Niloufar Bayani is currently a Project Advisor under the Disaster Risk Reduction portfolio of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), being managed by the Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch (PCDMB) based in Geneva, Switzerland. She has expertise in ecosystem-based approaches for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. For the past four years she has worked on UNEP projects in Afghanistan, DRC, Sudan and Haiti. She also has previous experience as a research fellow with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and has consulted numerous local NGOs and universities. Ms. Bayani was born and raised in Iran. She holds a BSc in Biology from McGill University in Canada and an MA in Conservation Biology from Columbia University in the USA.
Oli Brown is the coordinator for UNEP's Disasters and Conflicts subprogramme. In essence this means he helps to plan and monitor UNEP's work to reduce the environmental causes and consequences of natural disasters, industrial accidents and armed conflicts.
Previously Oli worked for Chatham House in the UK, and IISD in Switzerland. From 2010 to 2012 he managed an UNEP country programme in Sierra Leone: working to build the government’s capacity for more effective environmental management. He has first degrees in anthropology and modern history and a Masters in international relations. Oli is based in Nairobi.
Sophie Brown is Communications Advisor for UN Environment's Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch. She holds a Masters degree in Environmental Policy from Sciences Po Paris, a First Class Honours degree in Geography from Durham University, UK, and won the British Society for Geomorphology Dissertation Prize for her undergraduate dissertation on global landslide hazard. A fluent French and English speaker, Sophie has travelled widely and been actively engaged in volunteering and non-profit endeavours over the last 10 years. She also worked for three years teaching English to professionals in France and Switzerland. Sophie has a keen interest in how natural resources can be used as an instrument for peace in post-conflict situations.
Paul Judex Edouarzin is the Governance Specialist for the United Nations Environment Programme in Haiti. He has 20 years of professional experience, 14 of them in environment. With expertise in biodiversity, natural resources management and environmental governance, he has experience working at international, regional, national and local levelss. He speaks French, Haitian Creole (native languages), Spanish and English. His qualifications include a Masters in Education for science in higher education, with a focus on biology and ecology. Before joining UNEP, he worked as a teacher of General and Applied Ecology at several Universities in Haiti, as the Director of Soils and Ecosystems at the Ministry of Environment and as Director of the Rural Centre of Sustainable Development at the WINNER/USAID project.
Since 2009, Judex has worked with UNEP Haiti; his main tasks include, among others:
Specific activities under Judex’s responsibilities also include sustainable development, watershed management, protected areas and biodiversity, support to Haiti’s participation in the Caribbean Biological Corridor, governance, climate change adaptation projects and support to the Ministry of Environment to develop capacities for MEA implementation in Haiti.
Marisol Estrella is currently Programme Coordinator for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), based in Geneva, Switzerland. Ms. Estrella has previous field experience in community-based disaster risk management and local governance in Southeast Asia, working with the Institute for Popular Democracy, Asian Development Bank, GIZ and Oxfam. She holds an M.A. with Distinction in Environment, Development and Policy from University of Sussex, UK, and B.A. with First Class Honours in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from the University of McGill, Canada.
Yngvil Foss is the regional coordinator for UNEP's Disasters and Conflicts subprogramme in Asia and the Pacific, based in UNEP’s regional office in Bangkok, Thailand. Her main responsibility is to ensure that UNEP’s strategy for the sub-programme is responsive to the needs of different groups of beneficiaries (especially the most vulnerable), member states, and regional organizations in the Asia Pacific Region. Previously, Yngvil worked for a series of UN Agencies (DPKO, UNDP, UNOPS, and OCHA) mainly in coordination/humanitarian roles in complex emergencies (such as DRC, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan). Before joining UNEP, she served as Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer with OCHA Sudan, based in Khartoum. Yngvil has a Masters degree in International, Military and Strategic Studies from the Defense College in Rome, Italy and another Master in international relations from the London School of Economics.
