Arno Rosemarin - Senior Research Fellow


Arno is Senior Research Fellow at Stockholm Environment Institute.

Contact: arno.rosemarin@sei-international.org


Dr Rosemarin has a multidisciplinary environmental and natural resources background with a speciality in disaster risk reduction, sustainable sanitation and water resources management, food security and phosphorus limitation, limnology and aquatic toxicology. Arno chaired PEDRR during the period autumn 2012 to summer 2013.

Alexandros Makarigakis - Chief of Unit Cross-Cutting Thematic Unit on Disaster Risk Reduction


Alexandros Makarigakis is the Chief of the Cross Cutting Thematic Unit for Disaster Risk Reduction at UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris. He manages and coordinates international activities related to the scientific, engineering and educational aspects of natural hazards leading to disaster studies and prevention including earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, landslides and droughts. Within UNESCO Mr. Makarigakis is the focal point for the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and coordinates input to this Strategy from various Programmes Sectors including Education, Culture, Social and Human Sciences.

Contact: a.makarigakis@unesco.org


He is involved in several United Nations and international projects and mechanisms concerning disaster risk reduction. Total of more than 18 years of progressively responsible experience in the field of environmental sciences, 12 of which on the international platform on issues of development in developing and developed countries with focus on natural resources management (water and environment) and disaster risk reduction. Ten years working at an International Organization (UNESCO), eight years of experience in the field of bioremediation of hazardous chemicals and three years in municipal water and wastewater purification. Experience includes representing UNESCO’s Natural Science sector at Windhoek Cluster Office, at Addis Ababa Liaison Office, university lecturing, the design and execution of innovative bench-scale treatment systems and mathematical model developments for further scale-up purposes as well as in-situ testing for verification.

Fabrice Renaud - PhD


Fabrice is originally from France and holds a PhD in agronomy (soil physics) from the University of Arkansas, USA, a MSc in Agricultural Engineering (soil conservation) from Cranfield Institute of Technology, UK, and a DESTOM in Tropical Agroeconomics from the Institut Supérieur des Techniques d’Outre Mer, France. He has broad expertise in environmental sciences. He has worked on rural development projects in Namibia and in Thailand. More recently, Fabrice was a lecturer at Cranfield University in the UK and was involved in pesticide fate research including pesticide fate modeling.



Fabrice has been with UNU-EHS since September 2004 and heads the Environmental Vulnerability and Ecosystem Services Section. He served as Director ad interim of the Institute from August 2009 to May 2011. At UNU-EHS, he is responsible for carrying out research on and developing concepts and projects dealing with the environmental dimension of vulnerability, with the resilience of social-ecological systems to external shocks, with water pollution and human and ecosystem exposure to such pollution, and land degradation processes particularly in the context of climate change. He supervises MSc and PhD scholars and is involved in capacity development activities both in academia and in training seminars and workshops. He is the lead editor of the PEDRR book entitle “the role of ecosystems in disaster risk reduction” published by UNU-Press. For the period 2013-2015, Fabrice will be based in Jakarta, Indonesia where he will work, among other things, on the subject of ecosystems and DRR.

Ioana Creitaru - Programme Specialist


Ioana Creitaru is Programme Specialist for the Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CADRI), an inter-agency initiative of UNDP, OCHA, UNICEF, WFP, FAO, WHO, IFRC, GFDRR, MSB and NRC.

Contact: Ioana.creitaru@undp.org


Ioana’s areas of expertise include disaster risk reduction, including preparedness for response; climate risk management; governance and mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction into development planning. Ioana has carried out a national capacity assessments and contributed to the development of National Plans of Action for DRR in several countries, most notably in Africa and Europe and the CIS; and has designed and facilitated a number of national and regional training workshops worldwide. Ioana holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Geneva and is currently enrolled in the Doctoral Programme of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.

Jair Torres - DRR Consultant Cross-Cutting Thematic Unit on Disaster Risk Reduction


Jair Torres is a Consultant in the Cross Cutting Thematic Unit for Disaster Risk Reduction at UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris. He advices and support the Unit in the international activities related to the scientific, engineering and educational aspects of natural hazards leading to disaster including earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, landslides, volcanoes and droughts.

