7 November 2023
Nature for Development and Climate

About this day

This day features two sessions - “Celebrating Local Action for a Planetary Safety Net,” which highlights how local communities around the world are taking action on nature; and “Protecting and Restoring our Future,” which explores the many ways in which we can create a planetary safety net by safeguarding nature.

Session 1

Celebrating Local Action for a Planetary Safety Net

7 November 2023
9 AM – 12:30 PM EDT

This session includes a celebration of this year’s Equator Prize winners, along with other community initiatives, showcasing how communities are working to protect, restore and sustainably manage nature. This session also includes segments on how we can reimagine connections between nature and people.

Segments

Opening segment

This segment kicks off this year’s Nature for Life Hub with a musical piece by world-renowned Ricky Kej, celebrating action for a better planet.

Celebrating the Equator Prize Winners

The Equator Initiative celebrates 10 new winners of the Equator Prize, showcasing how Indigenous peoples and local communities are taking action.

Celebrating Local Action from Around the World

This segment features local action from around the world, all taking action to create a planetary safety net.

Reimagining connections between nature and people

Our world is becoming more fragmented by the day. Connections between nature are being lost, and our own connections with nature are weakened. This session shows how we can strengthen and reimagine connections between nature and people.

Speakers: 

Rafael Antelo

World Wide Fund for Nature

Helen Crowley

Pollination

E.J. Milner Gulland

Nature Positive Universities


Favour Eragbie

Nature Positive Universities


Amy Fraenkel

Convention on Migratory Species


Alan Gershenfeld

E-Line Media

Jon Hall

mammalwatching.com / UNDP

Jennifer McGowan

Untamed Planet

Adam Met

Planet Reimagined

Nell Miles

Nature Positive Universities

Gabriel Oppler

Center for Large Landscape Conservation

Hugh Possingham

Australian Biodiversity Council

Gautam Shah

Internet of Elephants

Emily Stott

Nature Positive Universities

John Suhar

World Surf League

Gary Tabor

Center for Large Landscape Conservation

Session 2

Protecting and Restoring our Future

7 November 2023
1 PM – 4:30 PM EDT

This session explores the different ways we can protect and restore our future by protecting and restoring nature, including our forests, wetlands, rivers, oceans and species.

Segments

Restoring Forests, Restoring our Future

Forests protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity, and are a powerhouse when it comes to storing and sequestering carbon. This segment explores ways to restore forests around the world.

Restoring Wetlands, Restoring our Future

Wetlands are essential for our planet’s health, but also for providing humanity with clean water, and buffering us from natural disasters. This segment explores how restoring wetlands can safeguard our future.

Restoring Species, Restoring our Future

About a million species are at risk of extinction. This segment explores how we can rewild our planet to protect species. It also explores how we must tackle invasive species, one of the main drivers of species decline.

Restoring our Future, Restoring Hope

The world has made bold commitments to restore 30% of the planet. But where will those activities take place? This segment explores an inclusive approach to defining spatial restoration priorities.

Protecting Forests, Protecting our Future

The world has seen continued deforestation around the world. This segment identifies success stories in forest protection, and concludes with an exploration of the need to especially protect old and mature forests.

Protecting Species, Protecting our Future

This segment explores the need to protect species, and also to protect those who protect them, especially the rangers who are on the front line of species protection

Speakers: 

Jamal Annagylyjova

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

Sara Barrueco

Asesoramiento Ambiental Estratégico (AAE)

Monika Bertzky

Asesoramiento Ambiental Estratégico (AAE)

Maira Bezerra

Conservation International

Emily Charry Tissier

Whale Seeker

Shiri Firdman

Department of Partnerships, Community & Education

Jim Furnish

U.S. Forest Service

Chris Galliers

International Ranger Federation (IRF)

Benedikt Gruber

Youthinkgreen

Alfonso Hernandez Rios

BirdLife International

Rich Holschuh

Atowi Project

Mark Horton

The Rivers Trust

Michael Kellett

RESTORE: The North Woods

Karine Langlois

International Maritime Organization

Nina Lantinga

Nets for Net Zero

John Lotspeich

Trillion Trees

Carme Machi Castaner

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives- Europe

Bianca Malfert

The Global Youth Coalition

Joan Maloof

Old-Growth Forest Network

Susan Masino

Trinity College

Bill Moomaw

Tufts University

David Nicholas Oswald

DE Design + Environment Inc.