Saeeda Gouhari is the acting head of UNEP Afghanistan’s Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit. Shas strong academic and professional background in environmental issues both in Afghanistan and internationally. She has a keen interest in environmental issues in her country, including bird watching and avian conservation. She joined UNEP in 2013 as a Training, Advocacy and Outreach Officer and then promoted to lead UNEP Afghanistan Knowledge Management Unit. In that position she worked closely with government partners, UN agencies, civil society, and local communities to raise awareness about environmental issues.
She has closely worked with UNEP team on change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, gender and environment, and advocacy on environmental laws, policies, and multilateral environmental agreements.
Previously Saeeda has worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) as a Gender and Livelihoods Officer and with the Aga Khan Education Service in the Afghan Himalayan Pamir mountains as an instructor for youth development. She has also volunteered for some of the first civil society organisations in Afghanistan advocating for environmental issues.
She completed a University of Cambridge, MPhil in Conservation Leadership and holds a BSc in Environmental Protection and Disaster Management from the Kabul University Geo-Science faculty.
Silja Halle is a Programme Officer with UNEP’s Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch (PCDMB). She is currently responsible for managing two projects, as well as advising the Branch on key policy and programmatic matters.
As Programme Manager of the Joint UNEP, UNDP, UN Women and PBSO Programme on Promoting Gender-Responsive Approaches to Natural Resource Management for Peacebuilding, Silja is responsible – on behalf of all four partners – for the implementation of a new ground-breaking programme focused on using natural resource management as a tool for promoting the political participation, economic empowerment and protection of women in conflict-affected contexts.
In parallel, Silja acts as Project Manager for UNEP’s Environmental Assessment of the Probo Koala Toxic Waste Dumping in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. This involves coordination and oversight of the scientific process (field work and laboratory analysis), stakeholder relations and engagement with other relevant sectors, such as public health.
Silja joined PCDMB in 2006 and has held several roles within the Branch, including as Deputy Subprogramme Coordinator for Disasters and Conflicts. In this role she oversaw and guided programme and policy development, designed and oversaw the implementation of monitoring frameworks and worked to build partnerships within and outside the UN system. She has also acted as co-editor of the UNEP policy series on the environmental dimensions of disasters and conflicts.
Prior to joining the Branch, Silja worked for the UNEP-hosted secretariat of the Geneva Environment Network, a cooperative partnership of environment and sustainable development organizations based in the Geneva area. She has also consulted for a number of NGOs and other institutions. Silja also served on the city of Geneva’s Municipal Council and the canton of Geneva’s Constituent Sssembly. She holds Bachelors’ (BA) and Master of Arts (MA) degrees in humanities from the University of Geneva.
Saidou Hamani is the Regional Coordinator for the Disasters and Conflicts subprogramme for the Regional Office for Africa of UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) since August 2015.
Prior to joining UNEP, Saidou Hamani served with UNOCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) in DR Congo for 5 years as Humanitarian Affairs Officer/Head of Katanga province office.
He has also worked in Cote d’Ivoire (ONUCI) as Coordination Officer within the UN peacekeeping mission. A national of Canada, Saidou has served at HQ level with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in Gatineau, Canada, and the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre (PPC) in Ottawa, Canada, as Programme Officer for West Africa dealing with conflict prevention, peace building and early recovery. Saidou started his professional career as a research assistant at the National Scientific Research Institute of Quebec (INRS), Canada, working on water resources management issues in West Africa at community level.
Saidou Hamani holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Governance and Crises Management from the School of Public Administration of Quebec (ENAP), Canada, as well as a Master Degree (Msc) in Community Development from the National Scientific Research Institute (INRS) of Quebec, Canada; and a Graduate Diploma in Project Management from the University of Quebec in Outaouais (UQO), Canada. He also holds a degree in water resources management from the Polytechnic School of Kaduna, Nigeria.
Melanie Hutchinson is the Regional Development Coordinator for UNEP’s Regional Office for the West Asia region, based in Manama, Bahrain. She has a background in environmental impact assessment and has worked with UNEP for over 15 years addressing issues ranging from environmental management systems in industry, to stakeholder engagement to the 2030 Agenda and SDGs. Melanie’s current focus is supporting countries in addressing the environmental impacts of the Syria crisis through environmental integration across response strategies. She has a first degree in Geography and a Masters in Environmental Analysis and Dynamics.