Contact: j.torres@unesco.org


He acquired his master’s degree of Development Economy at the University of Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle. Mr. Torres has been deeply involved in Disaster Risk Reduction activities in UNESCO since September 2006. He has been working in the International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC) and in the Cross Cutting Thematic Unit for Disaster Risk Reduction. He was been involved in activities concerning School Safety and promotion of Scientific Cooperation for Disaster Risk Reduction. He has playing an active participation in the design and implementation of the International Platform for Reducing Earthquake Disaster (IPRED) and in the the Global Task Force on Building Codes.

Johann Georg Goldammer - Head of Operations


is head of the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC). The GFMC is a contribution of Germany to the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). At Freiburg University he is serving as professor for fire ecology. Since 2005 the GFMC is an Associate Institute of the United Nations University (UNU). J.G. Goldammer is also serving as coordinator the UNISDR Wildland Fire Advisory Group and the UNISDR Global Wildland Fire Network. Since 1988 he is editor of UNECE-FAO International Forest Fire News (IFFN) as one of the core tasks of his lead of the UNECE-FAO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire. He is working closely with the a number of specialized UN agencies and programmes, such as FAO and Joint UNEP-OCHA Joint Environment Unit, Emergency Services Branch, and is member of the Steering Committee of the Advisory Group on Environmental Emergencies (AGEE). In 2001 the GFMC has been awarded the UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction, in 2005 GFMC shared the Zayed Prize awarded to UN Secretary General Kofi Anan and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment contributors, and in 2008 the “Golden Fire Swatter (El Batefuegos de Oro) by Spain.



The GFMC wildland fire documentation, information and monitoring system generates regularly updated national to global wildland fire information and data through a worldwide network of cooperating institutions, including processing centers of spaceborne remote sensing data. GFMC provides support to nations and international bodies to develop fire management policies and implementation strategies. The GFMC is serving as an advisory body to the UN system through the coordination of the UNISDR Wildland Fire Advisory Group, including its Fire Aviation Working Group, and the UNISDR Global Wildland Fire Network. The GFMC is also offering liaison capabilities for providing assistance for rapid assessment and decision support in response to wildland fire emergencies under cooperative agreements with the Joint Environment Unit of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). GFMC has contributed to develop regional dialogues and cooperation in the regions of the Council of Europe, the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) or the Central American Commission for Development (CCAD). Since 2014 the GFMC is serving as secretariat of the International Wildfire Preparedness Mechanism (IWPM).

John Harding - Head of Unit a.i. Disaster Risk Reduction


John Harding works on UN relations and coordination at the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). He has 15 years work experience in multi-lateral organizations in support to national and regional governmental efforts to build resilient societies. John Harding has contributed to mechanisms for enhanced risk governance, risk assessment and early warning systems. In 2009-2010, he served as the Political Advisor on Energy, the Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction to the UN Special Envoy to Haiti, President William Jefferson Clinton. Previously, he worked as Team Leader for the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR) at the World Bank based in Washington DC.

Contact: harding@un.org


Karen Sudmeier-Rieux -


Karen Sudmeier-Rieux has been leading disaster risk reduction work for the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management since 2006. During this time, she published several IUCN books on the topic of ecosystems, livelihoods and disasters and completed her PhD at the University of Lausanne, Institute of Earth Sciences and Risk Analysis on landslide risk, resilience and vulnerability of mountain communities in Central-Eastern Nepal. For this, she obtained a two-year interdisciplinary grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation to lead an interdisciplinary team of researchers for studying landslide risk due to vulnerability, natural resources management, governance and geological /hydrological conditions. She has published a number of articles on the Pakistan 2005 earthquake and the relation between deforestation, land tenure and landslides, and interdisciplinary research on landslides and community forestry in Nepal. She holds Masters degrees in international development and forest ecology.