Agustín Ocaña

The Global Youth Coalition

Enrique Paniagua

United National Development Programme

Marina Petrovic

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Zack Porter

Standing Trees

Phyllis Posy

PosyGlobal; EcoAdvance

Jimena Puyana

UNDP Colombia

Amy Sheldon

Vermont state

Rohit Singh

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore

Mila Sirychenko

The Global Youth Coalition

Sonia Smith

Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada

Clara Tome

The Global Youth Coalition

Avi Uzan

Israel Nature and Parks Authority

Sandra Vilardy

Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development – Colombia

Savvas Zotos

Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences – Open University of Cyprus

Rafael Antelo

Wildlife Connect Lead

World Wide Fund for Nature

 

Rafael Antelo is the Wildlife Connect lead at WWF, based in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He completed his PhD in Biological Scientist from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain). He has more than 20 years of experience in conservation in the Neotropics (Venezuela, Colombia and Bolivia). Now coordinates a regional project on ecological connectivity in Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay and advice connectivity efforts in Kenya, Tanzania, Ecuador, Rumania, India and Nepal.

 

Helen Crowley

Managing Director

Pollination

 

Dr. Helen Crowley has spent 30 years working across the nexus of biodiversity conservation, nature-based solutions and corporate sustainability. She was a pioneer of bringing sustainability to the world of luxury fashion at Kering, She spent over a decade there building sector-wide initiatives such as the Fashion Pact, and bringing market - based approaches to conservation and enterprise development.

 

Professor E.J. Milner Gulland

Founder

Nature Positive Universities

 

E.J. Milner-Gulland is Tasso Leventis Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Oxford. Previously she was Professor of Conservation Science at Imperial College London, and she has also held lectureships in Resource Economics and Mathematical Ecology. Her research group, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science, undertakes a wide range of research, outreach and engagement projects, on five continents and in both marine and terrestrial settings. 

 

Favour Eragbie

Student Ambassador Coordinator

Nature Positive Universities

 

Favour Eragbie is an environmentalist who is passionate about using education to drive donations that address nature loss and climate change. She is the founder of Friends of Nature Network and a Student Ambassador Coordinator at Nature Positive Universities Initiative. She is a Global Youth Ambassador at Their World and a winner of the World Bank Group Utility of the Future Youth Challenge.

 

Amy Fraenkel

Executive Secretary

Convention on Migratory Species

 

Amy Fraenkel is Executive Secretary of the Convention on Migratory Species. She has over 30 years of experience in international environmental law and policy. She has held senior positions in several UN agencies, the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government, and worked in the private sector as an attorney. Ms. Fraenkel is a graduate of Grinnell College and Harvard Law School.

 

Alan Gershenfeld

CEO/Co-Founder

E-Line Media

 

Alan Gershenfeld is Co-Founder/President of E-Line Media, a developer of social impact video games. E-Line titles include BAFTA and Peabody award winning Never Alone, Jackson-Wild award winning Beyond Blue, Gamestar Mechanic and MinecraftEdu. Prior to E-Line, Alan was Chairman of Games for Change and SVP Activision Studios where he oversaw titles such as Civilization: Call to Power, Muppet Treasure Island, Spycraft, Pitfall, Zork and Tony Hawk Skateboarding.

 

Jon Hall

Founder of mammalwatching.com /The Nature Hub team at UNDP

mammalwatching.com / UNDP

 

Genetically Welsh, spiritually Australian, currently in New York City. I’ve also lived and worked in London, Canberra, Paris and Lusaka, and looked for mammals in over 100 countries. When I am not mammal watching I work for UNDP in their nature team.

 

Jennifer McGowan

Chief Scientist

Untamed Planet

 

Dr. Jennifer McGowan is the Chief Scientist of Untamed Planet - a nature-based gaming and entertainment company. Jennifer is a decision scientist and spatial planner who designs strategies to improve ROI for biodiversity outcomes for our lands, freshwaters and oceans. She is committed to scaling and democratizing access to spatial planning tools, decision theory, data and capacity-building around the world. She holds affiliate research positions at Yale University’s Center for Biodiversity and Global Change and the University of Queensland’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Science.