David Jensen has over 15 years of experience in assessing and addressing natural resources, conflict and peacebuilding. He has worked for UNEP as a senior expert on a range of different crisis response operations including the Balkans, Iraq, DR Congo, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire.
Since 2008, David has managed UNEP’s Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding programme. The ECP programme aims to strengthen the capacity of countries, regional organizations, UN entities and civil society to understand and respond to the conflict risks and peacebuilding opportunities presented by natural resources and the environment. Jensen has also spearheaded the development of six flagship policy reports that analyse the role of natural resources across the entire conflict cycle. The work is the foundation of a new knowledge platform and community of practice (www.environmentalpeacebuilding), and has been featured on TEDx. In 2015, David’s programme teamed up with the World Bank to develop the MAP-X Partnership. MAP-X is a global web platform (www.mapx.io) designed to strengthen transparency and access to authoritative information on the financial, social and environmental performance of the extractive industries.
A Canadian national from Victoria, British Columbia, David began his career with the Canadian government at the federal, provincial and district levels. His initial work focused on sustainable forest management and land use planning (Environment Canada, British Columbia Ministry of Forests) as well as on the negotiation of land claims with First Nations (British Columbia Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs). Jensen holds a MSc in Biology from Oxford University (UK) and an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Victoria (Canada).
Claudia Kamanji holds a Bachelor of Science in International Finance from Geneva Business School, Switzerland, and has been working with UNEP since 2011. She started with UNEP/OSC before joining the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) in 2012, hosted in UNEP's Regional Office for Europe. Claudia joined UNEP's Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch in November 2013 to provide administrative support to projects taking place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, and Nigeria. Claudia is fluent in French and English.
Currently leading UNEP’s South Sudan Programme, Arshad Khan has almost twenty years of experience mostly international within the environmental sector and has assisted national, provincial and local governments to plan and implement environmental projects ranging from waste management, climate change, forestry, biodiversity, water resources to capacity building and awareness raising.
Arshad started his career as an environmental consultant in USA, followed by working in an urban-environment project of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Pakistan. He worked with IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature), Pakistan as a Provincial Coordinator for seven years on integration of environment in the provincial government planning process. Before joining PCDMB/UNEP in 2012, Arshad worked with the local authorities in the UK for almost eight years as a Technical Officer and Area Manager in the Department of Environmental Services with the key focus on waste management, recycling, contract monitoring and performance indicators.
Together with planning, preparation and implementation of environmental projects, strategies, and policies including GEF (Global Environment Facility), Arshad has experience in leading and management of national programmes and projects, environmental assessments, partnerships development, resource mobilisation and capacity building and enjoys working in challenging and difficult environments.
Arshad has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Pakistan and master’s in Environmental Engineering from USA as well as a diploma in 'Leadership and Management' from the UK. Arshad is also registered as a Chartered Waste Manager in the UK.
Ahmad Jamshed Khoshbeen is the Head of the UNEP Afghanistan’s Metrics and Physical Sciences (MAPS) unit leading the first full-sized Global Environment Facility funded project on Climate change adaptation “Building Adaptive Capacity and Resilience to Climate Change”. In addition to UNEP, he has been involved with many international organizations working in Kabul in humanitarian and environmental sectors including Welthungerhilfe (WHH) and United Nations Office for Project Service (UNOPS).
Khoshbeen holds a BSc in Agricultural Economics from the Kabul University and currently has a Darwin Initiative Fellowship with the Centre of Middle Eastern Plants (CMEP) in the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh (RBGE) where he is conducting research on the interlinks between climate change and biodiversity and working on establishing the National Botanic Garden in Kabul.
Amanda Kron joined the Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch of UNEP in 2015. She holds an LL.M from Uppsala University (Sweden) with a specialization in international law. For her LL.M. dissertation Avoiding the Arbitrary: Development, displacement and the Kampala Convention, she was awarded the Swedish Institute of International Law Thesis Prize.
