GEG Forum Participants

In 2009, eighty environmental leaders from 26 countries gathered in Glion, Switzerland to rediscover the past, analyze the present and imagine the future of global environmental governance. Through intensive dialogue and deliberation the Forum fostered and inspired renewed environmental leadership. They are featured below in alphabetical order by first name.

Achim Halpaap

Achim HalpaapAchim Halpaap is the Associate Director of the Training Department and Head of the Environment Unit at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

Prior to his appointment at UNITAR, Dr. Halpaap was Head of Section, Chemical and Waste Management Policies, at the Environmental Policy Directorate of the Bayer Corporation, Germany in 1990. He has served as a lecturer in the International Studies Department of the University of Oregon, where he developed and taught an interdisciplinary graduate level course on Global Environmental Issues. Additionally, he has served as the Director of the UNITAR/Yale Environmental and Democracy Initiative from 2006-2008, served as a member of the Executive Committee for the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, and chaired the Inter-Organization Program of the Sound Management of Chemicals in 2001-2002.

He is currently Chair of the International Coordinating Group on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers and a member in the United Nations Environment Management Group. Dr. Halpaap is the author of several peer-reviewed publications concerned with international chemical risk governance, international environmental policy, and democratic environmental governance. He has extensively lectured on these topics in various international, national and academic fora.

Return to Top

Achim Steiner

Achim SteinerAchim Steiner has been the UNEP Executive Director since 2006, and is the former Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (2001-2006).

Before his unanimous election to his current post by the UN General Assembly, Mr. Steiner served as Director General of the IUCN where he managed 1,000 staff located in 42 countries. He has worked for a number of governmental, non-governmental and international organizations in different parts of the world. In Washington, he led the development of new partnerships between the environment community, the World Bank and the United Nations system; in Southeast Asia he worked as Chief Technical Advisor on a program for the sustainable management of Mekong River watersheds; and in 1998, Mr. Steiner was appointed Secretary-General of the World Commission on Dams based in South Africa, where he managed a global program of work to bring together the public sector, civil society and the private sector in a global policy process on dams and development. He has worked both at grassroots level as well as at the highest levels of international policy-making to address the interface between environmental sustainability, social equity and economic development.

Mr. Steiner currently serves on a number of international advisory boards, including the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development.

Return to Top

Adnan Z. Amin

Adnan Z. AminAdnan Z. Amin is the Director of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB).

Prior to this current position, Mr. Amin was with UNEP for 15 years in several capacities, including in charge of program on environmental institution building in developing countries, and UNEP’s unit for environmental policy coordination and collaboration with other UN entities. He served as Director of UNEP’s New York office as well as Special Representative of the UNEP Executive Director. During that time he was responsible for environment policy coordination, interagency coordination and collaboration with other UN Agencies and for outreach to civil society and the private sector. Mr. Amin played the lead role in supporting the intergovernmental process to review International Environmental Governance and in UNEP’s participation in the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Additionally, he served as the Executive Director of the Secretariat of the Secretary-Generals High Level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence in 2006.

Mr. Amin is a development economist specializing in environment and sustainable development, and has previously served as a trustee and member of the Board of Directors of the Cambridge-UK based World Conservation Monitoring Centre, one of the premier biodiversity information institutions in the world.

Return to Top

Ana Luisa Leiva Vega

Ana Luisa Leiva Vega is an advisor on International Environmental Law, Conventions and Multilateral Environmental Agreements, to the government of Costa Rica.

She is the former assistant and advisor to the Minister of the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications. Ms. Leiva was named a Political Focal Point from Costa Rica by the financial mechanism of the GEF in 2006. Her work at the Ministry in international environmental governance has attracted the support of groups including UNDP and the attention of UN agencies for issues of trade and environment, sustainable development and international cooperation.

Return to Top

Andreas Kraemer

R. Andreas KraemerR. Andreas Kraemer is the current Chairman of the Ecologic Institute in Washington, D.C., a non-profit applied environmental policy research institute, and has been Director of the Ecologic Institute in Berlin since 1995.

Prior to the founding of the Ecologic Institute, Mr. Kraemer worked at a range of policy institutes including the Science Center Berlin, the Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung (IÖW) and the Research Unit Environmental Policy of the Free University of Berlin. He was Senior Fellow at the Bonn office of the Institute for European Environmental Policy and, since 1993, has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Duke University, lecturing on European integration and environmental policy. Mr. Kraemer is Co-Chairman of the advisory board of OekoWorld, setting criteria for global investment for a group of ethical and ‘green’ investment funds or mutual trusts, and of Oekom Research, a rating agency specializing in corporate and governmental ethics and sustainability. Additionally, he is a member of the board of Oekom Verlag, a publishing house dedicated to sustainable development. He also serves on the Boards of the Bellagio Forum for Sustainable Development, the French-Alsatian NGO Solidarit Eau Europe, and is a coordinator of the British German Environment Forum.

His background in institutional analysis and capacity building in sustainable development, environmental policy and resource management has led him to integrating environmental concerns into other policies, notably EU General Affairs and external relations. He is particularly engaged in strengthening transatlantic relations and cooperation on environment, climate and energy security.

Return to Top

Anne Bourdy

Anne Bourdy is a policy advisor for the French Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Town and Country Planning.

As part of the Directorate for European and International Affairs, this Ministry is in charge of UNEP’s activities and the international environmental governance dossier. Before joining the Ministry, Ms. Bourdy worked for two years as an Associate Programme Officer for the Division of Environmental Law and Conventions at UNEP. With her background in environmental management, her focus was on compliance with and enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). She has also served at the French permanent Mission in Nairobi where she supported the Deputy Permanent Representative to UNEP and UN Habitat.

Return to Top

Araya Asfaw

Araya AsfawAraya Asfaw is a Founding Member and the current Director of Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center/Network (HoAREC/N) and Dean of the Science Faculty at the University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Dr. Asfaw has extensive experience in academia, teaching environmental physics and conducting research in laser spectroscopy with applications in Material Science, Atmospheric Science and Earth Sciences. Under his leadership at HoAREC/N, a network of members and partners has developed, including environmental community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, and higher learning institutions from six countries in the Horn of Africa. The goal of the network is to improve environmental governance within the region through the promotion of cooperation and exchange of information and experiences among the network members. Since its launch in 2006, the Centre has been dedicated to supporting cooperation between member organizations and other environmental actors, including private sector and government, to carry out activities on the ground, with a focus on partnership programs, capacity upgrading and demand-driven action research. Dr. Asfaw is the author of numerous articles, served as the Chairman of the Energy Committee of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia Science and Technology Commission and has been recognized for his efforts with the National Deans Award.

Return to Top

Asad Khan

Asad Khan has served as Minister at the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations since July 2004. He is now a Vice-Chairperson of the Bureau for the Preparatory Process of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, representing the Asian Group.

He acted as Chef de Cabinet to the ECOSOC President (Pakistan’s ECOSOC Presidency 2005). In 2007, he served as the Chief Coordinator for the Group of 77 and China during Pakistan’s Chairmanship of G-77, leading the Group in economic and development related intergovernmental negotiations, including on the follow up to the 2005 World Summit Decisions and acting as the G-77 Coordinator for the 13th UNFCCC COP in Bali, Indonesia. Dr. Khan also coordinated the work of the Secretary General’s High Level Panel on System Wide Coherence in 2006 on behalf of and in assistance to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, who served as the Co-chair of the High Level Panel. He has served as visiting lecturer and resource person for leading academic institutions in Pakistan, including International Islamic University, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Foreign Trade Institute of Pakistan and Foreign Service Academy on international trade and WTO affairs.

