Session 1
29 - 30 MAY 2014
U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, USA


SESSION 1 - Assessing major environmental challenges and shaping innovative pathways to sustainability

The first plenary session will present the state of knowledge on major global environmental challenges and their respective socio-economic consequences. It will analyse the role and means of different stakeholders (public and private sectors, international organisations, NGOs, citizens, etc.) in mitigating the human ecological footprint and designing sustainable pathways that address the challenges in a comprehensive way, contributing thus to increase synergies between the Rio Conventions. The discussion will focus on how to foster the emergence of practical solutions in order to achieve international objectives, such as the CBD Aichi Biodiversity targets, including the Bonn Challenge, and to the setting of Sustainable Development Goals.

avatar for Harvey Fineberg

Harvey Fineberg

President, Institute of Medecine of the National Academies, USA
Harvey V. Fineberg, MD, PhD, is President of the Institute of Medicine. He previously served Harvard University as Provost for 4 years and 13 years as Dean of the School of Public Health. He helped found and served as President of the Society for Medical Decision Making and has been a consultant to the World Health Organization. His research has included assessment of medical technology, evaluation of vaccines, and dissemination of medical innovations. At the Institute of Medicine, he has chaired and served on a number of panels dealing with health policy issues, ranging from AIDS to new medical technology. He currently chairs the boards of the Hewlett Foundation and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author or co-author of numerous books and articles on subjects including global health, prevention of disease, and increasing the quality, safety, and value obtained from health care.

avatar for Antoine Frérot

Antoine Frérot

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Veolia
A graduate from the École polytechnique and PhD in Civil Engineering from the École nationale des ponts et chaussées, Antoine Frérot joined in 1983 the Research centre at the École nationale des ponts et chaussées as project manager before becoming deputy director from 1984 to 1988. From 1988 to 1990 he was head of Financial Operations at the Crédit National. He joined the Compagnie Générale des Eaux in 1990. In 2000 he was appointed chief executive officer of Veolia Transport and member of the Veolia Environnement Board of Directors. In 2003 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Veolia Water, and Executive Vice-President of Veolia Environnement. At the end of 2009, Antoine Frérot was appointed Chief Executive Officer and, in December 2010, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Veolia.
avatar for Catherine Garreta

Catherine Garreta

Executive Director, Head of External Relations and Partnerships, Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
A graduate of Sciences Po and ENA, Catherine GARRETA has devoted most of her career to development and environment issues. Her assignments have included Head of the Department of Multilateral Affairs at the French Ministry for Development (1993-1996), Head of the French Global Environment Facility (1996-2000), Deputy-Director of the French Coastal Protection Agency (2001-2005), Executive-Director of Iddri (Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales), a Paris-based think-thank dealing with global governance and sustainable development (2005-2008). She joined AFD in 2009 where her responsibilities as Head of Cross-Cutting issues included Sustainable Development Strategy, Climate Change issues and Environment and Social Safeguards. She was appointed in September 2013 Executive Director for External Relations and Partnerships.
avatar for Valerie Hickey

Valerie Hickey

Acting Sector Manager, Agriculture and Environmental Services; Senior Biodiversity Specialist,, World Bank
Valerie joined the World Bank as a technical specialist in East Asia and the Pacific, working on rural development projects in Cambodia, China and Lao, and on environmental safeguards. After joining the WB’s global team, Valerie became chair of the biodiversity and wildlife crime communities of practice. As Sector Manager for Environment in the Agriculture and Environmental Services Unit, Valerie manages a cross-sectoral team that covers oceans, sustainable landscapes, climate smart agriculture and environmental economics. Before joining the World Bank, Valerie worked for WWF, Wildlife Conservation Society and the US National Park Service where she managed invasive species programs in Lake Mead, the reservoir to the Hoover Dam. Valerie holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University.
avatar for George Hornberger

George Hornberger

Chair, Water Science and Technology Board (WSTB)
George M. Hornberger is Distinguished University Professor at Vanderbilt University, where he is the Director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and the Environment. He has a shared appointment as the Craig E. Philip Professor of Engineering and as Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Previously he was Ernest H. Ern Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia. He has served on numerous committees of the U.S. National Academies, including as chair of the Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources (1996-2000), chair of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources (2003-2009), and currently as chair of the Water Science and Technology Board. Hornberger received his Ph.D. in hydrology from Stanford University.
avatar for Julia Marton-Lefèvre

Julia Marton-Lefèvre

Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Julia Marton-Lefèvre is Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization. Previously, she was Rector of the University for Peace, Executive Director of LEAD International and Executive Director of The International Council for Science. She is a member of several boards (UN Global Compact, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Oxford University’s James Martin School), a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, and a member of the World Future Council. She has co-authored numerous books and papers. She is a recipient of the AAAS Award for International Cooperation in Science, Chevalier de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur, Chevalier dans l’Ordre de Saint-Charles and the ProNatura award.


The Conference has been proposed by

Veolia Institute

Logo Institut Veolia

Veolia Institute, environmental think tank dedicated to promoting foresight reflection on interactions between society and the environment

US Water Science and Technology Board

National-Academy-of-Science-logo-thumb US Water Science and Technology Board, established in the US National Research Council, to provide a focal point for studies related to water resources

Agence Française De Développement

AgenceFrancaiseDeveloppementThe financial institution and main implementing agency for France’s official development assistance to developing countries and overseas territories

International Union for Conservation of Nature

IUCN-logo-thumb International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world's oldest and largest global environmental network


Logo Institut Veolia        AgenceFrancaiseDeveloppementIUCN-logo-thumbNational-Academy-of-Science-logo-thumb



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