 

Adam Met

Executive Director

Planet Reimagined

 

Adam Met, PhD seamlessly transitions between roles as musician, educator, advocate, and scholar. As the world renown bassist in the multi-platinum band AJR, he has played in front of millions of fans worldwide, with the band's music resonating across continents and garnering over 8 billion streams. Beyond the stage, Adam is deeply invested in environmental sustainability, founding the climate advocacy nonprofit, Planet Reimagined.

 

Nell Miles

Student Ambassador Coordinator

Nature Positive Universities

 

Nell is a co-coordinator of the Nature Positive Universities Student Ambassador Programme. She is also a fourth year MBiol student at the University of Oxford, currently carrying out her master's research on Biodiversity Net Gain Policy in England. Nell is passionate about climate and nature justice and believes that collaboration between governments, businesses and the public is vital to drive change, so wants to engage people from all walks of life to help them understand their place in developing a sustainable future.

 

Gabriel Oppler

International Policy & Partnerships Specialist

Center for Large Landscape Conservation

 

Gabriel Oppler is the International Policy & Partnerships Specialist at the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, an NGO based in Bozeman, Montana whose mission is to promote ecological connectivity as a strategy for conserving biodiversity around the world. He completed his M.S. in International Conservation & Development from the University of Montana and B.S. in Biology from Haverford College.

 

Hugh Possingham

Co-Chair

Australian Biodiversity Council

 

Joining us today is Prof Hugh Possingham has dedicated his life to delivering impact for biodiversity. He is currently co-chair of the Australian Biodiversity Council, Chief Scientist of Accounting for Nature, a Porf. of mathematics and conservation science at the University of Queensland and serves on the Board of Directors for Birdlife Australia. Hugh previously served as Chief Scientist of the international non-profit The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Queensland Government.

 

Gautam Shah

Founder

Internet of Elephants

 

Gautam is a technologist, a storyteller, and conservationist and a National Geographic Fellow. He is a foudning member of the United Nations Environment Program’s Playing for the Planet Alliance – which supports the video game industry to take action to reduce its environmental impact. Gautam is also a TED speaker whose provocative talk on how the metaverse can bring us closer to wildlife has received over a million views.

 

Emily Stott

Coordinator

Nature Positive Universities

 

Emily studied Archaeology and Anthropology at University of Cambridge and has spent 10 years working in sustainability and research with NGOs and industrial partners, in areas such as low impact housing, fibres and textiles, completing Masters degrees in Sustainable Business and Sustainable Textiles. Emily developed the Nature Positive Pledge which has been taken by 135 universities to address the biodiversity impacts of their campuses, operations and supply chains, set targets and prioritize actions for nature.

 

John Suhar

VP, Environmental and Social Impact

World Surf League

 

John Suhar is the VP, Environmental and Social Impact at the World Surf League (WSL) and oversees initiatives across WSL's global operations, tours and events. In addition, he directs the World Surf League’s nonprofit partner, WSL PURE, whose mission is to inspire, educate, and empower ocean protection and invest in local communities where WSL events take place. In this dual capacity, John is helping drive the WSL to improve its sustainability at events and in operations, while bringing integrated environmental and social programming to the millions of WSL fans who tune in around the world.

 

Gary Tabor

President and Co-chair

Center for Large Landscape Conservation and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas' Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group

 

Gary M. Tabor is an ecologist and wildlife veterinarian. He is the Founder and President of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation. Gary is also Chair of the IUCN-WCPA Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group and a Professor of Practice in Natural Resources and the Environment at Cornell University. He has over 30 years of experience working on behalf of large-scale conservation efforts in Africa, South America, Australia, and Canada, and 12 years within the U.S. environmental philanthropic community.

 

Jamal Annagylyjova

Forest Biodiversity Officer

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

 

Jamal leads the work on forest biodiversity and ecosystem restoration at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. In the past, Jamal served for 10 years as the Regional Coordinator for Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia in the Secretariat of the Convention to Combat Desertification. She coordinated the production of the Ecosystem Restoration Outlook for Central and Eastern Europe. Jamal started as a researcher at the National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna of Turkmenistan. Jamal holds a Ph.D. in Physical Geography from the University of Cologne, Germany.