Return to Top

Birgitta Dahl

Birgitta DahlBirgitta Dahl is a member of the board of the Stockholm Environment Institute and of the International Institute for Industrial Environment Economics at Lund University.

She is also the President of UNICEF Sweden and the World Infections Foundation. Serving as a member of the Swedish Parliament from 1969-2002, Ms. Dahl held the position of Speaker from 1994-2002 and Minister of Environment and Energy from 1982-1991. She also served as a member of the Panel on Eminent Persons on United Nations-Civil Society Relations, as senior advisor to Global Environment Facility (GEF) and as President of the High-Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development.

Return to Top

Bradnee Chambers

Bradnee Chambers is the Senior Legal Officer and Chief of Policy and Interlinkages between the Multilateral Environmental Agreements in UNEP Division of Environmental Law and Conventions.

From 1996-2008, Dr. Chambers worked for the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) where he served in various capacities including the Institute Legal Advisor and as a Senior Researcher. From 1994-1995, he worked at the Transnational Corporation Division of UNCTAD (Geneva), developing investment rules transparency in Asian developing countries. He has participated in a numerous diplomatic, academic and international conferences, including Conference of the Parties and Subsidiary Body Meetings for FCCC and CBD, WTO Ministerials, CSD, and as a representative in the UN Environment Management Group. Dr. Chambers was a Convening Lead Author in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and Global Environmental Outlook 4 (GEO4) and is a Senior Legal Research Fellow at the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law at the University McGill in Montreal Canada. He has been a visiting professor at University of Tokyo and Chuo University. Dr Chambers’s current books include Interlinkages and the Effectiveness of MEAs (2008), Institutional Interplay: The Case of Biosafety (co-edited with Oran Young et al., 2008), WTO and Development: Policy Perspectives (co-edited Gary P. Sampson, 2008).

Return to Top

Carlos Lopes

Carlos Lopes is the Executive Director of UNITAR and the former UN Assistant Secretary-General.

After serving in his native Guinea-Bissau in the public service in the areas of research, diplomacy and planning, Dr. Lopes joined the UNDP as a development economist, later serving as Deputy Director for the Office of Evaluation and Strategic Planning, Resident Representative in Zimbabwe and Deputy, and then Director of the New York-based Bureau for Development Policy. Dr. Lopes was a member of UNDP’s Executive team and also managed UNDP’s global programme, with a portfolio of $1 billion. In June 2003 he became the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Brazil.

Specializing in development and strategic planning, Dr. Lopes has authored/edited 20 books and taught at a wide range of academic institutions. He has helped establish various non-governmental organizations and centers for social research, in particular in Africa and in August 2008, Dr. Lopes was elected to the Lisbon Academy of Sciences, Portugal.

Return to Top

Christel McDonald

Christel McDonald participated in the 1972 Environment Forum, the parallel NGO Forum during the Stockholm Environment Conference.

She worked at the Council of Ministers of the European Communities in Brussels during its inception and was posted in 1961 in Geneva to manage the Council’s office to the United Nations and its specialized agencies including ECOSOC and UNCTAD, as well as the GATT negotiations. As Ambassador John W. McDonald’s wife, she traveled to assignments in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, attending many UN conferences, including the Stockholm conference in 1972 and the UN Population Conference in 1974. She has degrees from George Washington University, the University of Geneva, and the University of Iowa. Mrs. McDonald is deeply committed to the ideals of the liberal arts and furthering higher education. Currently she enjoys her work as a Historical Researcher on ethnic and regional conflict.

Return to Top

Christophe Bouvier

Christophe Bouvier is the Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for Europe.

He joined UNEP in June 2007 with more than 27 years of experience within the United Nations system, and has held posts at increasing levels of responsibility, at country, regional and global levels. Christophe has managed and supervised complex operations involving a multiplicity of partners, whether international or local, public or private. He received the UNOPS joint Staff Council/Executive award for best human resources management in 1996.

His latest position was that of Senior Strategic Advisor on Iraq for UNDP and as such facilitated the first multi-year UNDP country programme for Iraq in decades, including a joint UNDP/UNEP emergency and environment pillar. He launched a comprehensive local level recovery and development programme and established inter agency agreements between UNDP and UN developmental, environmental and humanitarian agencies.

Return to Top

Daniel C. Esty

Daniel Esty is the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University, the Director of the Center for Environmental Law and Policy, and Director of the Center for Business & Environment at Yale.

Prior to taking up his current position, Professor Esty was a Senior Fellow at the Institute for International Economics (1993-94), served in a variety of senior positions on the US Environmental Protection Agency (1989-93), and practiced law in Washington, DC. During his time at Yale, Professor Esty has authored or edited nine books and numerous articles on environmental policy and the relationships between environment and corporate strategy, competitiveness, trade, globalization, governance, and development. His prizewinning recent book, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage, shows how leading-edge companies have folded environmental thinking into their core business strategies, and he continues to pursue research in the areas of innovation and the environment, corporate environmental strategy and environmental protection in the information age.

Mr. Esty has advised companies across the world on energy, environment and sustainability. He now serves as Chairman of Esty Environmental Partners, a corporate environmental strategy group based in New Haven, CT, and sits on the Board of Directors of Resources for the Future and the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. For all his work, Professor Esty received the American Bar Association Award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy in 2002, for “pioneering a data-driven approach to environmental decision making” and developing the global Environmental Sustainability Index.

Return to Top

Daniel Reifsnyder

Daniel Reifsnyder became Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Sustainable Development at the United States Department of State on March 6, 2006.

Currently he is responsible for a broad range of issues related to environmental protection, conservation, and sustainable development. He leads the U.S. delegation under multiple bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements, including for the protection of the stratospheric ozone layer, biological diversity, and wildlife conservation. Mr. Reifsnyder led the U.S. delegation to the U.N. Environment Program’s Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environmental Forum in 2009 that launched negotiations toward a new legally binding instrument on mercury. He also helped launch the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change in 2009. From 1989 to 2006, Mr. Reifsnyder served as Director of the Bureau’s Office of Global Change, where he developed and implemented U.S. policy on global climate change and co-chaired the Financial Task Team of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was Deputy Director of the Bureau’s Office of Cooperative Science and Technology Programs from 1987-89, and Atlantic Desk Officer in the Office of Fisheries Affairs from 1984-1987. He came to the Department of State after 10 years with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Mr. Reifsnyder has received numerous awards including the Department of State’s Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards. The Environmental Protection Agency awarded him an individual Ozone Protection Award in 2009 for his contribution to this historic global achievement, and in 2005 received the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award. Mr. Reifsnyder also served as Visiting Lecturer in Public and International Affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School (1999-2000) and as a Research Fellow at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (2000-2001).

Return to Top

Daniel Ziegerer

Daniel Ziegerer is acting Head of Global Affairs at the Federal Environment Office in Switzerland. Before that he was a Senior Policy Adviser at the International Affairs Division of the Swiss Office for the Environment.

