Dr. Richard Munang.
Dr. Richard Munang is the Africa Regional Climate Change Coordinator at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). He is responsible for guiding the actualization of UNEP’s climate resilient development strategy for Africa in a manner that ensures human wellbeing.
He has led in providing technical guidance at national and regional levels, for country state & non state actors to adopt key non-environment, innovative enablers for effectively and efficiently upscaling climate actions that unlock tangible, prioritized socioeconomic co-benefits. These have included innovative financing, market incentives, driving climate action through catalytic sectors, ICT and cross-sectorial policy coherence. These enablers have cumulatively been instrumental in positioning climate action as a solution, an area for investment prioritization in driving key socioeconomic priorities of food security, creation of income & enterprise opportunities and expansion of macro-economies.
He has led policy and ground actions; transferring continentally and globally sourced innovative climate action practices to countries which in the processes have helped built both human and institutional capacities to drive sustainable agro-industrialization for inclusive wealth creation.
He has won many awards including but not limited to: the first person to win the prestigious African Environmental Hero Award 2016, and the 2016 winner of UNEP's highest staff award, the Baobab staff awards for Programme Innovation.
He has been a leading champion of research and knowledge for policy, to ensure member states have the requisite scientific data and information to inform their policy decisions. He pioneered UNEP’s first ever flagship Africa Adaptation Gap Report series, which downscales scientific data to a more contextual continental information pack that directly informs policy makers on investments to make towards bridging the continents climate resilience building gap. He has also been involved in shaping continental level strategic environmental policy position through technical support for the Africa Ministerial Conference for the Environment (AMCEN).
Dr Munang led in conceptualizing, formulating, and creating an inclusive framework for mobilizing state & non-state actors for Climate Action implementation as called for in section 5 of the Paris Agreement. This was by rallying member states to adopt the Ecosystems Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA) policy action framework as a voluntary convening framework for state & non-state actor efforts towards enhanced climate action implementation ambition
A champion for youth, he has structurally guided and inspired over a million youth across the continent, to turn their passions to profits, by tapping enterprise opportunities that climate action presents to offer tangible productivity solutions to communities and enterprises. This has been through an approach he innovated called Innovative Volunteerism, which he has aggressively leveraged to engage young people to become climate action solutions providers.
Dr. Munang is the author of the book –Making Africa work through the Power of Innovative Volunteerism. This book outlines practical policy trajectories that countries in Africa should take to accelerate transformational climate action that unlocks competitive continental economies by leveraging its sovereign capital – which is its people and the skills, talents, energy, creativity and aptitudes that they embody, as well as the continents catalytic sectors to accelerate sustainable agro-industrialization to achieve the ideals of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
He has participated in a wide variety of research projects and has published over 500 articles in both international peer reviewed journal and magazines.
Dr. Munang holds a PhD in Environmental Change & Policy from the University of Nottingham in the UK and an Executive Certificate in Climate Change and Energy Policy from Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.