20 countries under the Kyoto Protocol.
His main achievements in UNEP include the innovative mechanisms i.e. South-South cooperation, regional networking, participatory process for developing country strategy for implementation of the Montreal Protocol, decentralized information clearinghouse, training for the customs officers, refrigerant management plans, terminal phase out management plans were some of such approaches that he developed were highly successful and became models for the implementation of other MEAs. He led the global activity for developing the country programmes and institutional strengthening projects in more than 140 developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
He was also Review Editor for IPCC Special Report on Technology Transfer. He was also Coordinating Lead Author for IPCC/TEAP special report on Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and global climate system which was part of the Climate Change Assessment report of IPCC that won 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He has received the Nobel Peace Prize Certificate and appreciation from Chairman of IPCC and also from Executive Director of UNEP for his contribution to IPCC.
Developing the partnerships with the industries, international organizations, academia and NGOs has been his forte. Such approach has set up new directions to enable countries to meet the compliance with the MEAs.
Mr. Shende was instrumental in developing the bilateral cooperation with large number of developed countries to assist the developing countries for the ozone layer protection and safe guarding climate. It included Japan, Sweden, Australia, France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Norway, Finland, Canada, USA, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Hungary and The Netherlands that provided the resources and also the expertise to support his programme’s initiative. It resulted into innovative activities like networking (with Sweden), innovative Financing and Recovery/recycling/destruction as well as alternative technology case studies (with Japan), Energy efficient Phase out of ODS (with USA), Green Customs Initiative (with Norway and Czech Republic).
Programm’s Partnership with Industry in developed and developing countries: His programme has been active sponsor of Earth Technology Forum organized by The International Climate Change Partnership, The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy with support of USEPA. Through such active participation and particularly through the developing country round-tables that he helped in organizing, a very effective transfer of technologies have taken place from the developed to developing countries. His contribution to form other partnerships like Voluntary Pledge by the private sector to assist the developing countries to phase out ODS has resulted in building the partnership of nearly 40 companies in USA and abroad. His active work on supporting the responsible use of HFCs– guidelines developed by The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy and the effective use of HFCs in Mobile Air Conditioning to reduce emissions and also to improve fuel efficiency has resulted in spreading the awareness about inter-linkages of the Ozone layer protection and Safe guarding climate in India and China. He has been able to well integrate the Partnership of energy efficient buildings into the other Programmes of his Division in Paris.
Leveraging the Synergies between MEAs through very practical examples has been his major contribution to the coherent and coordinated governance of the environmental issues. He has been able to facilitate the partnership for effective enforcement and compliance of the six Convention Secretariats ( CITES, Basel Convention , Montreal Protocol, Stockholm Convention, Rotterdam Convention , Chemical Weapon Treaties, Convention on Biodiversity) and three international organization ( World Customs Organization, INTERPOL and UNEP) to develop a capacity building programme for the enforcement officers like Customs officers called ‘ Green Customs Initiative.’ USDOJ and USDOS are the keen supporters of this programme that has already demonstrated the practical way to achieve the synergy. Government of India through its Central Excise and Customs Board of Ministry of Finance and Government of China are among developing countries that have been keenly supporting and benefiting from this initiative.
Solar Chill Partnership that he initiated includes the international organization like WHO, UNICEF, UNEP and NGOs like PATH, Greenpeace and private sector like Danfoss. The partnership aims at developing the vaccine cooler for the remote rural areas using solar energy without use of batteries and that employs ozone and climate friendly refrigerants. The prototypes are now ready for the approval by WHO. This partnership for the development of the SolarChill vaccine cooler won UK Industry award in 2006. President of India bought and installed the two such coolers in his Presidential clinic. This is for the first time that technology was developed in partnership and is in public domain for which commercial production has started.
SolarChill Partnership is now supported by GEF funding and the product has now received the WHO approval for the use in the countries with higher temperature.
Partnership called “RefrigerantsNaturally” that he initiated and supported along with Greenpeace and engaged the partners like Coca Cola, Unilever, Pepsi and McDonalds to utilize the HFC free technologies where feasible has provided a basis for improving the energy efficiency in the operation of these enterprises. The partnership that has resulted into effective change in the technologies of the supply chain of these enterprises now stands to expand to include Pepsi. The partnership has won the Climate Protection Award from USEPA in 2005.
Partnership with air lines like Air India, and Air Mauritius , that he initiated has now developed into the concrete measures that airline industry could undertake in raising awareness on global environmental issues through in-flight magazines and videos, energy saving, Global Reporting Initiative, sustainable buildings and airports and waste management. Mr. Shende is focal point within UNEP for airlines forum that is engaged in the environmental and sustainable development initiative. The Partnership resulted into Air India receiving the 20th Anniversary Montreal Protocol award for the innovative mechanisms to raise awareness.
Some of the innovative awareness activities that he developed with UNESCO and WHO included education kit on Ozone layer protection, Remembering our Future (marking the closed production sites of harmful chemicals as environmental heritage site), workshops for parliamentarians, and workshops for Journalists and media experts on MEAs.
In May 2005 his Programme became first Programme in the UN system to win the award from United States Environment Protection Agency-EPA for its work on the protection of the Ozone Layer.
His Programme received in December 2005 a special certificate from the President of Senegal on behalf of all the African countries for assisting the countries in African continent in building their capacity and providing technology support to implement the Montreal Protocol. .
He received 20th Anniversary Montreal Protocol award for the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ in 2007. His programme also received the ‘Implementation Agency’ award in 2007.
In April 2009, he won 2009 Climate Protection award from United States EPA for his work in achieving climate benefits from the actions to protect the ozone layer.
In March 2010 he was honored , on the occasion of golden jubilee year of State of Maharashtra, with the Y.B Chavan Award of the Ecellence in Environment
He received the certificate of appreciation from Environment Minister of Uganda on behalf of 53 African Countries for his dedicated work to assit the African countries.
The Public Private Partnership “RefrigerantNaturally” initiated by him was awarded Roy Family award of Harvard Business School in 2011.
He has contributed by writing an invited chapter in a book on Technology Transfer –Lessons for the climate Change-supported by GEF and UNEP.
He has been interviewed in on national and international TV, news papers and journals and delivered key note speakers in number of international conferences in Europe, America, and in developing countries, notably in MIT-USA, Beijing University, Press Club in Beijing, Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Author of numerous published articles, three of his articles are chosen for the special compilation-book of significant articles , published on the occasion of 20th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol in 2007.
Mr Shende’s current work focuses on the Coherent and coordinated implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in Chemicals and Atmospheric Clusters i.e. the Montreal Protocol and UNFCCC/Kyoto Protocol. He is also engaged in developing the programmatic approach for the safe guarding the ozone layer and climate system through the energy efficient air-conditioning in buildings and sustainable cities. END. March 2011