She is now working as an independent researcher and consultant, assisting PEDRR partners with a number of projects: coordinating MSc curriculum “Environment, Disasters and Risk Reduction” with an international consortium of universities; drafting a special publication for Council of Europe, “Ecosystem Approach to Disaster Risk Reduction: basic concepts, with a special focus to Europe”; Conducting PEDRR training workshops on “Ecosystems and disaster risk reduction” and drafting numerous scientific papers, as well as a PEDRR book “Ecosystems for DRR, Challenges and Opportunities” (title TBD) in collaboration with UNEP and UNU-EHS, to be published by UNU Press.

Kristine Tovmasyan - Programme Officer Cross-Cutting Thematic Unit on Disaster Risk Reduction


Kristine Tovmasyan is in charge of activities and programmes in disaster risk reduction at UNESCO Secretariat in Paris since January 2005. With an academical background in geology, she acquired her master’s degree of Natural Sciences in geology at the University of Latvia. She holds a PhD thesis in palaeoreconstructions of ancient tidal sedimentary basins. She has been working at the university as a teaching assistant and carrying out research in sedimentary geology and has been involved in a number of international research projects in relation to sedimentary geology, stratigraphy and palaeobasin reconstruction.

Contact: k.tovmasyan@unesco.org


At UNESCO, she develops and executes activities concerning the study of natural hazards and mitigation of their effects. With specific focus on geohazards, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides, she builds partnerships and collaborates with organizations, scientific communities and disaster risk reduction actors concerned with disaster preparedness and prevention. She also cooperate with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) system family in designing, implementing and evaluating initiatives with respect to the promotion of knowledge and education and policy support for disaster risk reduction as well as safety of schools from disasters.

Marc Stal - Senior Project Officer


Marc Stal (Dipl. Geo) is Senior Project Officer at the Global Risk Forum GRF Davos. At GRF Davos his work focuses on risk, vulnerability and resilience assessment and analysis, harmonising climate change adaptation with disaster risk management and teaching integrative and multidisciplinary disaster and risk science. Moreover, he is the Disaster Risk Reduction focal point and scientific programme coordinator of the International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC and other conferences and workshops organised by GRF Davos.

Contact: marc.stal@grforum.org


Marisol Estrella - Project Coordinator of the Disaster Risk Reduction programme


Marisol Estrella is currently the Project Coordinator of the Disaster Risk Reduction programme in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), based in Switzerland, where she has been working for the past three years. She undertakes field projects, capacity building, policy advocacy, and partnerships development. Ms. Estrella has previous field experience in community-based disaster risk management and local governance and has worked in the Philippines, East Timor and Indonesia. She also has expertise in participatory learning methodologies and has undertaken participatory evaluations for rural development and livelihood projects in the Philippines. She has worked with local NGOs in the Philippines and consulted with the Asian Development Bank, Oxfam, and GIZ. Ms. Estrella has a Master’s degree in Environment, Development and Policy from the University of Sussex (UK), where she earned a Distinction, and a Bachelor Honours degree in Applied Anthropology and Environmental Studies from the University of McGill, Canada.

Contact: marisol.estrella@unep.org


Dr Muralee Thummarukudy - Chief of Disaster Risk Reduction at the United Nations Environment Programme


Muralee has more than 20 years of experience in environmental and disaster management and has advised governments around the world on post-disaster recovery issues. Between 1995-2003, Muralee was a Corporate Advisor to Shell operated oil companies in South East Asia and the Middle East, dealing with oil industry-related emergencies. He has handled offshore oil spills, on shore blow outs, oil well fires and clean-up of oil field contamination. Since joining UNEP’s Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch in 2003, he has been involved in responses to the major recent natural disasters of the 21st century, ranging from the South-East Asian Tsunami in 2004 to the 2011 floods in Thailand.

Contact: muralee.thummarukudy@unep.org


In 2008, following the devastating earthquake in Sichuan, China, Muralee coordinated a series of training and capacity building events for national officials on disaster waste management. In 2010, Muralee was deployed to Haiti to help deal with the massive volumes of disaster debris generated by another major earthquake, and the associated collapse of waste management infrastructure and systems. He has led UNEP’s International Expert Team to Japan to coincide with the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2012, and visited tsunami-impacted areas in May 2011.