 

Sara Barrueco

Safeguards and Policy Analyst

Asesoramiento Ambiental Estratégico (AAE)

 

Sara Barrueco is a Safeguards and Policy Analyst at AAE, where her work has focused mainly on environmental and social standards, risk and impact assessments, due diligence and the development of policy guidance, in particular for the Latin America, Caribbean and Africa regions. Her background is primarily in environmental politics and ethics and climate change.

 

Monika Bertzky

Senior Manager and Head of Safeguards

Asesoramiento Ambiental Estratégico (AAE)

 

Monika Bertzky is Senior Manager and Head of Safeguards at AAE. She has almost 20 years of experience in international conservation, with a focus on environmental and social (E&S) safeguards in conservation, conducting Strategic E&S Assessments (SESA), E&S Impact Assessments (ESIA), and E&S Due Diligence Studies (ESDD) and developing Management Frameworks/Plans and other tools for human-rights based conservation. She is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and of the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP).

 

Maira Bezerra

Acting Freshwater Science Lead

Conservation International

 

Dr. Maíra Bezerra is the Acting Freshwater Science Lead with the Moore Center for Science at Conservation International. As an ecohydrologist, she advances actionable science by integrating different areas of knowledge for more equitable and sustainable watershed management.

 

Emily Charry Tissier

CEO

Whale Seeker

 

Emily Charry Tissier is a biologist with 20 years of experience working in coastal and arctic ecosystems. She is the Co-Founder and CEO of Whale Seeker, a marine mammal detection company that provides fast, reliable, and accessible marine mammal detection. Emily was named one of the top 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics and has had her work recognized on numerous media platforms. Her field expertise and people skills make her a fierce leader who inspires those around her to reach their full potential.

 

Shiri Firdman

Manager, Department of Partnerships, Community & Education

Shiri Firdman Manager, Department of Partnerships, Community & Education

 

Expert Organizational Development Consultant and Human Resources specialist with a strong academic background in Animal Sciences. Broad business and public sector experience.

 

Jim Furnish

Retired Deputy Chief

U.S. Forest Service

 

Jim Furnish retired as Deputy Chief of the U S Forest Service in 2002, following a 35-yr career, mostly in the western U.S. He is also the author of a memoir, Toward a Natural Forest (OR St Univ Press 2015), and has served on several boards of environmental groups. He lives in Gila NM.

 

Chris Galliers

President, International Ranger Federation (IRF)

International Ranger Federation (IRF)

 

Chris Galliers has close to 20 years of conservation experience. He is a member of the Game Rangers Association of Africa, an organisation he chaired for 6 years. He was also elected as the Africa Representative for the International Ranger Federation (IRF) in 2012 and is the current President after being elected in November 2019. Chris was also a past director of the Thin Green Line Foundation (an Australia ranger-focused NPO). Currently he works for Conservation Outcomes in South Africa, a non-profit organization created to develop new protected areas and provide land-management support.

 

Benedikt Gruber

WYSS Project Manager

Youthinkgreen

 

A youthinkgreener dedicated advocate for sustainability and environmental responsibility. With a strong foundation in industrial mechanics and a passion for sustainable practices, he brings a unique blend of technical expertise and environmental awareness to his work. As a Student Research Assistant at Fraunhofer-Einrichtung Forschungsfertigung Batteriezelle FFB, Bennedikt has been instrumental in advancing battery cell manufacturing research, contributing to the development of cleaner energy solutions.

 

Alfonso Hernandez Rios

Conserva Aves Programme Manager

BirdLife International

 

Born and raised in Mexico, Alfonso is a biologist with graduate studies at the University of Cambridge and the National University of Mexico. He has led marine ecosystem conservation initiatives for NGOs in North America and West Africa. Currently he manages the Conserva Aves programme for BirdLife International: a novel initiative that supports local and indigenous people in establishing and managing new sub-national protected areas in priority geographies for threatened resident and migratory birds throughout Latin American countries.