He coordinates the involvement and activities of the Swiss Government with UNEP and with the CSD and represents his government in international conferences and negotiations on environmental matters. Before joining the Swiss Office for the Environment, Daniel Ziegerer worked as Policy Adviser for the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA) in its Biodiversity and International Affairs Programme and for the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in its Economic Development Cooperation Division. In his LLM dissertation he undertook a comparative analysis of existing approaches for strengthening global environmental governance and their ability to improve inadequate governance functions. In 2008, he was awarded the T.B. Smith Prize for the Most Distinguished Scholar graduating from the LLM or MSc postgraduate degrees by the School of Law of the University of Edinburgh.

Return to Top

David Monsma

David MonsmaDavid Monsma is executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Program, which includes the Catto Fellowship Program, the Aspen Environment Forum, the Aspen Energy Policy Forum and the Aspen Commission on Arctic Climate Change.

An attorney by training, Mr. Monsma has twenty years of policy experience in environmental law, sustainable development and corporate governance. Immediately prior to joining the Aspen Institute, he taught law and ethics at Loyola College in Maryland. He has served as director of business and environment at Business for Social Responsibility in San Francisco, as task force coordinator for the President’s Council on Sustainable Development under President Clinton, and as project director of the Campaign for Cleaner Corporations at the Council on Economic Priorities in New York City. Early in his career, Mr. Monsma served as a program attorney at the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Return to Top

David Runnalls

David RunnallsDavid Runnalls is President and CEO of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). He is also a member of the Board for the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development.

Before coming to the IISD, Mr. Runnalls was the Canadian Board member of the IUCN for six years and the Chair of the Committee for the World Conservation Congress in 1996. He served as a member of the Board of the World Environment Center, IIED and Pollution Probe. He is a former Co-Chair of the China Council Task Force on WTO and Environment, as well as the former Chair of the Adjudication Panel for the ALCAN Prize for Sustainability. He has served as Senior Advisor to the President of the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada, and to the Administrator of the UNDP. He was Director of the Environment and Sustainable Development Programme at the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Ottawa and co-founded the International Institute for Environment and Development, directing both its London and Washington offices.

An occasional writer and broadcaster, he has served as environment columnist for the CBC radio program, As it Happens. He was a member of the Discovery Channel’s regular environment panel and columnist for the Earth Times, the paper of record for the UN Earth Summit in 1992. He is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Advanced Studies of the United Nations University and of the Council for Sustainable Development Technology Canada. A member of the Ivey Business School Leadership Council and the Inquiry Team for Tomorrow’s Global Company, Mr. Runnalls serves on the International Sustainability Innovation Council of Switzerland (ISIS), and the Shell Report External Review Committee.

Return to Top

Doaa Abdel Motaal

Doaa Abdel Motaal is a Counsellor on Agriculture, Environment, External Relations and WTO Accessions to the World Trade Organization’s Office of the Director-General in Geneva, Switzerland. She advises governments on trade and environment policies and technical barriers to trade and the WTO Agreements dealing with them. She further conducts research work requested by governments, trains developing country governments on WTO rules, represents the WTO in various environmental and other fora and briefs non-governmental organizations on developments in WTO on trade and environment issues. Prior to her position at the WTO she worked as an Environmental Program Officer at the Technical Cooperation Office for the Environment, a UNDP support office for the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency.

Return to Top

Elizabeth Dowdeswell

Elizabeth DowsdeswellElizabeth Dowdeswell is Special Advisor for and former President of Canada’s Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) and is a former Executive Director of UNEP (1993-1997). A former Assistant Deputy Minister of Environment Canada, Ms. Dowdeswell was responsible for the national weather and atmospheric agency and was a negotiator at the UNFCCC and IPCC. After leaving UNEP, she founded Canada’s NWMO which has been critical in guiding decisions regarding the long-term management of used nuclear fuel. As a former teacher, lecturer and educational consultant, Ms. Dowdeswell has continually focused on engaging the public in policy-making and has seen education as a means by which to achieve results. She remains a visiting professor in Public Health and Ethics at the University of Toronto’s McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health. Ms. Dowdeswell is a Director on the Board of several corporations and advises a number of not-for-profit organizations. She also chairs the Scientific Advisory Committee of the new Council of Canadian Academies.

Return to Top

Erik Cockbain

Erik Cockbain is a Higher Executive Officer in the Department for International Cooperation at the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment, where he works with UNEP and EU/EEA-coordination (European Economic Area).

He has previously worked as an environmental management consultant at GRIP , The Norwegian Foundation for Sustainable Consumption and Production and worked on environmental grant writing in Central and Eastern Europe with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in Brussels.

Return to Top

Felix Dodds

Felix DoddsFelix Dodds is the Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future. He has been active in developing training for lobbying at multilateral environmental agreements, advising on local Agenda 21s and developing local sustainable development indicators.

Among his current projects is the creation of a global public policy network on water and sanitation. Mr. Dodds has worked with the United Nations since 1990, attending the Rio Earth Summit, Habitat II, Rio+5, Copenhagen+5, Beijing+5, the World Summit on Sustainable Development and all sessions of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. He has been instrumental in establishing three NGO coalitions at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, UN Habitat II and the WHO Health and Environment Conference. Having facilitated two global NGO lobbying processes and co-chairing the NGO Coalition at the Commission on Sustainable Development, Mr. Dodds introduced Stakeholder Dialogues for the Rio Summit and ran successful stakeholder involvement sessions at Bonn Water, Bonn Energy and High-Level Panel on UN Reform.

Mr. Dodds has authored/edited six books and his latest is “Climate and Energy Insecurity.” His other books include “The Way Forward Beyond Agenda 21 and Human and Environmental Security: An Agenda for Change”, which was nominated for best environment book of 2005. Mr. Dodds is a member of the Green Globe Network which advises the UK Foreign Secretary on sustainable development, as well as the Commission on Globalization, the UNEP Global Environmental Outlook 2007 advisory team and the Global Forum on Oceans and Seas Advisory Council.

Return to Top

Franz Perrez


Frank PerrezFranz Perrez is Swiss Ambassador for the Environment and head of the International Affairs Division at the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment. He is also a lecturer of international environmental law at the University of Bern School of Law, and former head of the Global Affairs Section in the Swiss Agency for the Environment.

Before joining the Swiss Agency for the Environment, Dr. Perrez was legal counsel to the Department of Public International Law, the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs, and legal advisor in the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. As such, he has served as the Swiss representative to the WTO committee on trade and environment.

Dr. Perrez currently represents Switzerland in international environmental negotiations, namely in the areas of international environmental governance, sustainable development, chemicals, wastes and forest policy. He has published widely in the area of international environmental law, the relationship between trade and environment, and public international law; his most recent publication is “How to Get Beyond the Zero-Sum Game between State and Non-State Actors in International Environmental Governance (2009).

Return to Top

Hanne Strong

Hanne Strong is the Founder of The Manitou Foundation (a land granting organization) and the Manitou Institute (environmental stewardship). Over the past twenty years, she has travelled to over 90 countries where she has frequently been an invited speaker at seminars and conferences on the subject of sustainable communities and spiritually based environmental education.

In 1992, during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), Mrs. Strong organized and sponsored two conferences attended by spiritual leaders from around the world. In 1977, she organized three conferences for children, youth and the handicapped that paralleled HABITAT, the UN Conference on Human Settlements in Vancouver, B.C. It was the first time ever that children addressed the world in the United Nations Plenary with their views and recommendations.

