Montréal, February 13, 2015 – Mr. Gordon McBean, President of the International Council for Science and Co-Chair of the Future Earth Governing Council, today announced the appointment of Dr. Paul Shrivastava to head the Global Secretariat of Future Earth, the global research platform providing the knowledge and support to accelerate transformations to a sustainable world.
On hand for the announcement were Mr. Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec; the Honourable Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal; Mr. David Heurtel, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change; Mr. Robert Poëti, Minister of Transport and Minister Responsible for the Montréal Region; Mrs. Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie; Mrs. Dominique Anglade, President and CEO of Montréal International; Mr. Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Québec, as well as representatives from Montréal’s university establishments and Québec’s research community.
“Future Earth is the largest international global research program. The commitment of Québec and Montréal—one of Future Earth’s five global hubs—as well as the appointment of Dr. Shrivastava as Executive Director of the Global Secretariat will further support international research on global environmental change to benefit all world communities,” said Mr. Gordon McBean.
Dr. Shrivastava was until recently a professor emeritus and director of the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business. He now oversees the Future Earth Global Secretariat, comprised of five global hubs—in Montréal (Canada), Paris (France), Tokyo (Japan), Stockholm (Sweden) and Boulder (USA). These will be supported by regional hubs in the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
“I am honoured to lead the Future Earth Global Secretariat, which comprises thousands of scientists in hundreds of countries around the world. The Secretariat’s role includes facilitating and coordinating global research activities, communication and capacity strengthening. “I look forward to joining a top-notch team of professionals and scientists who are committed to sustainable development,” said Dr. Shrivastava.
“The world’s metropolises are increasingly called upon to become directly involved with sustainable development and climate change issues. The arrival of Future Earth and the appointment of Dr. Shrivastava are testament to the excellence of Montréal’s research activities as well as the region’s strategic importance as a hub for collaboration and exchange on issues of international importance,” explained Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre.
The arrival of Future Earth in Montréal is also the result of a successful collaboration between Montréal International, the Fonds de recherche du Québec, Montréal’s university establishments (Concordia University, McGill University, Université de Montréal, UQAM, INRS, ÉTS, Polytechnique), and the Ouranos climate research consortium. Montréal’s candidacy highlighted the strategic partnership between the academic, government and business sectors within the consortium as well as the region’s substantial pool of researchers already striving to improve our understanding of sustainability issues.
“The arrival of Future Earth enables us to further expand our horizons and strengthen our local and international partnerships with other parties engaged in research on environmental and sustainable development issues, wherever they are,” said Mrs. Dominique Anglade, President and CEO of Montréal International. “Future Earth joins the ranks of some 60 other international organizations that are already established in Montréal and contribute to making our metropolis a unique and multicultural centre that is open to the world,” added Mrs. Anglade.
“The appointment of Dr. Paul Shrivastava as Executive Director and Montréal’s designation as one of Future Earth’s five global hubs reinforces the role of Québec’s scientific community as a leading global player in research into climate change and sustainable development. These two developments exemplify the excellence of Québec research in these areas,” pointed out Mr. Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist Officer of Québec.
Future Earth is a new 10-year global research platform providing the knowledge and support to accelerate our transformations to a sustainable world. It will bring together three global environmental change programmes: the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) and DIVERSITAS, engage closely with the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and attract new research and stakeholder communities. Future Earth seeks to pioneer new approaches to international research bringing together many disciplines around a common research agenda. It will also provide an international platform for engagement to ensure that knowledge is generated in partnership with society and users of science.
The Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability is an informal international partnership which brings together members from research, funding and the international sectors that sponsor Future Earth. Currently the Alliance is acting as the Governing Council of Future Earth. The core membership of the Alliance includes the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the IGFA/Belmont Forum, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the United Nations University (UNU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The Alliance is currently co-Chaired by UNESCO and the ICSU.
Created in 1996, Montréal International is the result of a private-public partnership. Its mission is to act as an economic driver for Greater Montréal to attract foreign wealth while accelerating the success of its partners and clients. Its mandates include attracting foreign direct investments, international organizations and international strategic workers as well as promoting the competitive and international environment of Greater Montréal. Montréal International, a non-profit organization, is funded by the private sector, the governments of Canada and Québec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (Montréal Metropolitan Community) and the City of Montréal.
Reporting to the minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) aim to ensure the strategic and coherent development of research in Québec as well as provide funding, foster research training, establish partnerships to deliver on their mandate and support knowledge mobilization.