 

Rich Holschuh

Founder

Atowi Project

 

Rich is a resident of Wantastegok (Brattleboro, VT) and immersed in the stories layered within this landscape. He serves as Chair for the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs and is a public liaison and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Elnu Abenaki, members of the contemporary northeastern Native community. Rich is founder and co-director of the Atowi Project. His work draws upon history, linguistics, geography, and culture to share beneficial ways of seeing and being in relationship with place.

 

Mark Horton

All Ireland Director

The Rivers Trust

 

All Ireland Director, overseeing the growth and development of The Rivers Trust in Ireland. He is also Chief Executive of Ballinderry Rivers Trust. Honored By Queen Elizabeth with an MBE in 2019, he mixes this scientific background in catchment science and dynamics with his academic training in psychology to bring people together and collaborate on improving Ireland’s freshwater resources.

 

Michael Kellett

Founding Executive Director

RESTORE: The North Woods

 

Michael Kellett has almost 40 years of experience advocating for national parks, wilderness, natural forests, free-flowing rivers, and imperiled wildlife. He is the founding executive director of RESTORE: The North Woods, a New England-based nonprofit organization established in 1992.

 

Karine Langlois

Communications Officer

International Maritime Organization

 

Karine Langlois has been working for the United Nations for over 15 years, she is now holding the role of Communications Officer at the International Maritime Organization where she manages social media channels, runs global campaigns and heads the video production unit. Fluent in 4 languages, Karine holds a Masters in International Law and Economy. When Karine joined IMO in 2011, she established a strong social media presence for IMO and harnessed the power of audio-visual material to promote the work of the Organization, notably its gender equality programme et work and marine protection.

 

Nina Lantinga

CEO & Co-Founder

Nets for Net Zero

 

Nina Lantinga is an award winning entrepreneur, Canadian Delegate at the G20 Young Entrepreneur Alliance, and CEO of Nets for Net Zero. She is a systems thinker, developing inclusive and collaborative business models that meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. As a G20 YEA Canadian delegate and policy lead for the Climate, Energy and Sustainability taskforce, she drives national and global policy, while strengthening Canada's impact on international trade relations and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 

John Lotspeich

Executive Director

Trillion Trees (a joint venture between WWF, WCS, and BirdLife International)

 

John’s career has spanned high-level government and stakeholder engagement, policy, advocacy and leadership communications, and public sector and philanthropic resource mobilisation. He focused on front-line implantation and delivery of results at Marie Stopes International and delivered health and community services. This alignment of community progress, natural world stewardship and climate action drives him to deliver the local capacity and financial means to restore healthy forests as part of a global effort to restore our planet’s biodiversity and confront the climate emergency.

 

Carme Machi Castaner

ICLEI Officer - Sustainable Water-resilient Infrastructures

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives- Europe

 

Focus on water-related initiatives in urban areas. Manage relationships with affinity organizations involved in urban planning to include local constraints to assure affordable sanitation and green stormwater solutions. Conduct environmental impact assessment studies and provide analytical reports;. Research water-related nature-based solutions; .Present education workshops and capacity-building activities.

 

Bianca Malfert

Community Lead

The Global Youth Coalition

 

Young activist and content creator in climate change, peace and gender equity. Graduated in law and with a diploma in women's human rights. Active in national and international organizations such as Global Peace as coordinator of the Global Peace Water Forum 2023, Global Landscapes Forum as Social Media Ambassador, among others. She has represented Bolivia in national and international events and spaces for dialogue such as Coy 17 and the Youth Forum of the Americas. In her work she has received recognition from the Plurinational Legislative.

 

Joan Maloof

Founder

Old-Growth Forest Network

 

Joan Maloof is the author of numerous research articles and five books, including her most recent publication, Nature’s Temples. In addition to her research and writing, Maloof founded the Old-Growth Forest Network, an organization with the goal of creating a network of protected forests across the US. Maloof works to educate others regarding the extent and condition of our forests, and to encourage their protection. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Plant Science, a master’s degree in Environmental Science, and a Doctorate in Ecology. She is a professor emeritus at Salisbury University.