Muralee holds a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. He is an Alumni of the United Nations University and a Beahers fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.

Pascal Peduzzi - Head of the Global Change & Vulnerability Unit


Pascal Peduzzi is the Director of GRID-Geneva at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/GRID-Geneva). He holds a PhD and a MSc in Environmental Sciences, with specialization in remote sensing and GIS.

Contact: Pascal.peduzzi@unepgrid.ch


He leads a team of Environmental Data Scientists to quantify the effects of Global Change (environmental degradations, climate change) on population vulnerability and impacts on ecosystems. He designed the several methodologies for quantifying the role of ecosystems in reducing disaster risk and for climate change adaptation. Between 2007 and 2009 he worked for UNISDR where he was the coordinator of the Global Risk Analysis for the 2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction and was one of the Lead Author of the IPCC report on extreme events (SREX). He is the author of various scientific publications and provided numerous conferences to governments and the general public to raise awareness on the consequences of human impacts on the environment.

Radhika Murti - Programme Coordinator, Disaster Risk Reduction Ecosystem Management Programme


Radhika Murti works with IUCN as Programme Coordinator Disaster Risk Reduction, in the Ecosystem Management Programme. In this position Radhika leads IUCN’s global work on ecosystem based disaster risk reduction, and also coordinates communication and technical support for The Commission on Ecosystem Management.



Camille Buyck - Programme Support Officer, Global Ecosystem Management Programme


Camille Buyck is currently working as a Programme Support Officer in IUCN Ecosystem Management Programme. She is working on the Ecosystems Protecting Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) project, which aims to demonstrate how healthy ecosystems can help reduce hazard risks and improve livelihood resilience in 6 countries. Her role is to coordinate the work of the several partners involved, focusing on the implementation of the project in West Africa. She holds a Master’s degree in Organisms and Population Biology at the University of Burgundy, in Dijon. Courses focused on animal behavior, conservation, and evolutionary ecology. Afterwards she spent one year at the University of Lausanne, where she worked as Assistant in the Ecology and Evolution Department.

Contact: camille.buyck@iucn.org


Patricia Gorin - Advisor in Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction


Patricia has been with Helvetas as a Advisor in Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction since 2012.

Contact: Patricia.gorin@helvetas.org


Patricia has a Master of Art in Geography and Environment, Bachelor in English , and a Certificate in Geographic Information System (2008). She is knowledgeable in: Mitigation to Climate Change, tools and methodology to assess Carbon footprint of projects/programmes for Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use Change (AFOLU) sectors, Voluntary and mandatory Carbon Markets (CDM), REDD+; Adaptation to Climate Change (financing mechanisms, NAPAs, DRR and Food Security,); Natural Resource and Sustainable Land Management with particular focus on AFOLU sectors.

Rajeev Issar - Policy Specialist, Climate Risks and Risk Governance


Rajeev is a Policy Specialist (Climate Risks and Risk Governance) in UNDP focusing on formulating institutional, governance, policy and programmatic frameworks for disaster and climate risk management; disaster/climate risk analysis and impact assessments from different time thresholds, harmonize DRR-adaptation, climate-conflict-sustainable development interface and contribute to global policy discourse from disaster-climate risk management perspective.

Contact: Rajeev.issar@undp.org


Mr Issar has previosu experience as a Resilience, DRR and Adaptation Officer in UN Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team for Climate Summit, a Regional Team Manager for climate risk management in the Himalayan region, and a Additional Private Secretary with the Government of India.

His specialties include: Disaster/climate risk assessment and management — climate-conflict-development-interface–Public-Private-Partnerships–Urban Resilience — Internal Security and peace building — Parliamentary and constitutional frameworks

Alicia Natalia Zamudio - Project Officer


Alicia Natalia Zamudio is project officer for IISD’s Resilience program. Most of her work focuses on understanding the risks and opportunities that climate change and variability poses to developing countries, and on building resilience of local communities, regional and national policy makers and civil society to better manage those risks. She focuses on integrating climate risks in development policies, programs and projects as well as on promoting climate-compatible and conflict-sensitive conservation through the development and application of participatory tools at the field level, risk assessments and policy advice.