Prior to joining UNEP, Amanda served as research assistant at the International Law Commission, where she focused on protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts. In addition to her work at UNEP, Amanda serves as member and Swedish representative of the International Law Association Committee on the Role of International Law in Sustainable Natural Resource Management for Development. She has also held positions at the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, Amnesty International, the European Law Students' Association, and the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations in Geneva.
Having started on 1 April 2016 as UNEP’s Haiti Country Programme Manager, Matti Lehtonen manages UNEP’s Haiti portfolio of projects. Headquartered in Port Salut, UNEP focuses in biodiversity, green economy, ECO-DRR, sustainable energy in the “Grand Sud” (South) of Haiti, in addition to national and trans-national projects.
Previously, Matti worked in UNEP’s New York Office, connecting UNEP’s disasters and conflicts sub-programme to UN’s peace and security pillar.This included identifying good practice and developing tools and policy guidance related to natural resource management in conflict contexts. A central part of this task was to foster interagency partnerships in the fields of mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The work involved close cooperation with academic institutions, think tanks and NGOs and was closely related field initiatives in countries such as Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Guinea, Sudan, Sierra Leone. Prior to this, Matti was a natural resource specialist at the Peacebuilding Support Office in New York.
He contributed to the drafting the UN Guide to Benchmarks in Peace Consolidation and other policy work. Before joining the UN, Matti worked with EU’s civilian crisis management missions in various parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including as the Head of Sarajevo Mission Office of the EU Monitoring Mission.
A Finnish national, Matti holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science/International Relations from Helsinki University (Finland). He received also a diploma from Sciences Po, Paris (France), having completed the Programme International des Etudes Politiques et Sociales.
Sandra Avérous Monnery is Programme Officer at United Nations Environment Programme, Sustainable Lifestyles Cities and Industry Branch for “Delivering SCP”.
Since June 2015, she is in charge of the Safer Production Portfolio, in the Responsible Value Chains Unit, in Paris. Safer Production includes Disaster Community Preparedness (APELL, standing for Awareness and Preparedness at local level) as well as national preparedness for industrial accidents (CAPP : Chemical Accidents Prevention and Preparedness). Her portfolio also focuses on supporting Sound Management of Chemicals in the private sector, along the value chain and especially in SMEs, through approaches such as Responsible Production for Chemical Hazard Management and Eco-innovation in the chemicals sector.
Development economist, she joined UNEP in 2007, and successively worked on Disaster Preparedness, as Special Assistant to the Division Director, and on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP).
Andrew Morton is the Energy and Engineering Programme Manager for the Post Conflict and Disaster Management Branch of the United Nations Environment Programme. He is an engineer by training with 27 years of post-graduate experience. His professional focus is on the development and implementation of practically oriented renewable energy and sustainable development programmes in challenging countries. He is adept at operating in remote, conflict and post-disaster environments.
His qualifications include a masters in geological engineering and vocational training certificates in project management, UK company direction, geothermal energy, renewable energy finance and hydropower technology. He speaks English and French.
Before joining the UN, he worked in the oil and gas, engineering consulting and mining sector. His oil industry experience included environmental management for a Shell Petroleum offshore project in Russia and oil spills and waste management in Oman, Brunei and Nigeria. His early mining experience includes mining geology in Australia and emerald prospecting in Zimbabwe.
Within the UN he has worked on projects and issues in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, DR Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Currently he is focusing on a off-grid renewable energy project in Haiti and a global project to improve the environmental and energy performance of the UN peacekeepers.
Mani Nair is working with UNEP PCDMB as an Administrative Assistant and in addition, she is also the HR focal point. Her work experience incudes IT, finance, budget & HR. She has been working with UNEP PCDMB since 2005. Mani has a degree in Mathematics and a diploma in Computer Science.
