Nairobi/Beijing, March 3 2017: United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) Executive Director Mr. Erik Sohleim has appointed Dr. Jian Liu, Founding Director, UN Environment’s International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) as the Chief Scientist of the organization.

In his new role, Dr. Liu will be responsible for strengthening UN Environment’s credibility, legitimacy, relevance and integrity in the scientific arena. He will play an advisory role to the UN Environment leadership on scientific aspects of organization’s strategic priorities and programme of work as set out in its Medium Term Strategy. Further, he will also lead the efforts in promoting science that can integrate the environmental, social and economic pillars of sustainable development.

Dr Jian Liu said “I express my deep gratitude to the leadership for appointing me. I will build upon the successes of my predecessors and will spare no efforts to ‘advise, support, complement’ the leadership to strengthen the scientific credibility of UN Environment.”

Commending his appointment, Prof Linxiu Zhang, Co-Director, UNEP-IEMP and Professor and Director, Centre for Chinese Agriculture Policy, Chinese Academy of Sciences said “It is a matter of great pride for all of us. We owe our huge appreciation to Dr. Jian Liu. With his leadership, dedication and intellect, UNEP-IEMP has been able to make an impressive progress in the global South on issues related to ecosystem management. Personally, I greatly value his support and friendship that always been generously provided to us.”

Under this leadership as the Founding Director of UNEP-IEMP since 2010, the Centre has been able to provide its technical services to 17 countries across Asia, Africa and West Asia. It has also been organizing high level fora of global significance such as the South-South Cooperation on Climate Change (SSCCC) forum since 2014 during the annual United Nations Climate Change Conferences.

Last year, UNEP-IEMP established its credibility in the realms of operations and ultimately transitioned into fully-operational phase. It also launched its flagship programme on Climate, Ecosystems and Livelihoods (CEL) announced by Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director of UN Environment at the Marrakech Climate Conference – COP 22. It will provide strategic vision and direction to the future international cooperation of UNEP-IEMP.

In addition, he has also provided direct supervision and mentorship to doctorate and post-doctorate students from China and other developing countries selected under various fellowships provided by Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the host institute of UNEP-IEMP.