Contact: anzamudiotrigo@iisd.org


Anne Hammill - Director


Anne Hammill is Director, Resilience for IISD. Much of her work focuses on understanding how better environmental management can build resilience to climate stress and contribute to peacebuilding. Anne’s most recent work has been in developing and applying decision-support tools for climate change adaptation, conducting participatory field research on livelihoods and climate change, and building the capacity of governments and civil society to integrate climate risk into policies and field projects. She has also been working with organizations in Eastern and Central Africa to understand and address the links between conservation activities and conflict.

Contact: ahammill@iisd.ca


Lew Young - Senior Regional Advisor


Lew was the Manager of the WWF Hong Kong Mai Po Nature Reserve from 1991 to 2008, and was actively involved in the listing of the Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar site in 1995. During this time, he was also closely involved in the establishment of Wetland Link International-Asia, a network that has been promoting greater communication and cooperation among wetland education centres across Asia. In 2008, Lew was appointed as the Senior Regional Advisor for the Asia-Oceania in the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. In this role, he provides supports to 41 Parties across the region for the implementation of the Convention, including support to the Government of the Philippines in the drafting of Ramsar Resolution XII.13 Wetlands and disaster risk reduction that was adopted at the 12th Conference of Parties to the Convention held in 2015. Lew holds a MSc degree in Ecology from Aberdeen University (UK) and a Ph.D from Hong Kong University, Department of Zoology.

Contact: YOUNG@ramsar.org


David Coates - Environmental Affairs Officer, Inland Waters


David’s early work was as a coral-reef ecologist and then drifted into the biological control of water-borne vectors of human diseases (malaria and schistosomiasis) associated with irrigation schemes, followed by a long period on a variety of fisheries related topics. He was Chief Technical Adviser for the FAO for 11 years, on environment, food security and large rivers, and for 4 years with the Mekong River Commission, on integrating environment and water resources management. He then worked as team leader for mainstreaming biodiversity and environmental considerations into the fisheries, agriculture and water resources sectors in the lower Ganges Basin (Bangladesh).

Contact: david.coates@cbd.int


David joined the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, based in Montreal, in August 2003, where he now leads the work on biodiversity and water, food and energy. His main interest is opportunities for biodiversity (ecosystem services) to contribute to improved human well-being including as related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. David has authored or co-authored in the region of 150 scholarly articles on a wide range of topics including recently on Natural Infrastructure Solutions for Water Security (2012), on Water, Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services (2012), and is co-author of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands (2013).

Tatiana Fedotova - Manager, Water, WBCSD


Tatiana Fedotova has been working since 2012 with the Water Cluster of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a global coalition of some 200 companies focusing on sustainable development. Among other responsibilities, she leads projects aiming to scale up business solutions for sustainable water management, access to safe water and sanitation and increase investment in natural infrastructure. Prior to joining the WBCSD she worked for the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), in strategic communications for change, including an advisory role to the Madagascar country program of the Global Sanitation Fund.

Contact: Fedotova@wbcsd.org


Violaine Berger - Director, Ecosystems & Landscape Management at WBCSD


Violaine Berger leads the Ecosystems & Landscape Management Cluster of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a global coalition of some 200 companies focusing on sustainable development. Among other responsibilities, she leads projects aiming to scale up business investments in natural infrastructure, restoration of degraded land, and implementation of landscape approaches. She previously led the development and roll out of Business Ecosystems Training (BET), a capacity building program that aims to equip business with the skills they need to better measure, manage and mitigate their ecosystem impacts and dependencies. She is also coordinated the WBCSD’s Water Project work on the value of water, which developments include a Business Guide to Water Valuation.

