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.
✅ In December 2022, the ISC and UNEP signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on advancing the use of science in environmental policy and decision-making.
✅ In February 2023, UNEP and the ISC launched a call for nominations of individual experts to establish an independent Expert Panel to guide and oversee critical work on environmental horizon scanning and strategic foresight.
✅ In April 2023, the ISC and UNEP established the Foresight Expert Panel (see full list below).
UNEP-ISC Foresight Expert Panel
Dr. Henrik Carlsen
Stockholm Environment Institute
Prof. Fang Lee Cooke
Prof. Ranjan Data
Mount Royal University
Prof. Debra Davidson
University of Alberta
Sir Peter Gluckman
International Science Council
H.E. Dr. Edgar E. Gutierrez-Espeleta
University of Costa Rica, Former Minister of Environment and Energy for Costa Rica
Prof. Gensuo Jia
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Dr. Nicholas King
Wilderness Foundation Africa
Dr. Nadejda Komendantova
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Dr. Simone Lucatello
Mexican National Agency for Science and Technology (CONACYT)
Dr. Wilfred Lunga
Human Sciences Research Council
Dr. Nyovani Madise
African Institute for Development Policy
Prof. Diana Mangalagiu
University of Oxford
Dr. Elham Ali Mohamed
The National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS)
Dr. Felix Moronta Barrios
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology ICGEB
Prof. Michelle Mycoo
The University of the West Indies
Prof. Wibool Piyawatanametha
King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation
Prof. Diana Ürge-Vorsatz
Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University
Dr. Salvatore Aricò
International Science Council
Dr. Andrea Hinwood
United Nations Environment Programme