Prof Dube among world’s 100 most influential people

Apolitical, a peer-to-peer learning platform for governments has recognised Professor Opha Pauline Dube, as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy for 2019.

Apolitical is a global network for governments that helps public servants find ideas, people and partners they need to solve the hardest challenges facing societies. It connects public servants and policymakers in more than 160 countries to find original and curated content about what is working in policymaking around the world, including on topics such as digital government and government innovation.

Professor Dube is a University of Botswana Environmental Change Scientist and Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science. She is in the inaugural list of the 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy 2019 released on March 20, 2019.

The list is drawn from hundreds of nominations from experts, national governments, international organisations, academia and business, including the UNDP, Harvard, Oxford, Bloomberg and other leading organisations from around the world.

The list celebrates politicians, civil servants, academics and activists whose work is indispensable to raising awareness and demanding change. Others are rising stars who are making their mark in local communities and are a driving force behind governmental progress.

Therefore, Professor Dube has been recognised alongside inspirational politicians, advocates, youth activists, academics and diplomats such as Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Patricia Espinosa.

As a world-renowned environmental change specialist, Professor Dube is also a celebrated climate change research leader and is among a broad range of leaders recognised for their exemplary contributions in fields ranging from science to social enterprise.

In 2018, the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia where she completed her PhD in Geographical Science in 2000, awarded her the International Alumna of the Year Award in recognition of her leadership in global climate change research.

Thus, Professor Dube has served as one of the Vice Chairs of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) for five years where she introduced the Global Environmental Change and Least Developed Countries synthesis and capacity building work.

She is the Founder and Chair of the Botswana Global Environmental Change Committee (BGCC) at the University of Botswana that laid a foundation for building capacity in climate change research.

In her role as Vice Chair of the Botswana Government National Climate Change Committee (NCCC), Professor Dube facilitated introduction of climate change into Botswana’s development agenda.

She coordinated the Southern African Fire Network (SAFnet) for seven years and her work on wild fires contributed to the Botswana National Fire Strategy and led to the development of a regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) trans-boundary fire protocol.

Professor Dube, who is also Co-Editor-in-Chief of environmental science journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, has a focus on global environmental change in the context of the Anthropocene.

She is a Co-Coordinating Lead Author in the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on “the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

Professor Dube has received many accolades for her research, including a Nobel Peace Prize Certificate awarded in 2007 as part of the IPCC authorship for significant contribution to the scientific understanding of climate change and its implications for society.

Meanwhile, Apolitical says in its website that at a time when young people everywhere are marching to demand action on climate, it is more important than ever to celebrate and support those with the most power to act: the people driving tangible policy change.

As a global next work, the network has membership coming from entrepreneurship, journalism, government and business united by a belief that government is a powerful force for good – and can be even more so.

“The need to reduce greenhouse gas emission is urgent. 174 countries and the EU agreed to act at the Paris Agreements. At Apolitical, we highlight the good work that government does and help it to become even better,​” says Lisa Witter, Apolitical’s Executive Chairman.

​“By showcasing these climate policy leaders, we hope to encourage more collaboration and exchange to accelerate the effective response to the global climate threat,” she added.

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