External Role: Freelance Consultant: Climate Change & Terrestrial Ecosystems, Mitigation and Adaptation
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Dr. Shobha Maharaj is a climate impacts scientist who has spent the last 12 years in a combination of research and practitioner roles centered around the assessment of climate impacts upon terrestrial ecosystems; biodiversity and protected areas management & planning. Her current research focuses on climate impacts and sustainable nature-based adaptation and mitigation strategies, especially across global biodiversity hotspots, islands and the Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use (AFOLU) sector.
She serves on several international climate related collaborations. Some of these include: (i) Lead Author on the IPCC’s upcoming AR6 for both the Small Islands Chapter and the Biodiversity Hotspots Cross-Chapter Paper; and Contributing Author to the Key Risks across Sectors and Regions Chapter (Working Group II); (ii) Lead Author on the IPBES-IPCC workshop report on climate change and biodiversity and (iii) Coordinating Lead Author of the Climate and Ecosystems chapter of the National Ecosystems Assessment of Grenada.
External Role: CEO and Founder of ITACA & Business Development Associate at Acclimatise
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Laura has ten years combined research and consulting experience working on climate change adaptation issues globally. She is the CEO and Founder of ITACA (Innovation, Training and Adaptation in Coastal Areas), a technical assistance service provider based in Panamá and committed to accelerating climate adaptation and resilience financing in the Caribbean. She also works for Acclimatise/Willis Tower Watson as climate risk analyst and business development associate. Laura holds a PhD in Geography from King´s College London, an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University and a Bachelor of Marine Science (major in Coastal Management) from Queensland University.
External Roll: Public Policy Professional specializing in Island Jurisdictions | Environment, Energy, Sustainability, Climate Change
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Dr. Shah is a recognized expert on public policy, regulation and and governance in small island jurisdictions. As an institutional theorist, his research addresses science-based policy and regulatory design and administration for climate change, pollution prevention, clean technology, industrialization and sustainable production and consumption. His new work is on the effectiveness of tools such as technology needs assessments and regulatory impact assessments for informing policy decisions.
He is currently Director of the Island Policy Lab and Assistant Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy and the Joseph Biden Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware. He has also held faculty posts at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University and the University of Trinidad and Tobago in his country of origin.
Recently of note, Dr. Shah was appointed as the Coordinator of the Universities Consortium of Small Island States, a United Nations Multi-stakeholder Partnership and served as Coordinating Lead Author for Environmental Policy Assessment of the UN Global Environmental Outlook 6 Report. He is also current President of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Association.
He is a Fulbright Scholar, was an Organization of American States Ecology Fellow and a MacArthur Fellow. Dr. Shah received his Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy at George Mason University; M.Sc. In Natural Resource Management at the University of the West Indies, Barbados and B.Sc. In Biochemistry and Ecology at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago. He has over thirty peer-reviewed publications to date in journals including Energy Policy, Journal of Cleaner Production, Policy Sciences and Sustainability.