Rene Nijenhuis heads the UNEP-OCHA Joint Environment Unit. Rene has over 15 years of international experience in disaster risk management and coordination of humanitarian and environmental emergencies. Since 2011 he has worked as an Humanitarian Affairs Officer in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
After a start as private sector consultant, Rene joined the UN Economic Commission for Europe to work on environmental mainstreaming in economic policies. He then moved to the UN Environment Programme to promote multi-stakeholder dialogue on large hydropower dams. In 2004, Rene started working on integrating environmental considerations in sudden-onset and protracted humanitarian crises. He has participated in more than 15 humanitarian and environmental rapid response missions, including as team leader for the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team. He has served three months as the acting Head of the Nepal Office for OCHA following the 2015 earthquake and has supported preparedness planning for a potential failure of the Mosul Dam in Iraq.
Rene has been at the forefront of a number of innovative developments and partnerships, including the establishment and operation of the Environmental Emergencies Centre, a mobile laboratory for emergency response, the Green Star Awards. He has authored a number of articles and has a keen interest in the environment-security nexus, working on a regular basis with the Environmental Security Office of US Africa Command.
Olena Orlyk has been employed by the UN since September 2004 providing administrative support for a number of projects implemented by the Post-Conflict &Disaster Management Branch of UNEP (UNEP/PCDMB).
Logistics, Finance and HR related tasks have been performed by Olena for a wide portfolio of PCDMB projects including support to the field-based staff in Afghanistan. Olena is a Ukrainian national and holds a MSc in Linguistics (English Language and Literature) and MSc in International Economics Relations from the Odessa Mechnikov State University in Ukraine.
Marika Palosaari joined UNEP in 2005 and currently works as the Regional Programme Coordinator at UNEP’s Regional Office for Europe. She serves also as ROE’s focal point for the Disasters & Conflicts subprogramme. Previously she was the Programme Coordinator of the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC), which is a partnership between UNEP, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Regional Environment Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC).
Marika started her professional career at the Finnish Environment Institute working with sustainable development indicators and environmental management systems. Prior to joining UNEP she worked as a Researcher at the Finnish Environment Institute and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Her research work focused on environmental communication, public participation and conflict resolution. Marika holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Policy.
Hassan Partow is a programme manager at UNEP's Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch (DEPI/PCDMB), engaged in carrying-out post-conflict environmental assessments and the design and implementation of environmental recovery programmes. Since 2003, he was involved in the Branch’s programmes in Afghanistan, DR Congo, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Rwanda and Sudan. He is currently managing the Branch's post-conflict intervention in the DR Congo and working on a new initiative on climate change and security in fragile states.
While working on a range of environmental issues, he has a special focus on water resources and wetlands management. In 2001, he carried out an assessment of the Mesopotamian marshlands in southern Iraq which helped catalyse international attention and action on the issue. He has also worked on facilitating inter-state dialogue on transboundary water issues, and implemented community-led water catchment management projects to support local livelihoods and improve drinking water supply.
Starting his career with the Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI) in Nairobi, Kenya, he then worked with the World Wide Fund for Nature International (WWF) on pesticide and pollution issues. He subsequently worked for a UNDP project in Lesotho to support the creation of a National Environmental Secretariat following the Earth Summit in 1992, and with UNITAR’s global programme on chemicals management. Prior to joining UNEP-PCDMB, he worked with UNEP's Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA/GRID-Geneva) and the Regional Seas Programme covering the ROPME Sea Area and Red Sea. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters in International Development Studies and Diploma in Geomatics from the University of Geneva.
Hailing from Wicklow in Ireland, Andrew Scanlon is a geologist and environment programme specialist with 16 years' project management and administration experience in Mexico, Ireland, Switzerland, China and Afghanistan.
He is currently engaged as Country Programme Manager, with UNEP in Afghanistan working with government, national and international partners on building Afghanistan's environmental recovery post conflict. This involves assisting and operating best-practice models for environmental management in the country, for water, land, forest, communities and institutions. UNEP currently has a team of 28 staff in Afghanistan. Mr. Scanlon is responsible for leading this team, and ensuring their professional and personal well-being.