 

Susan Masino

Vernon D. Roosa Professor of Applied Science

Trinity College

 

Susan A. Masino, Ph.D. is the Vernon D. Roosa Professor of Applied Science at Trinity College and a member of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change in Connecticut. She serves on the board of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, is a County Coordinator for the Old Growth Forest Network, and was a Charles Bullard Fellow in Forest Research at Harvard Forest/Harvard Medical School. Her neuroscience research focuses on mechanisms of brain health and disease, and her scholarship and advocacy outside the laboratory focuses on the role of natural forests in supporting local and global wellbeing.

 

Bill Moomaw

Professor Emeritus

Tufts University

 

Bill Moomaw is Professor Emeritus at Tufts University and Distinguished Visiting Scientist at Woodwell Climate Research Center. He has been a lead Author of 5 previous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports on climate mitigation including the 2007 report that shared the Nobel Peace Prize. While his earlier work addressed technological solutions, for the past dozen years he has published research on Natural Climate Solutions for accumulating carbon out of the atmosphere - primarily the role of forest and wetland ecosystems.

 

David Nicholas Oswald

President

DE Design + Environment Inc.DE Design + Environment Inc.

 

David Oswald is the founder and president of DE Design + Environment Inc., a design and environmental consultancy and technology company based in Vancouver and Montreal. David is also an Associate Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University and in 2016 was elected as a Fellow to the Royal Canadian Geographic Society in recognition of his significant contributions to environmental awareness and understanding in Canada. He has studied at the University of Waterloo, Royal Roads University, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia.

 

Agustín Ocaña

Chairperson - Founder

The Global Youth Coalition

 

Also known as Pacha Tupac, is the Chair of GYC and Project Manager of Reeforesting 4 Peace. With a diverse background in nonprofits and the private sector, Agustin empowers global youth in climate action. Committed to a sustainable future, he unites young voices to combat climate change. His 8-year journey, marked by global sustainability projects, fuels his passion to inspire the next generation. As GYC Chair, his mission-driven leadership shapes the organization. Agustin's expertise unites regional youth in the Middle East and Europe, preparing for COP28's impactful change.

 

Enrique Paniagua

Senior Policy Expert

United National Development Programme

 

Enrique boasts 12 years of expertise in biodiversity and climate resilience policy and projects, with a rich portfolio spanning 25+ countries across Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Presently, he serves as an advisor to UNDP's Global Programme Nature for Development, shaping nature-related policy initiatives. His past achievements include co-leading the development of Costa Rica's National Climate Adaptation Plan (NAP) and National Determinate Contributions (NDCs). Enrique's academic foundation includes a Master's in International Development from the University of Jyväskylä (Finland).

 

Marina Petrovic

Assistant Director, Fisheries Resource Management-National Programs

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

 

Marina Petrovic joined Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard in 2012, where she coordinated the delivery of the Species At Risk Act’s enforcement operations and implemented the fishery officer marine mammal response training program. In 2018, Marina took on a leadership role for Fisheries and Oceans Canada to advance Canadian efforts on addressing ghost gear, through the development of the national Ghost Gear Program, and introduction of the Ghost Gear Fund. Marina continues to lead the development of the Ghost Gear Program for Canada.

 

Zack Porter

Executive Director

Standing Trees

 

Zack Porter is co-founder and Executive Director of Standing Trees, an organization that works to protect and restore forests on New England’s public lands. Zack developed a deep bond with wild nature at an early age. After beginning his career with the US Forest Service in 2004, Zack spent most of the past two decades in the nonprofit sector, building diverse movements at the intersection of social justice, climate, and wildlands advocacy. When not working to protect wild places, Zack can be found exploring them with his family.

 

Phyllis Posy

President, PosyGlobal; EcoAdvance WP4 Leader

PosyGlobal; EcoAdvance

 

WP4 lead partner in EU Horizon project EcoAdvance, bringing an experienced multidisciplinary lens to advancing freshwater restoration. Prior roles include working reporter/TV producer; planning/restoring major city parks; building municipal cost accounting/decision support systems; pioneering cross-cultural communication for a global business; orchestrating multimedia campaigns to achieve tax equity; validating innovative non-chemical water disinfection; designing systems for interoperability of military/civilian aircraft; developing international standards for agricultural reuse water.