Return to Top

Heather Lauver

Heather Lauver is Director of global donation operations for the Catholic Medical Mission Board and President of FutureSpec, a health and environmental social change advisory group.

She consults and leads on a number of issues including infectious disease control, organizational development, and healthy communities. Ms. Lauver has 18 years of global experience in diverse healthcare settings, including working with USAID, the WHO and the pharmaceutical industry on needs of the developing world. Ms. Lauver previously served as the Director of Worldwide Corporate Responsibility at Pfizer Inc., a research-based global health care company. She provided consultation on philanthropy and public health initiatives, led global operations for international access programs in 59 countries, and collaborated on related global policy.

Return to Top

Ivar Baste

Ivar Baste is the Interim Director of the Environment Management Group (EMG) in Geneva, which was established in 2001 to enhance UN system-wide inter-agency cooperation in the field of the environment.

Before coming to the EMG, Mr. Baste held various positions in intergovernmental and governmental organizations including Chief of Scientific Assessment Branch, Division of Early Warning and Assessment at UNEP, Deputy Permanent Representative of Norway to UNEP and UN-HABITAT, and positions within the Norwegian Ministry of Environment. He has more than twenty years of experience as a manager, environmental expert and negotiator. With a special interest in promoting the interface between science, policymaking and international negotiations, Mr. Baste has been author, coordinator and governing body representative for a number of international environmental assessments, multilateral environmental agreements and environmental governance processes. These include the Global Biodiversity Assessment (1995), Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) and the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology (2008). He was among the authors of the GEO-4 report, focusing on interlinkages between different environmental changes and their impact on development and human well-being.

Return to Top

Jacob Duer

Jacob Duer is Senior Change Management Advisor (HR Programming and Planning) at UNEP.

He joined UNEP in 2002 and has worked in the Divisions of Policy Development and Law and Environmental Law and Conventions as both Special Assistant to the Director and Programme Office. Having worked in project management, financial and human resource administration and acted as policy and strategic advisor to senior management, most recently Jacob was appointed to the Strategic Implementation Team as Senior Advisor on Human Resources Planning and Policy.

Before joining UNEP and following field assignments in West Africa, he worked as the Executive Assistant to the Under-Secretary General of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna. Jacob holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Management. In 2010, he was selected for a two-year Catto Fellowship by the Aspen Institute.

Return to Top

James Gustave Speth

James Gustave SpethJames Gustave Speth was the Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and Sara Shallenberger Brown Professor in the Practice of Environmental Policy at the School until 2009 and joined the faculty of Vermont Law School in 2010.

Before joining Yale in 1999, Gus Speth served as Administrator of UNDP and chair of the UN Development Group. Prior to his service at the UN, he was founder and President of the World Resources Institute, professor of law at Georgetown University, Chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality, and senior attorney and co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. He has provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to task forces and committees combating environmental degradation, including the President’s Task Force on Global Resources and Environment; the Western Hemisphere Dialogue on Environment and Development; and the National Commission on the Environment.

His numerous published books and articles include The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability, Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment; and Worlds Apart: Globalization and the Environment. Mr. Speth has received many awards, such as the National Wildlife Federation’s Resources Defense Award, the Natural Resources Council of America’s Barbara Swain Award of Honor, a 1997 Special Recognition Award from the Society for International Development, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Environmental Law Institute, and the Blue Planet Prize.

Return to Top

Janet Strachan

Janet StrachanJanet Strachan is an advisor on sustainable development at the Commonwealth Secretariat, working with 53 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and the Pacific.

During her time at the Secretariat she coordinated the strategy for the World Summit on Sustainable Development and has organized Ministerial dialogues on international environmental governance, globalization and sustainable development, and partnership approaches in the delivery of water and sanitation. She supported preparations for the 2005 Small Island Developing States Summit in Mauritius and has co-authored the ‘Plain Guide to the World Summit on Sustainable Development’.

Ms. Strachan currently chairs the Management Group of ComHabitat, a multistakeholder partnership supporting implementation of the Habitat Agenda, and is elaborating a program of work on adaptation to climate change. She has spoken widely about sustainable development issues relating to small developing states, and is also co-author of “Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States”.

Return to Top

Janos Pasztor

Janos PasztorJanos Pasztor is the Director of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team and Designated Head of the newly created Global Sustainability Panel (GSP) Secretariat. Previously, he was the Director of the Environment Management Group (EMG) Secretariat from 2007-2008.

Before coming to these positions, Mr. Pasztor began his career in environmental negotiation and worked with NGOs for more than 10 years before serving as Coordinator, Officer-in-Charge of the Project-based Mechanisms Program at the UNFCCC Secretariat. He has held a variety of positions within the UN, including as Senior Program Officer (Atmosphere, Information System) at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development; Program Officer (Energy) at UNEP, and as a Consultant for the UNCTAD. In addition, Mr. Pasztor was the Information System Coordinator for the Earth Council Organizing Committee, an Associate Scientist in Energy-Environment Planning at the Stockholm Environment Institute, and the Energy Program Director at the World Council of Churches.

His work at the EMG Secretariat, a grouping of all UN agencies and Secretariats of Multilateral Environmental Agreements as well as the Bretton Woods institutions and the WTO, has been focused on system-wide inter-agency coordination related to specific issues in the field of environment and human settlements. Currently, his work with the Climate Change Support Team is focused on the next steps in climate change policy, looking towards Copenhagen in December 2009.

Return to Top

Jil Zilligen

Jil Zilligen is Chief Sustainability Officer at Shaklee Corporation in Portland, Oregon. She has been the Executive Director of the Zero Waste Alliance and the Director of Operations at the International Sustainable Development Foundation.

Prior to these posts, Ms. Zilligen was Chief Sustainability Officer at Nau, Inc. where she was responsible for creating a brand, customer experience, and product line that minimized or eliminated negative environmental impacts, maximized equity for all, and set new benchmarks for corporate responsibility and philanthropy. She is the former Executive Director of 1% For the Planet, an alliance of over 100 companies committed to conservation work and corporate philanthropy. She has also worked at Patagonia as Director of Environmental Programs and later Vice President of Environmental Initiatives. She has held positions on the Board of Directors of the Conservation Alliance, Environmental Grantmakers Association, and the Wildlife Damage Review.

Return to Top

Jim MacNeill

Jim MacNeillJim MacNeill is a Chair Emeritus of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), a former Chairman of the World Bank’s Independent Inspection Panel (1997-2002), and a former member of the Caspian Development Advisory Panel (2003-2007). In 2008, 20 years after its founding, he retired as Chair of the Jury for the Volvo Environment Prize.

Prior to his work at the World Bank, Mr. MacNeill served as member of the High-Level Advisory Group of the OECD, as a Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the 1992 Earth Summit and at the request of the Administrator of UNDP, he streamlined UNDP’s programs and redeployed its resources on energy, environment and natural resources. His early experience as an advisor to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and to the UN Secretary-General for the 1972 Stockholm Conference, as well as his position as as Deputy Minister of the Federal Ministry of Urban Affairs, led him to serve as Secretary-General of the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission) and as the Director of Environment for OECD in Paris.

Mr. MacNeill was the chief architect and lead author of the 1987 report, Our Common Future, which called for an urgent global transition to more sustainable forms of development. With nearly four decades of experience as a policy advisor to leaders of governments, industry and international organizations in the fields of energy, natural resources, management, environment and sustainable development, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest award.