On a practical level this work involves training, management activities and best practice dissemination of global and local solutions to environmental problems. There is also a strong emphasis on building networks and partnerships for environment that will last into the future. This ensures better conservation and environmental protection for man and nature in the country. Projects with GEF, bilateral donors and directly with UNEP are ongoing to 2019 in Afghanistan.
Henrik Slotte is the Chief of the Post-Conflict Branch and Disaster Management Branch of UNEP. He was part of the original team that established the post-conflict activities by UNEP in 1999 following the Kosovo conflict. This expertise has since grown into a permanent part of the organisation and involves today 100 people, of whom 20 are based in Geneva and 80 in project offices in the field. Significant country programmes are currently based in Haiti, Sudan, South Sudan, and Afghanistan. Prior to joining the United Nations he worked for the Finnish Government as Chef de Cabinet of the Minister of Development Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also worked for ten years as a journalist both in his native Finland and abroad, including several years in the 1990s as EU-correspondent for the Finnish Broadcasting Company in Brussels, Belgium. He holds a Masters in Political Science from the University of Helsinki.
Brad Smith has more than twenty years of experience in designing, implementing, managing, and evaluating international environment and conservation programs, projects and campaigns. He is currently Country Programme Manager for UNEP in Sudan, where the focus is on supporting Sudan in improving natural resource management, environmental governance, and building resilience to climate change. He has worked internationally, inter alia, for Pew Environment Group as Director for their Global Tuna Conservation Campaign; for Greenpeace International as Africa Program Director; for the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as project manager and resource economist; and as a private environmental consultant. He has campaigned for the implementation of an integrated management plan for the Barents Sea, for a global ban on High Seas bottom trawling, and worked on a European proposal for implementing large-scale marine reserves in the Barents, Baltic, and North Seas.
Brad has authored several papers, including an analysis of the economic impact of sustainably using wetlands, the benefits of national parks to local communities, a sustainable energy outlook for South Africa, and the sustainable utilization of Southern African arid rangelands. In addition, he has experience in developing and executing high level communications strategies for INGOs.
Brad Smith has a Bachelors of Science (Hons) in Marine Biology, and a Masters of Science in Conservation Biology from the University of Cape Town, and a diploma in Environmental Economics and Policy Analysis from Harvard University. He is a South African national and Norwegian permanent resident, fluent in Norwegian and English.
Katrine Maria Sorensen joined UNEP in October 2013 as Associate Programme Officer for the Office of the Executive Director in Nairobi, Kenya where she worked on policy issues related to the Post-2015 Development Agenda leading up to the adaptation of the Sustainable Development Goals. In October 2014, Katrine joined UNEP’s Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch in Geneva as Project Manager for the Haiti Sustainable Energy Project. UNEP''s Sustainable Energy Project in Haiti focuses on implementing and researching different renewable energy solutions to increase access to energy for the rural population in South Haiti. Born in Denmark, Katrine holds a Master (M.Sc.) in Development Studies from Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, a Master (M.Sc.) in International Management from ESADE in Barcelona, Spain and a Bachelor (BSc.) in International Business and Culture. Before joining UNEP, Katrine was a Policy Advisor in the Danish Ministry of Energy and Climate working on international energy policy issues.
Dan Stothart has joined UNEP as Regional Humanitarian Affairs Officer coordinating the disasters and conflicts sub programme for Latin America and the Caribbean from the ROLAC regional office. UNEP is in a process of strengthening its regional office and from now on the disasters and conflicts sub programme will be run from regional offices. Dan will lead the expansion and contextualisation of the programme in LAC.
Dan has worked in the region for eight years in Guyana, Haiti and most recently in the Dominican Republic where he has worked for the last six years for Plan as Disaster Management Adviser. Prior to that he worked in Cote d'Ivoire, Uganda, Kenya and Senegal. Dan has worked for NGOs including Oxfam GB, International Rescue Committee and Plan in various humanitarian roles, both disaster response and disaster risk reduction. Some of you may know him from the short period he spent substituting for Plan's Regional Disaster Risk Manager here in Panama.