Contact: Berger@wbcsd.org


Kathy B. McLeod - Director, Climate Risk & Resilience


With a focus on risks that result from a changing climate, Kathy leads The Nature Conservancy’s work to mainstream using nature to reduce risks of storms, flooding and sea level rise to people and communities. This global strategy aims to help communities adapt to climate change and reduce disaster risk by protecting and restoring the natural features that reduce flooding in rivers and coasts through cutting edge science, evaluation tools and worldwide demonstration projects. Further, we leverage the resulting findings through policy reform and relationships with the reinsurance and engineering sectors.

Contact: kbmcleod@tnc.org


Kathy is an innovative leader in the business of energy and the environment with a proven record of effective strategies. Inspirational team builder with a natural energy and high-level emotional intelligence. Dynamic strength enhanced by trusted relationships across cultures, geography, industries and disciplines. Broad experience with sustainability, environment, risk management and energy and all aspects of climate change in the context of the global economy.

Rajib Shaw - Professor


Rajib is a professor at the International Environment and Disaster Management Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies at Kyoto University.

Contact: shaw.rajib.5u@kyoto-u.ac.jp


Mechthilde Fuhrer - Deputy Executive Secretary


Mechthilde Fuhrer is Deputy Executive Secretary of the European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement of the Council of Europe. She has been active in the field of educational, cultural and environmental issues and holds a Doctorate in Human Sciences and a Master degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology. Within her functions she is working on promotion through appropriate common initiatives with other organisations in the field of major hazard prevention and organisation of relief.

Contact: Mechthilde.FUHRER@coe.int


David Stone - Director


David Stone is Director of ProAct Network. A zoologist by training, David has worked for over 20 years in the fields of biodiversity conservation and environmental management particularly in humanitarian and disaster relief operations, with emphasis on community engagement and development. David has worked with refugees and other people displaced by conflict or disasters in more than 40 countries. David is also an accomplished author and editor, and is an avid organic gardener!

Contact: david.stone@proactnetwork.org


Fabrice Renaud - Head of Section


Fabrice Renaud is Professor of Environmental Risk and Community Resilience at the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow. There, his research focuses on the vulnerability and risk assessment of social-ecological systems exposed to hydro-meteorological hazards; understanding the multiple roles ecosystems play in terms of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, particularly from the perspectives of local communities; and resilience of coastal and deltaic social-ecological systems. Fabrice is currently involved in research projects in Europe, and South, East and Southeast Asia.

Contact: Fabrice.Renaud@glasgow.ac.uk


Prof. Fabrice Renaud has a background in agronomy with an emphasis on environmental pollution by agrochemicals, in particular pesticides. Prior to joining the University of Glasgow in 2018, he worked for over 13 years at the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in Bonn, Germany where he was the Head of the Environmental Vulnerability and Ecosystem Services section.

Prof. Renaud currently works on the H2020 project OPERANDUM project which focuses on Nature-based Solutions to reduce hydrometeorological risks in Europe; the Living Deltas Hub project which addresses the sustainability of deltas in Bangladesh, India and Vietnam; and leads the project “River basins as ‘living laboratories’ for achieving sustainable development goals across national and sub-national scales” which focuses on synergies and trade-offs between SDGs.

Zita Sebesvari - Associate Academic Officer


Since 2007, Dr. Sebesvari is an Associate Academic Officer in the Environmental Vulnerability and Ecosystem Services (EVES) Section. She is responsible for research concerned with social-ecological vulnerability, environmental pollution, ecosystem services, and sustainable agricultural production mainly in the regional context of Southeast Asia. She is supporting the Section Head as well as taking responsibility for research dealing with environmental degradation and the exposure of social-ecological systems to the degradation particularly in the context of climate change e.g. salinity intrusion in coastal areas. Dr. Sebesvari researches i) the risks associated with unsustainable agricultural practices in Southeast Asia linked to the use of pesticides and antibiotics resulting in environmental pollution, ii) the risk associated with the use of contaminated water for drinking and domestic purposes as well as iii) the impacts of certain adaptation practices on the long term sustainability of soil and water resources as well as develops concepts and new projects for the section in these research fields. She is involved in teaching, supervises MSc. students and co-supervises PhD. scholars.