Return to Top

John Matuszak

John Matuszak has been Division Chief for Sustainable Development and Multilateral Affairs in the State Department´s Office of Environmental Policy (ENV) since 2002.

In this Division Mr. Matuszak leads a group that manages U.S. government involvement with the UNEP, the UN CSD and the Committee on Environmental Policy of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The Division also leads State Department involvement in the GEF and the OECD – EPOC and AMSDE and is responsible for State Department compliance with the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and environmental reviews of projects at the Multilateral Development Banks. Mr. Matuszak also advises and participates on U.S. Delegations to meetings of many MEAs. He was elected a Vice President and member of the Bureau of the Governing Council of UNEP for 2009-2010 where he represents the WEOG Region.

Mr. Matuszak is an International Advisor to the UNEP International Environmental Technology Center (IETC) in Japan, a member of the Advisory Board for the Marrakesh Process on Sustainable Consumption and Production and is on the Bureau of the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy. He also served as a High Level Advisory for UNEP’s fourth Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-4). Between 1997 and 2002, Mr. Matuszak served as the Regional Coordinator for the Latin America and the Caribbean in The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Global Center for the Environment. In 1998, he was elected to the UN Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development (CENRD). He served until 2002 and was the vice-chair for water from 1998-2000. From 1994-1997 John was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Diplomacy Fellow at the Department of State.

Return to Top

John W. McDonald

John W. McDonaldJohn W. McDonald is the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy and was the Secretary of the U.S. Delegation to the 1972 Stockholm Conference. While serving as Director of Economic and Social Affairs at the Bureau of International Organization Affairs at the US State Department, he initiated a discussion on the creation of a new UN agency for the environment. He was awarded the State Department Superior Honor Award in July 1972 for his work in creating UNEP.

With a long history in the US Foreign Service, Ambassador McDonald conducted diplomacy in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He has served as Deputy Director General of the UN International Labor Organization and has carried out a wide variety of assignments for the U.S. State Department in the area of multilateral diplomacy, having been appointed Ambassador four times to represent the United States at various UN World Conferences. After retiring in 1987, he went on to hold several professorial, teaching and lecturing positions at the Foreign Service Institute, the Center for the Study of Foreign Affairs, and the Iowa Peace Institute, which he headed as President from 1988 to 1992.

As a co-founder of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy in 1992, Ambassador McDonald and his colleagues have been instrumental in defining and applying the concept of multi-track diplomacy, which treats the process of international peacemaking as a web of interconnected activities, individuals, institutions and communities operating together to create peace. The Institute is currently at work in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East providing negotiations support, conflict resolution workshops, and training and education in diplomatic and governmental skills to communities dealing with ethnic or international conflict.

Return to Top

John Scanlon

John ScanlonIn 2010, John Scanlon was named as the new Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). He has been the Principal Advisor to the Executive Director on Policy and Programme at UNEP since 2007. He was the Leader of the Strategic Implementation Team in 2007-2008, which drove the implementation of wide reforms within UNEP, in which capacity he led the development of the agency’s Medium-term Strategy 2010-2013.

Mr. Scanlon has had a wide range of experience with environment and sustainable development policy, law, institutions and governance at the international, national, sub-national and local level. His previous positions include serving as the Chief Executive for the Department of Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs in Adelaide, Australia, the Deputy Director General at the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources in Sydney, Advisor to the World Commission on Dams, Head of the IUCN Environmental Law Programme and Director of the IUCN Environmental Law Centre.

Mr. Scanlon’s extensive publications on governance for sustainable development include being coeditor/author of: “International Environmental Governance: An International Regime for Protected Areas”, “Global governance for the environment and the role of MEAs in conservation”, “Flow: The Essentials of Environmental Flows “and “International Legal Foundations for Environmental Flows”. He has been a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law since 1995, served on the Steering Committee from 2005-2008, and is an accredited mediator.

Return to Top

Julia Marton-Lefèvre

Julia Marton-LefèvreJulia Marton-Lefèvre is Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s largest conservation/environment membership organization which brings together states, governments, NGOs, scientists and other experts to influence, encourage and assist societies to ensure that use of natural resources is equitable andecologically sustainable.

Prior to joining IUCN, Ms. Marton-Lefèvrewas Rector of the University for Peace (UPEACE), a graduate-level international university, mandated by the United Nations that provides education, training and research on peace and conflict. She is also the former Executive Director of LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) and of the International Council for Science. She has served on the Boards of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Earth Charter International, the World Resources Institute, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), ICSU’s Committee on Science and Technology in Developing Countries (COSTED) and the InterAcademy Council’s Panel on Promoting Worldwide Science and Technology Capacities for the 21st Century.

Ms. Marton-Lefèvre currently serves on a number of boards, councils and committees, such as the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), UPEACE, LEAD International, and the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. She has authored many books and papers, and in 2008 was awarded the “Chevalier de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur” by the French Government.

Return to Top

Klaus Toepfer

Klaus ToepferKlaus Toepfer was Executive Director of UNEP from 1998 to 2006 and has held ministerial posts in Germany. He is now the founding director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, on the outcome of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP15.

Before joining the UN, Dr. Toepfer held several posts in the German Federal Government including Federal Minister of Regional Planning, Building and Urban Development, Federal Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and State Secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Environment for Rhineland-Palatine. An active contributor to the 1992 Earth Summit, he was a forerunner in the negotiations for the UNFCCC and the establishment of the Global Environment Facility. He became UNEP’s Executive Director and Director-General of the UN Office at Nairobi (UNON) in 1998. He was also appointed Acting Executive Director of the UN Centre for Human Settlements (now UN Habitat) from 1998 to 2000.

Among the milestones of his tenure are many important environmental agreements, including the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Dr. Toepfer was also closely involved in behind-the-scenes negotiations in support of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. His term also saw the establishment of the annual Global Ministerial Environment Forum to review important and emerging environmental issues, as well as an expanded role for UNEP at the national level with the adoption of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building in 2005.

Klaus Toepfer is the recipient of several honors and honorary degrees including the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1986), the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1989), and the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2002 he was awarded the Bruno H. Schubert Environment Prize and the German Environment Prize which is held to be the most prestigious such prize in Europe.

Return to Top

Lars-Göran Engfeldt

Lars-Göran EngfeldtLars-Göran Engfeldt served as Ambassador for Sweden and has represented his country in many capacities, including as the Environment Ambassador at the Prepartory Committee for the World Summit in Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002) and in EU negotiations on the environment and sustainable development in 2001.

Prior to 1998, Mr. Engfeldt was an Ambassador to Nairobi, and the Permanent Representative to UNEP as well as the Chairman of the Friends of the Chair group for the drafting of the Nairobi Declaration for UNEP in 1997. He was a representative to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 while serving as the the Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN as well as the Assistant Under-Secretary and Head of United Nations Divison in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. With his extensive background in environmental and foreign affairs, Mr. Engfeldt authored the study “From Stockholm to Johannesburg and beyond: the evolution of the international system for sustainable development governance and its implications,” which was published by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2009.

Return to Top

Laurence Boisson de Chazournes

Laurence Boisson de Chazournes Laurence Boisson de Chazournes is a professor and chair of the department of international law at the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva, with a wide-ranging reputation in academic circles for her contribution to international law in fields such as the law of international organizations, international environmental law and international economic law.

