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Strategic foresight for the environment

Status: In progress
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The International Science Council (ISC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have partnered to advance science-based strategic foresight to develop futures thinking, be better prepared to engage with challenges proactively, and to inform and guide decisions for the benefit of the global environment.

Background

To help navigate uncertainty and rapid and unprecedented changes in the environment, while effectively delivering on its mandate, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is looking to put in place an institutionalized approach to strategic foresight and horizon scanning with the view to developing an anticipatory and future-oriented culture.

This mirrors the growing interest and demand for foresight that is also reinforced by the United Nations reform agenda and the Secretary-General’s report on ‘Our Common Agenda’, which calls for all UN agencies, as well as all UN Member States, to engage in foresight practices more deeply and apply the derived insights to address global systemic risks and support strategic planning.

UNEP and ISC are engaging widely across sectors, scientific disciplines, and knowledge systems to identify key drivers of change, potential signals of change and emerging issues that will impact the achievement of global environmental goals. The foresight and horizon scanning process will include the preparation of a megatrends and foresight report to be published in 2024.

Activities and impact

Foresight expert panel

  • Dr. Henrik Carlsen, Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Prof. Ranjan Datta, Mount Royal University
  • Sir Peter Gluckman, International Science Council
  • Prof. Gensuo Jia, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Dr. Nadejda Komendantova, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
  • Dr. Wilfred Lunga, Human Sciences Research Council
  • Prof. Diana Mangalagiu, University of Oxford
  • Dr. Felix Moronta Barrios, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology ICGEB
  • Prof. Wibool Piyawattanametha, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang
  • Prof. Diana Ürge-Vorsatz, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University
  • Prof. Fang Lee Cooke, Monash University
  • Prof. Debra Davidson, University of Alberta
  • H.E. Dr. Edgar E. Gutierrez-Espeleta, University of Costa Rica, Former Minister of Environment and Energy for Costa Rica
  • Dr. Nicholas King, Wilderness Foundation Africa
  • Dr. Simone Lucatello, Mexican National Agency for Science and Technology (CONACYT)
  • Dr. Nyovani Madise, African Institute for Development Policy
  • Dr. Elham Ali Mohamed, The National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS)
  • Prof. Michelle Mycoo, The University of the West Indies
  • Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation
  • Dr. Ljubisa Bojic, University of Belgrade
  • Dr. Salvatore Aricò, Ex-officio Member, International Science Council
  • Dr. Andrea Hinwood, Ex-officio Member, United Nations Environment Programme

News & Events View all

news
15 July 2024 - 7 min read

New UNEP-ISC Report: As global crises join forces, world must adopt forward-looking approach to protect human and planetary health

Learn more Learn more about New UNEP-ISC Report: As global crises join forces, world must adopt forward-looking approach to protect human and planetary health
events
15 July 2024

High-level launch event of the Global Foresight Report

Learn more Learn more about High-level launch event of the Global Foresight Report
Flooded street news
15 March 2024 - 5 min read

Using foresight for impact: Call for case studies  

Learn more Learn more about Using foresight for impact: Call for case studies  

Project team

Anne-Sophie Stevance

Anne-Sophie Stevance

Senior Science Officer, Head

Global Science Policy Unit, International Science Council

Anne-Sophie Stevance
James Waddell James Waddell

James Waddell

Science Officer, Political Affairs Liaison

Global Science Policy Unit, International Science Council

James Waddell
Peter Bridgewater

Peter Bridgewater

Special Adviser to the ISC and ISC Fellow (2023)

International Science Council

Peter Bridgewater

Publications

publications
15 July 2024

Navigating new horizons – A global foresight report on planetary health and human wellbeing

Learn more Learn more about Navigating new horizons – A global foresight report on planetary health and human wellbeing

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