 

Jimena Puyana

Sustainable Development Specialist

UNDP Colombia

 

Jimena Puyana is a sustainable development programme specialist with the UNDP Country Office in Colombia. She works on implementing nature and community-based solutions to fight climate change in La Mojana, a region with one of the most complex water deltas in the world.

 

Amy Sheldon

Vermont State Representative

Vermont state

 

Amy Sheldon holds a BA in Economics from Middlebury College and an MS in Natural Resource Planning from the University of Vermont. In addition to being a State Legislator, she is a consulting conservation planner at Landslide LLC. Past work includes: Senior Faculty member at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS); first Executive Director of the White River Partnership and the Middlebury Area Land Trust; and a Natural Resource Planner for the City of Eugene, OR. Amy is chair of the Vermont Legislature’s House Environment and Energy Committee.

 

Rohit Singh

Director of Protected and Conserved Areas Management and Governance

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore

 

Rohit Singh has over 17 years’ experience in wildlife law enforcement, anti-poaching and ranger related work. He is Director Protected and Conserved Areas Management and Governance at World Wildlife Fund and also the Asia representative of the International Ranger Federation (IRF).

 

Mila Sirychenko

Campaign Officer

The Global Youth Coalition

 

Mila Sirychenko is from Mariupol, Ukraine and she is a climate and environmental activist, advocating for meaningful youth engagement and importance of global peace for achieving Paris Agreement goals. She graduated in Environmental Science and Policy at Central European University, Vienna. Mila is responsible for operations & outreach for Fridays For Future Ukraine, engaging with different stakeholders and media. She went to COP27, and SB58 as a representative of Ukrainian youth, being a part of Ukrainian radio family at BBC5, sharing her experience as a war-refugee.

 

Sonia Smith

Program and Stakeholder Manager

Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada

 

Sonia Smith is currently the Program and Stakeholder Manager for the FGCAC End of Life Fishing Gear Management Project, in NS, NB, PE, and Southwestern NL funded by the DFO Ghost Gear Program. Sonia began working with harbour authorities, fishers, small craft harbours, and the aquaculture industry in 2014 when she took over the delivery of the Clean Foundation’s Ship-to-Shore Program. Ship-to-Shore provided education, support, and resources to help harbour authorities across Nova Scotia find better ways to properly manage waste on fishing vessels and wharves.

 

Clara Tome

Project Development Lead

The Global Youth Coalition

 

Passionate environmentalist, communicator, and advocate for nature and biodiversity. Also a law graduate from the University of Salamanca, and an environmental law specialist graduated with a Masters Degree from the University of Rovira, Virgili, Spain. Throughout her studies and internship with UNEP, her role as a climate pact ambassador has provided her with great knowledge of the European and international environmental law, policies, climate change, sustainable development, human rights and climate justice.

 

Avi Uzan

Aquatic Ecologist

Israel Nature and Parks Authority

 

Expert in freshwater ecology & eco-hydrology. Expert in lotic/lentic habitat restoration and rehabilitation. Specialized in multidisciplinary analysis and planning in a natural environment. Extensive experience and knowledge in advanced GIS tools Translates the “Water for Nature” law from theory into action through managing various rehabilitation, mitigation and restoration projects from start to finish.

 

Sandra Vilardy

Ex-Viceminister of Environmental Policy

Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development - Colombia

 

Sandra is a professor at the Universidad de los Andes and former Viceminister of Environmental Policies of Colombia. During her time as Viceminister, she led the restoration agenda and helped in building the bridge between scientific knowledge and public policy decisions. In the past, she has served as Dean of the Faculty of Basic Science at the Universidad del Magdalena, Director of the foundation Parques Cómo Vamos, and Member of the Scientific Council of the Institute Alexander Von Humboldt. Sandra holds a Ph.D. on Ecology and Environment from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

 

Savvas Zotos

Postdoctoral Researcher

Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences - Open University of Cyprus

 

Leader of BioNer, a biodiversity monitoring firm. Scientist with an interest in Animal Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation; special focus on reptiles. One of the architects of the Cyprus HerpAtlas.cy that catalogues and classifies the amphibian biodiversity o Cyprus. A well-respected collaborator, he has participated in many EU funded projects (LIFE, COST, Erasmus) as project manager, scientific expert and researcher on animal monitoring and conservation.