Professor Boisson de Chazournes has served as Senior Counsel to the World Bank and as advisor to many international organizations. In the field of dispute settlement, she has served as chairperson of WTO arbitration panels on pre-shipment inspections and has pleaded before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). She is a member of the WTO indicative list of governmental and non-governmental panelists and a member of the Panel of Arbitrators of the PCA Operational Rules for Arbitration of Disputes Relating to Natural Resources and the Environment. Professor Boisson de Chazournes has authored and edited 14 books and over one hundred articles. She is a visiting faculty at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and at the University of Aix-Marseille III, and has been invited as guest lecturer at universities in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia. In recognition of her contributions and accomplishments, Professor Boisson de Chazournes received the 2008 Elizabeth Haub Price for environmental law.

Return to Top

Lucien Chabason

Lucien Chabason is the Associate Director of IDDRI, the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, Paris.

He began his career working on environmental issues at the Office of the Prime Minister and later became the Division Head for Land and Landscape Planning in the Ministry of Environment (1978-1984). He served as Director of the office of the Minister of Environment, where he played a critical role in the preparation of the Green Plan for France, adopted in 1991. With the OECD, Mr. Chabason also evaluated environmental performance for Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. Immediately before coming to IDDRI, he served as Coordinator for the Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP) in Athens.

A professor of Environmental Policy at the Political Studies Institute of Paris (Sciences-Po), Mr. Chabason currently serves as President of the Blue Plan for the Mediterranean.

Return to Top

Lumumba Di-Aping

Lumumba Stanislaus-Kaw Di-Aping is the Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Sudan to the United Nations in New York, and served as the Chair of the G77 and China in New York in 2009. Ambassador Di-Aping has the responsibility of coordinating the G77 and China positions and acting as the spokesperson on pressing issues.

In 2010, Ambassador Lumumba Di-Aping is a World Fellow at Yale University.

Return to Top

Maria Ivanova

Maria Ivanova is the Director of the Global Environmental Governance Project and Assistant Professor of Global Governance at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

Maria Ivanova is an international relations and environmental policy scholar specializing in governance and sustainability. She focuses on international organizations, climate change, US foreign environmental policy, UN reform, and sustainability on campuses and in organizations. Her career, marked by teaching excellence and policy leadership, has bridged academia and policy. Her academic work analyzes the history and performance of the international environmental architecture and the evolution of US international environmental policy. Her policy work seeks to bring analytical rigor and innovative input to the international negotiations on reforming the UN system for environmental governance. She was elected twice (in 2009 and 2010) to represent North American civil society at the UN Environment Programme’s Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum. In 2010, she was nominated and selected as coordinating lead author for the policy chapter of the landmark environmental assessment – Global Environmental Outlook-5.

From 2005 to 2010, Professor Ivanova was on the faculty at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Previously, she worked at the Environment Directorate of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris and at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in Stockholm. She serves on the Advisory Boards of the Ecologic Institute in Berlin and of the World Transformation Initiatives as well as on the Yale Sustainability Advisory Committee. Dr. Ivanova is the recipient of the 2007 Professor of the Year Award (from Members 13, a student organization at the College of William and Mary), the 2010 Mary Lyon Award from Mount Holyoke College and the 2010 Goddess Artemis Award from the Euro-American Women’s Council.

Return to Top

Marianne Loe

Marianne Loe is Senior Adviser with the Environment and Sustainable Development Section of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Since joining the Ministry in 1993, she has worked extensively with the UN system on issues such as social development, health, education, gender and environment, as well as on general UN reform efforts. She has been posted as counselor to the Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo, was a senior adviser on South Asian affairs, and has represented Norway in a number of international conferences and fora. Before joining the MFA, Ms. Loe worked as a journalist on international affairs for the Norwegian News Agency, coordinated development programmes in Southern Africa for the Norwegian People’s Aid, and served three years with the UNDP Bureau for Programme, Policy and Evaluation in New York.

Return to Top

Mark Gold

Mark Gold is the Executive Director of Heal the Bay, a non-profit organization dedicated to making Southern California’s coastal waters and watershed safe, healthy and clean.

Mr. Gold began volunteering with Heal the Bay shortly after it was founded in 1986, to help fight coastal pollution. Two years later he became the organization’s first employee, serving as its staff scientist, and in 1994 he was hired as the Executive Director. Since then, he has helped author and pass nine statewide environmental laws and garner hundreds of millions of dollars for coastal protection. In addition to his work at Heal the Bay, Mr. Gold has instituted educational programs to provide public school students with a comprehensive environmental education. His work has been recognized by the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award (2006) and the Durfee Foundation’s Stanton Fellowship 2006-07.

Return to Top

Mark Halle

Mark HalleMark Halle is the European Representative and Director, Trade and Investment, at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in Geneva.

Mr. Halle served in the diplomatic secretariat of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. In that capacity, he helped negotiate the Barcelona Convention on the Mediterranean Environment, one of the first regional environmental conventions adopted. After five years with UNEP in the Policy Planning Unit, Mr. Halle worked with the WWF and IUCN in writing the World Conservation Strategy. He then worked with both WWF-International and IUCN where he established the Conservation for Development Centre, IUCN’s first move to involvement with the developing countries. He set up IUCN’s fundraising system and established its Global Policy and Partnerships programme.

Since his departure from IUCN, Mark Halle has worked for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, both as its European Representative and now as its global director for Trade and Investment. In this capacity he supervises a team of eight professionals based in Europe and North America. He also runs the Trade activities of the IIED Ring of Sustainable Development Organizations. Mark Halle lectures, writes and publishes frequently on issues relating to multilateral trade policy. He is founder and former Chairman of the Board of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development.

Return to Top

Maurice F. Strong

Maurice StrongMaurice F. Strong has spent 30 years in business, government and international organizations, and was the Secretary-General of the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment, of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and the First Executive Director of UNEP from 1973-75. Currently, he spends most of his time in China and is a Special Senior Advisor of China International Institute of Multinational Corporations and member of the International Advisory Board.

In addition to his positions with the UN Conferences, Mr. Strong has served as the Under Secretary General and Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the UN, the Senior Advisor to the President World Bank, the Chairman of the Council for University for Peace, and the Co-Founder and first Co-Chair of the Canada-China Business Council. He founded and Chaired the Earth Council, served as Chairman of the WRI as well as the Vice-Chairman for the WWF. His extensive background in business has led him to be member to various Boards, including that International Institute for Sustainable Development, the IUCN, Petro Canada, and the International Development Advisory Board.

Mr. Strong has been awarded 53 honorary degrees and Visiting Professorships at seven universities in recognition of his life’s work. He is a Member of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology as well as the United States National Academy of Sciences. He also serves as the Vice-Chairman for the Chicago Climate Exchange. His numerous awards include membership of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, the Companion of the Order of Canada, the Swedish Royal Order of the Polar Star, the Public Welfare Medal, the Highest Honour of the U.S. National Academy of Science, the Tyler Environmental Prize, the Blue Planet Prize, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.

Return to Top

Mehjabeen Abidi-Habib

Mehjabeen Abidi-Habib is a Senior Research Fellow at the Sustainable Development Study Centre of Government College University in Lahore, Pakistan, specializing in human ecology. She has also been the Chair of the Board of Directors of LEAD International since 2008.

