Expert Profile

Marie-José Vervest

Marie-José Vervest - Program Manager, Livelihoods

Marie-José joined Wetlands International mid-2005 as manager of Green Coast, a partnership initiative with IUCN, WWF & Both ENDS, led by Wetlands International, restoring damaged coastal ecosystems and livelihoods in coastal areas which were affected by the December 2004 tsunami.

In 2009-2010, Marie-José managed the Wetlands & Livelihoods Program, implemented in 12 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, to promote wetlands values and services in climate change adaptation approaches, with an additional focus on enhancing the capacities of policy makers and practitioners to deal with the topic of climate change adaptation. Now she is the Program Manager of Livelihoods


Marie-José received her MSc in Social Sciences with specialism ‘Development Studies’ from the Third World Centre, Nijmegen University in 1985. She has taken several post-doc environmental and ‘Management of not-for-profit organisations’ courses.

She has worked for many years in the environmental sector, as a consultant, project manager and program coordinator, to mobilize resources, deliver trainings & facilitate capacity building, support policy & advocacy campaigns and coordinate programs on ecosystem restoration and management. Building local capacities and creating multi stakeholder environments to enhance linkages between nature conservation and poverty reduction is key in her work.

Between 1992 – 2000, Marie-José worked with Both ENDS (Environment and Development service for NGOs) as Coordinator of the Asia programme and the last few years as director ai.