Dan as a masters degree in Disaster Management and speaks fluent Spanish, English and French.
Dr. Muralee Thummarukudy is currently the Chief of Disaster Risk Reduction at United Nations Environment Programme. Muralee holds a PhD in Environmental Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He is an Alumnus of the International Leadership Academy (United Nations University). Muralee has over 25 years of experience in Environment and Disaster Management around the world. Between 1995-2003, Muralee was Corporate Advisor to Shell operated oil companies in Middle East and South East Asia, dealing with oil industry related emergencies. Since 2003, Muralee has been with the United Nations Environment Programme. As Operations Manager for the Post Conflict and Disaster Management Branch, Muralee coordinated projects ranging from environmental assessment to capacity building and clean up in many countries including Iraq, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territories, Ukraine, Myanmar , China and Cote d'Ivoire.
Jean Elie THYS is with UNEP-Haiti since october, 2009, he was consultant for the Technical Assistant Facility (TAF), he was also community liaison coordinator and he is at present the coordinator of terrestrial ecosystems. His work with UNEP focuses on the management of protected areas, agroforestery, sustainable energy and the green economy. He has more than 20 years of experience in community development and natural resources management with national and international organizations. He participated in the creation and in the strengthening of numerous community organizations. Before joining UNEP, he worked in Dominican Republic as coordinator of natural resources and agronomy within the framewok of a binational project(Haiti-Dominican Republic) with GIZ. He hols a BSc in agronomy from the American University of the Caribbean(AUC) in Haiti and a master in natural resources from Universidad Pedro Henríquez Ureña (UNPHU) in Dominican Republic.
Elisa Tonda is the Head of the Responsible Industry and Value Chain Unit in the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE) – Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch, whose main goal is the promotion of sustainable production and consumption practices in public and private sector through the engagement of the business community. She has been active in the strengthening of UNEP’s active contribution to the greening of global value chains, and is current developing an initiative aiming at disseminating Eco-innovation in developing countries and emerging economies.
Prior to that, Elisa has been the Regional Officer of UNEP DTIE based in the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama City, where she also supported the strengthening of the regional network of technical expert for the UNEP APELL (Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level) Programme.
During her professional experience with UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), prior to joining UNEP in November 2009, she was responsible for project development and management in the area of Cleaner Production and sound chemicals management.
Elisa has a Master degree in Environmental Engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin, Italy and in Sustainable Development from the University of London, UK. During her former professional career, she also had been working with the private sector in the areas of environmental authorizations and permits, environmental certification including ISO 14001, the design of environmental service facilities, the design and operation of landfills, the environmental impact assessments of landfills and mining sites, and the remediation of contaminated industrial sites.
Chado Tshering is the Project Manager of the UNEP Wadi El Ku Catchment Management Project in Darfur, Sudan where UNEP in partnership with government, NGOs, CBOs and local communities are demonstrating how effective and inclusive natural resource management, based on UNEP’s experience in Sudan on IWRM and CBNRM practices, can sustain increases in agriculture and related value chain productivity over the long-term while safeguarding ecosystem integrity. Impressive project results are currently being documented and shared for up-scaling and replication in other parts of Sudan. Chado has more than 15 years of experience working with the government of Bhutan in the field of nature conservation and participatory forestry programs. He was instrumental in bringing about changes in Bhutan’s forestry policy framework and regulations that enabled local communities to engage in community forest management. Today Bhutan has over 600 community forest management groups across the country.
Before joining UNEP in 2012, Chado worked for three years with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s (SAARC) Forestry Center where he headed the Participatory Forestry Division in strengthening and sharing participatory forestry lessons among SAARC countries.
Chado has a Master’s Degree in Forestry Science from Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, USA.
Pauliina Upla works with the Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding programme at the United Nations Environment Programme’s Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch (PCDMB) in Geneva. Pauliina holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Economics from the University of Helsinki. Prior to joining PCDMB, she worked with UNEP’s Green Economy team at the Economics and Trade Branch in Geneva and the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia. She has also worked with consulting sector in Finland and an NGO in Zambia. Pauliina is particularly interested in resource conflicts and peacebuilding around natural resources, especially with extractive industries in different country contexts.