Before joining academia, Ms. Abidi-Habib worked for the UN in Pakistan for 7 years, most recently managing the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Program in the province of Punjab. Prior to this, she worked for UNICEF as Program Officer for Women and Child Rights as well as with the Aga Khan Rural Support Program, The German Agency for Technical Cooperation and the World Conservation Union (IUCN). With her extensive background as a development practitioner specializing in community development and natural resource management for 20 years, Ms. Abidi-Habib is currently engaged in a PhD on environmental management. The editor of ‘Green Pioneers’, a UNDP publication of 20 profiles of environment and development innovators in Pakistan, she is now working on her book, ‘Water in the Wilderness: People, Biodiversity and Wetlands in Pakistan’ with assistance from the Heinrich Boll Foundation. Ms. Abidi-Habibi serves as a trustee for several local and regional organizations and is a LEAD fellow.

Return to Top

Michael Zammit Cutajar

Michael Zammit Cutajar served as Secretary of the UNFCCC from 1991-2002 and was member of the Stockholm Conference Secretariat from 1971-72.

He devoted most of his career to work in and around the United Nations on international cooperation for development and environment. Between 1967 and 1990, based in Geneva, Switzerland, he worked on the staffs of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the United Nations Environment Programme. In 1991, he was assigned to set up the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and headed it until his retirement early in 2002, holding the rank of Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. He led the move of that secretariat from Geneva to Bonn, Germany, in 1996.

Since retiring from the service of the United Nations, Mr. Zammit Cutajar has continued to participate in the international dialogue among governments – and between them and the business community – on climate change and the “carbon market”.  As Chairperson of its independent advisory group, he helped launch the World Bank’s Community Development Carbon Fund, which promotes investment in emission-saving development projects in poor communities in developing countries (2003-2007). He is currently a member of the High-Level Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change convened by the President of the European Commission.

Return to Top

Mohamed T. El-Ashry

Mohamed T. El-AshryMohamed T. El-Ashry is a Senior Fellow with the UN Foundation. He previously served as CEO and Chairman of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) from July 1994 to July 2003, and as Chairman of the GEF during its Pilot Phase, 1991-1994.

Prior to joining the GEF he served as Chief Environmental Adviser to the President and Director of the Environment Department at the World Bank, as Senior Vice President of the World Resources Institute (WRI), and as Director of Environmental Quality with the Tennessee Valley Authority. He has also served as Senior Environmental Adviser to UNDP, as Special Adviser to the Secretary General of the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), and as a member of several high-level panels and commissions including the UN Secretary Generals High-Level Panel on System-wide Coherence, the International Task Force on Global Public Goods, the World Water Commission, and the Commission on Climate Change and Development.

Dr. El-Ashry is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Author of three books and more than 200 papers and articles, he is a member of the Third World and African Academies of Sciences. Dr. El-Ashry has received a number of international honors and awards, including the 2006 Champions of the Earth Award.

Return to Top

Mostafa Tolba

Mostafa TolbaMostafa Tolba led Egypt’s delegation to the Stocholm Conference in 1972, later becoming the UNEP Deputy Executive Director (1973-5) and finally UNEP’s Executive Director 1976-1992.

A scientist by training, Dr. Tolba represented Egypt in 1972 saying there was no irreconcilable conflict between concern for the environment and development. He worked to further this message and under his leadership as Executive Director, UNEP applied the scientific method to problems of fact-gathering, which resulted in UN Earthwatch: an information network to monitor changing conditions world wide, to analyse and disseminate data for effective planning. During his tenure, his negotiating skills were instrumental in developing the Montreal Protocol regarding the Ozone, the Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste, and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species.

Dr. Tolba is Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Science at Cairo University, President of the International Center for Environment and Development and ECOPAST, chairman of the Egyptian Consultants for Environment and Development, and alternate member of the Executive Board of UNESCO. He has written extensively on the environment, including Global Environmental Diplomacy: Negotiating Environmental Agreements for the World, 1972-1992. His many honors include the Global Environment Leadership Award, the Global Environmental Award, the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Award of the Ministery of State for Scientific Research.

Return to Top

Neric Acosta

Neric AcostaNeric Acosta is the current Secretary-General of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats, the former Secretary-General of the Liberal Party of the Philippines and is an Associate Professor at the Asian Institute of Management specializing in micro-finance, development and the environment.

Dr. Acosta served three terms (1998-2007) in the House of Representatives, during which time he not only sponsored major environmental legislation and served as Chairman of the Committee on Ecology, but was the principal author of the Clean Air Act for the Philippines that has become a model of environmental legislation in Asia. He has represented the Philippines in many international forums including the UN Special Assembly on HIV/AIDS and the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, where he served as the Deputy Secretary General.

Additionally, Dr. Acosta has an extensive background in academia, having published many articles on public policy, management, development and education. Heavily involved in many NGOs and serving as Project Director to the micro-credit and livelihood assistance project in his native Bukidnon, Dr. Acosta is member of the Boards of the Earth Council of the Philippines, the Population, Health and the Environment Foundation and the Partnership for Clean Air. He is the Founding Director of E-LEAD, the Center for Ecological Governance, Leadership and Development. Dr. was named a World Fellow at Yale University in 2004 and has been recognized for his many accomplishments by the Oscar Escobar Environmental Award and the Citizens’ Movement Against Pollution Award (2002).

Return to Top

Peter Maurer

Peter MaurerIn 2010, Peter Maurer was named Switzerland’s new Secretary of State in the Foreign Affairs Office. Before that he was the Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York.

After receiving his PhD from University of Bern, Mr. Maurer joined the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1987 and was subsequently posted in Pretoria/Cape Town, Bern and New York. He was involved in developing Swiss cooperation programs in support of changes in South Africa in the late 1980′s and Eastern Europe after 1989, relations between Switzerland and the European Union as well as Swiss-UN relations. He became the Head of the Human Security Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2001, which included oversight of Human Rights, Humanitarian Policy and Peace Support Programs.

In 2004, Mr. Maurer became Ambassador of Switzerland to the UN in 2004 and has since focused on different areas of UN reform, mediation, and peace building and

Return to Top

Philippe Keraudren

Philippe Keraudren is the Deputy Head of Unit for Research in Economic, Social Sciences and Humanities – Foresight, within the Directorate Science, Economy and Society, of the European Commission’s Directorate of General Research, in Brussels.

Previously Dr. Keraudren served as assistant to the Director in the same Directorate. He has been responsible for the development of European Research in the social sciences and humanities, as well as for the development of international cooperation in these fields between the EU and other world regions. Within the Framework Programme 7 for Research and Technological Development and specifically for socio-economic sciences and the humanities, his focus is on European research on globalisation and its relationships with global economic governance, sustainable development, inequalities, and the circulation of ideas across the globe.

Return to Top

Philippe Roch

Philippe RochPhilippe Roch was the Director of the Swiss Federal Office of the Environment (SAEFL:1992-2005).

Mr. Roch began his career in conservation and environmental protection as head of the WWF office in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and later moving up to becoming a member of the national WWF management team and Director General of WWF Switzerland. In 1992, he was appointed Director of SAEFL by the Federal Council, a position which he held for 13 years. He represented Switzerland, as a State Secretary, in environmental negotiations, where he worked to strengthen UNEP and the global environmental regime especially with regards to biodiversity, climate change, waste, chemicals and water. Mr. Roch twice co-chaired the Council of the GEF and chaired the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention and the Rotterdam Convention. In addition to these positions, he was active at the national level to support, in particular, the implementation of the law on the reduction of CO2 emissions, the development of legislation regarding biotechnology, the introduction of Swiss forest certification labels and the protection of threatened animal species.

