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We Strengthen the African-Led

IISD-ACARE Scientific Board

We are thrilled to announce that Matthew McCandless, (Senior Director, Fresh Water & Executive Director, IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA)) has joined the Board of Directors of the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education (IISD-ACARE).


Who is Matthew McCandless?

Matt has been the executive director of the IISD-ELA—the world’s freshwater laboratory—since the site moved over to being an independent non-profit organization in 2014. This involves oversight of research and field station operations, administration, human resources, and fundraising.

He is an expert in the areas of hydrology, water quality and bioprocessing—his research often combining both policy and technical angles. Since joining IISD in 2006, Matt has been involved in dozens of projects on water, agriculture and bio-industrial development in Canada, Africa (East, West, and Central), Asia (India and Bangladesh) and Latin America.

He has a Ph.D. in biosystems engineering from the University of Manitoba, a Master of Natural Resources Management from the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Biological Engineering from Dalhousie University. Matt is a registered professional engineer.


Kevin Obiero is the Chair of ACARE’s Board of Directors. This is what he had to say about Matt:


“During the past two months we have been fortunate to be partnered with IISD, and now we are gaining Matt onto our board to really make this relationship even more efficient.”

“He has vast knowledge running an organization will assist ACARE’s strategic function and administration; his experience running a research institute fits nicely into our strategy for crafting education and training programs in the future; and his scientific background in freshwater speaks for itself in terms of ACARE’s goals and mission of strengthening science. Add that to his experience working on various projects in Africa and he is the full package.”


IISD-ACARE is new major partnership between the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education (ACARE).


It provides an opportunity for the world’s freshwater laboratory and networks on the African Great Lakes (AGL)—scientists and researchers from across North America and Africa—to come together and strengthen science on those seven Great Lakes.


Six expert science advisory groups have been created to harmonize research priorities and harness resources to more effectively address the numerous anthropogenic stressors on these important resources.


The seven Great Lakes of Africa contain about 25% of the world’s fresh water. The AGL and the ecosystem services they provide, underpin the welfare and livelihoods of over 50 million people across ten countries.

The African Center for Aquatic Research and Education (ACARE) was established to help strengthen and harmonize science and information exchange through a highly collaborative network of freshwater experts.

The international team of multi-disciplinary experts at the International Institute for Sustainable Development delivers the knowledge to act. We tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems by conducting innovative research, generating evidence and championing sustainable solutions.

For more information about the content on this page, the IISD-ACARE program, or ACARE, contact:
Dr. Ted Lawrence

Executive Director, ACARE


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