Nita VENTURELLI joins Post-Conflict Disaster Branch (PCDMB) during February-August 2009 and came back in August 2010 as Administrative Assistant.
Nita’s academic qualifications are Bachelor and Master degree levels in the field of Business Administration at Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand. She specialises in the management of project funds and administration.
Prior to joining PCDMB in 2008, she worked in South East Asia region more than 20 years’ experience in financial management and administration with a range of private sector companies (Credit Agricole, Zuellig Pharma), intergovernmental organisation (CCOP) and international NGOs (Save the Children UK, TCF-CIDA Funded).
Angela Wagner joined the JEU in December 2015 as a consultant. She mainly works on the e-learning modules for the Environmental Emergency Centre (EEC), as well as on trainings and infographics. She studied geography, environmental studies and public law, focusing on political geography and disaster risk reduction. She previously worked with OCHA in Jordan and within the NGO sector in Haiti.
Emilia Wahlstrom is a Programme Officer in the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit who works on environmental emergency preparedness and response. Through her activities she supports member states’ and global actors’ readiness to respond to environmental emergencies and to address the environmental impacts of humanitarian action. Working with a wide network of response partners, she develops guidance, shares good practice and facilitates capacity development initiatives, including training programmes and workshops linking to the Environmental Emergencies Centre (www.eecentre.org).
As a trained United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination mechanism member, she also participates and leads environmental emergency response missions. Before joining UNEP/OCHA, Emilia worked with the United Nations Development Programme in Kazakhstan, in charge of the portfolio on natural and man-made disasters. She has a Master’s degree in chemical engineering and has also worked several years with industry actors on environmental management systems, legal compliance and chemicals management.
Kati Wenzel joined the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit in May 2016 as Humanitarian Affairs Officer. She is mainly responsible for JEU’s work on integrating environmental considerations into humanitarian action. As part of this work she is the focal point for the Environment and Humanitarian Action Network which is coordinated by JEU. Kati has a background in biology and environmental management. She previously worked for the Economic Commission for Europe’s Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution where her focus was on compliance with emission reduction obligations and cross-sectoral work on air pollution mitigation. Prior to this she worked for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands where she was responsible for the designation and monitoring of European protected wetland areas.
Dawit Yared joined the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit as Programme Assistant in September 2012. He supports the section in all programme areas and financial management. Dawit started to work with the UNEP family in2004, first with UNEP/ETB as an intern and then as a junior consultant working on the effects of global policy on national trade and environment policies. In 2006, he joined the then UNEP/PCOB as a consultant working on policy programme of PCOB. He then becomes a project assistant with UNEP/PCDMB supporting post conflict environmental assessment projects for Sudan, Tsunami affected countries, DR Congo, and Nigeria and worked with PCDMB for 6 years before joining JEU.
Yukiko Yoshida has joined the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit in January 2016 as Humanitarian Affairs Officer. She is the section’s communication and advocacy focal point, and is engaged in planning and preparation of the Environment and Emergencies Forum (EEF) and the 2017 Green Star Awards among others.
Born in Quetta, Pakistan, Asif Zaidi joined UNEP as Programme Manager in Afghanistan in 2004. Since September 2008, he is based in Geneva as the Operations Manager at the Post Conflict and Disaster Management Branch of UNEP. He is a qualified medical doctor and holds a Masters degree in Public Health from Leeds University, UK.
He also studied at Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, USA, and Cranfield University School of Management, UK. His work in public health eventually led him to development work and he acquired over two decades of experience in international development and environmental management in Iran, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Nigeria and Haiti while working for UNEP, Aga Khan Development Network and IUCN The World Conservation Union.
Asif Zaidi is particularly interested in the potential of natural resource management in conflict prevention and peace building; environment and security nexus, and the linkage between environment and population growth.