Mr. Roch was a member of the Research Steering Committee, which is responsible for the planning and coordination of research within the Swiss federal administration. He was a Board member of the UN Institute for Training and Research, of which he is now Senior Special Fellow, and is also a member of the Foundation Board of the Geneva International Academic Network (GIAN). He now works as an independent consultant.

Return to Top

Pieter Leenknegt

Pieter Leenknegt is First Secretary at the Representation of Belgium to the UN in Geneva, representing Belgium to the WTO (dispute settlement body and other mainly legally focused committees) and all of the environment and climate related organizations based in Geneva (UNEP, UNECE, WMO, IPCC, WTO). After some lawyering work and professional activity within the UN system in Geneva and the European Commission in Brussels, he became a career diplomat with the Belgian Foreign Ministry, including work in two ministerial cabinets (2004), at the Belgian Permanent Representation to the EU and as the head of the Belgian diplomatic representation in Kabul, Afghanistan (2006-2007).

Return to Top

Plato Yip

Plato Yip is the Director of Environmental Investments for Olympus Capital, with over 15 years of industry experience in environmental policy, technology and investments.

Prior to joining Olympus Capital, Mr. Yip was a business strategist for a leading Hong Kong based multi-national conglomerate on bio-tech and environmental investments. He has served as Director of the Centre for Environmental Management Education and Development at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and as Assistant Director of Friends of the Earth (Hong Kong). Mr. Yip is currently the Chairman of the Hong Kong People’s Council for Sustainable Development and a Statutory Board Member of The Climate Group in Hong Kong.

Return to Top

Robert J.Berg

Robert J. Berg is a trustee at the World Academy of Art and Science and is currently co-directing a study on the governance implications of geoengineering the worlds environment.

Mr. Berg founded USAID’s Office of Evaluation and was founding chair of evaluation for the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee. He was the first senior fellow of the Overseas Development Council and President and Chair of the International Development Conference, the largest forum on international development in the U.S at the time. In preparation for the Rio Summit he advised IUCN on public administration implications of environment. Mr. Berg helped train the top 300 UN officials in strategic planning and human resource management and was senior advisor for various UN groupings, including the World Summit for Children, the World Education Forum, and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (1995-2005).

Currently, Mr. Berg is Senior Advisor to the World Federation of United Nations Associations, Director of the United Nations Associations Graduate Fellows Program, and plans to rejuvenate a UN expert group on the economic and governance implications of climate change. He serves on a number of non-profit and higher education boards, including the World Academy of Art and Science, and the Alliance for Peacebuilding.

Return to Top

Satishkumar Belliethathan

Satishkumar BelliethathanSatishkumar Belliethathan is a Founding Member and Coordinator of the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre/Network at the University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Specializing in issues related to Sustainable Land Management, Natural Resource Economics, Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Law, Waste Management and Environmental Governance, Dr. Belliethathan is a dedicated teacher and advisor for graduate students in the Environmental Sciences Program at Addis Ababa University. He was an organizer of the first conference on Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in African Universities (MESA) in 2008. Currently, he works on fostering partnerships between civil society organisations and academic research institutes in the Horn of Africa region with the goal of improving the environmental governance in the region. Dr. Belliethathan is especially interested in raising environmental awareness, and in fostering institutional and human capacity-building in the field of environmental management.

Return to Top

Stephan Contius

Stephen ContiusStephan Contius has been the Head of Division for United Nations and Cooperation with Emerging and Developing Countries at the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety since 1999, engaging in a wide range of issues including energy, sustainable development and UN reform. Before coming to his current position, Mr. Contius worked in the same Ministry on issues concerning sustainable development, G8, project financing and legal affairs. For the EU he participated in the final negotiations on the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.

Mr. Contius has served as the German chief negotiator at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and represented the EU during the recent German Presidency of the EU at the UNEP Governing Council and the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. He was also involved in the establishment of environment policy dialogues with several developing countries and initiated the SEED Awards for local entrepreneurs for sustainable development.

Return to Top

Suzanne Biegel

Suzanne Biegel is CEO of Investor’s Circle. She is an entrepreneur, investor, board member, and consultant who provides green advising to businesses ranging from a green publishing company, Greenopia, to a green restaurant in Los Angeles, to the Inverstors’ Circle venture fair for a national network of green angel investors. Ms. Biegel was the recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year and Woman of the Year awards in LA. In 2004, she founded a nonprofit focused on engaging businesses in getting out the vote, called Voteworks, and co-managed the national nonprofit November 2 campaign. She is an active member of Investors’ Circle and Social Venture Network, is Vice Chair of the Board of Liberty Hill Foundation in Los Angeles, and serves on the advisory board of the Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles.

Return to Top

William D. Ruckelshaus

William RuckelshausWilliam D. Ruckelshaus is currently a Strategic Director in the Madrona Venture Group, and a principal in Madrona Investment Group, L.L.C. (MIG), a Seattle based investment company. He is a former Chairman/CEO of Browning-Ferris Industries.

Prior to his chairmanships, Mr. Ruckelshaus was the Deputy General of Indiana from 1960-1965, and the majority leader of the Indiana House of Representatives. With the agency’s creation in 1970, he became the first Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, where he served until 1973. During this time he became the US delegate to the Stockholm Conference and representative to the Brundtland Commission. Mr. Ruckelshaus was later appointed as the fifth EPA Administrator until 1985. He has served as the US envoy to the Pacific Salmon Treaty in 1999, as Chair of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board for the State of Washington, and as Chair of the Leadership Council of the Puget Sound Partnership. In June 2001, he was appointed to the Commission on Ocean Policy, created by Congress in 2000.

Mr. Ruckelshaus is currently the Chairman of the Board of Isilon Systems, is on the board of TVW and serves on the Board of numerous profit and non for profit organizations including The Energy Foundation, Center for Global Development and founding Director of the Initiative for Global Development.

Return to Top

Yolanda Kakabadse

Yolanda Kakabadse is the President of WWF International since 2010. She is also Chair of the Advisory Board of Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano in Ecuador, and former Executive President and General Counsel of the same. She was the President of IUCN 1996-2004.

Yolanda has been a member of the Board of the World Resources Institute, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ford Foundation and the InterAmerican Dialogue. She was the Joint-Coordinator of the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Environmental Sustainability, which focused on identifying ways in which the principles of sustainable development can be integrated into country policies and programs and reverse the loss of environmental resources. She was also Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility (STAP/GEF) 2005-2008. Yolanda Kakabadse was founder and appointed executive director of Fundacion Natura in Quito in 1979, where until 1990 she helped the foundation become one of Latin America’s most important environmental NGOs.

She coordinated the participation of civil society organizations in the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. She served as Minister of Environment for the Republic of Ecuador from 1998 to 2000. In 2001, she was a visiting professor at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Yolanda Kakabadse has received the Insignia of the National Order for Merit as a Commissioned Officer of the Republic of Ecuador in 1990, the Global 500 Award of UNEP in 1991, and the Golden Ark Order, bestowed by Prince Bernard of the Netherlands in 1991. Yolanda Kakabadse was a member of the Holcim Awards jury for region Latin America in 2008.

Return to Top