Contact: sebesvari@ehs.unu.edu


Prior to joining UNU-EHS, Dr. Zita Sebesvari worked on environmental monitoring and remediation projects in the Institute for Chemistry and Dynamics of the Geosphere at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany as well as on chemical and microbial signalling processes in the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment in Oldenburg.

Dr. Sebesvari gained more than seven years of fieldwork experience in Vietnam in the frame of the German-Vietnamese WISDOM. She was involved in the IWQGES project which aims to develop International Water Quality Guidelines for Ecosystems on behalf of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). Currently she executes UNU-EHS’ activities for the Belmont Forum and DFG funded DELTAS project aiming to develop a global delta vulnerability index (GDVI) with case studies in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Brazil and the German-Vietnamese DeltAdapt project aiming to find sustainable solutions for agricultural adaptation to salinity intrusion in delta systems.

Pieter van Eijk - Programme Head: Climate Adaptation & Risk Reduction


Pieter van Eijk heads the Disaster Risk and Climate Adaptation Programme within Wetlands International providing strategic oversight and coordinating programme implementation across the organisation’s office network.

Contact: Pieter.vanEijk@wetlands.org


In recent years together with partners he developed various large scale initiatives that work towards increased recognition of the importance of wetlands in reducing hazards and their impacts: Partners for Resilience for example is a 36 million euro risk reduction programme that aims to enhance resilience for more than 400.000 people in 9 countries by bringing together approaches from the environment, development and humanitarian sectors. Within the Building with Nature innovation programme Pieter works with the engineering sector to develop new approaches towards coastal protection where infrastructure and ecosystem-based approaches are combined. He has worked in a variety of ecosystems in more than 20 countries, focusing on mangroves, peatlands and river systems.

Pieter holds a MSc degree from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, specializing in tropical ecology and international nature conservation.

Since August 2010 Pieter serves in the board of the Transpetrol foundation. As a volunteer he is engaged in breeding bird surveys, migration counts and bird ringing schemes, within and outside the Netherlands.

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

Contact: Marie-Jose.Vervest@wetlands.org


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.

Anita van Breda - Director, Disaster Reduction and Response


Anita's main duties at World Wildlife Fund International include: Lead WWF work integrating environmentally responsible practices in disaster recovery, reconstruction and risk reduction efforts, Member of the WWF Climate Change Adaptation team, Co-lead of the UN Emergency Shelter Cluster Environment Reference Group, and Member of the Advisory Group on Environmental Emergencies for the UNEP/OCHA Joint Environment Unit.

Contact: anita.vanbreda@wwfus.org


Anita is an environmental advisor and trainer integrating the environment in to disaster management and climate change adaptation. Experience working in partnership with the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, United Nations, World Bank, The Sphere Project, NGOs and the private sector.

Her specialties include: Humanitarian operational partnerships; design, development and implementation of environmentally responsible disaster management programming, policy, training and capacity building; climate change adaption and disaster risk reduction policy and practice; marine and coastal natural resource management and livelihoods; non-profit institutional development, management and training.

She has work experience in: Bahamas, Belize, Chile, China, Haiti, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), Sri Lanka, Thailand, USA, Vanuatu, Virgin Islands.

Irfan Maqbool - Head of Department


Irfan Maqbool serves as Head of Department for Safer Development Planning and Implementation at the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in Thailand.

Contact: irfan@adpc.net


Arno Rosemarin
Alexandros Makarigakis
Fabrice Renaud
Ioana Creitaru
Jair Torres
Johann Georg Goldammer
John Harding
Karen Sudmeier-Rieux
Kristine Tovmasyan
Marc Stal
Marisol Estrella
Dr Muralee Thummarukudy
Pascal Peduzzi
Radhika Murti
Camille Buyck
Patricia Gorin
Rajeev Issar
Alicia Natalia Zamudio
Anne Hammill
Lew Young
David Coates
Tatiana Fedotova
Violaine Berger
Kathy B. McLeod
Rajib Shaw
Mechthilde Fuhrer
David Stone
Fabrice Renaud
Zita Sebesvari
Pieter van Eijk
Marie-José Vervest
Anita van Breda
Irfan Maqbool

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