Resource Persons

Listed alphabetically


Mr. Lucas Assunção joined UNCTAD in 2001 to coordinate the BioTrade Initiative, which promotes the trade and sustainable use of biodiversity-based products and services in developing countries. Since then, he has been responsible for coordinating and implementing activities related to biodiversity and climate change specifically in assisting developing countries seize the trade, investment and sustainable development opportunities through UNCTAD's three pillars of work.  He takes pride in pioneering the development of the UNCTAD Climate Change Programme, which focuses on the trade, sustainable development and investment opportunities of the Kyoto Protocol, in particular the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).  The issue of trade and climate change is evolving and in addressing emerging issues, the BioFuels Initiative was launched in 2005 to assist developing countries in capturing trade and investment opportunities in the emerging biofuels market.  Mr. Assunção is the Head of the Trade, Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Branch at the Division on International Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities.


George Awudi is an Environmental Scientist and Development professional. He has served as the Assistant Director for Reach and Information management at the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Ghana 1999-2001. He has worked in the areas as diverse as  mining and extractive industries, Desertification and Land degradation Control within the context of the United Nations convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Trade and Environment and Climate Change and development programme. He served as the Africa Regional Coordinator for Friends of the Earth International country groups in Africa and is an active member of Member of Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA). He has vast experience with environmental policy advocacy, community development, project, project design and management, awareness raising.

Abdelkader Bacha, MD, is the Associate Director: Global Alliance Services at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and has over 22 years’ field experience in health and development, with expertise in program and policy development in HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, and nutrition.  Mr. Bacha has extensive experience developing the capacity of civil society organizations, including supporting them to engage meaningfully in advocacy and policy dialogue, as well as strengthening the interface between government and civil society. As Director of the Community Health Programme of Enda Tiers Monde (an international south-south organisation for environment and development), he oversaw the development and implementation of a multi-country international health and development programme.  He managed several programmes, including on commercial sex workers, gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health and rights for youth. As a leading HIV/AIDS technical expert in Senegal, he has served as coordinator of the Ministry of Health’s technical group on PMTCT. As a consultant to several international agencies (UN, EU, bilateral), Mr. Bacha has provided technical and strategic input into the design and planning of national HIV/AIDS and reproductive health programmes in North, Central and West Africa.  As a co-founder of the African Council of AIDS Service Organisations (AfriCASO), where he occupied two senior positions, he contributed to the establishment of an expansive regional civil society network on HIV/AIDS and facilitated constituency building for advocacy, nationally and internationally. Mr. Bacha joined the HIV/AIDS Alliance Secretariat in Brighton, UK, from January 2006 where he served in the Senior Management team as Policy Director, before taking up his current role in 2008.


Susan Burns leads the overall strategic direction of Global Footprint Network and oversees communications, partnership, project development and finance. Prior to launching Global Footprint Network, Susan founded the pioneering sustainability consulting firm Natural Strategies. She has over 18 years of experience working with more than 50 corporations and other organizations on a variety of sustainability-related issues, including product design, consensus building, management systems, business strategy, forest policy and stakeholder communications. She is also an expert in the application of The Natural Step framework for sustainability and led the development of the screening methodology for Portfolio 21, the US’s first mutual fund dedicated to environmental sustainability. She has spoken widely on the subject of sustainability, corporate responsibility and strategic environmental management, having been a keynote or featured speaker at over 100 national and international events. Ms. Burns holds a B.S. in Environmental Engineering.


Raffaello Cervigni, a lead Environmental Economist, is the Regional Coordinator for Climate Change in the Africa region of the World Bank, overseeing the implementation of the Bank's strategy for Climate Change in Africa ("Making Development Climate Resilient"), launched at the Copenhagen meeting of the UN Climate Change Convention in December 2009. He is currently leading major pieces of analytical work on adaptation to climate change, and on opportunities for low carbon development, in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Ghana.

Dr. Cervigni has over 18 years of technical and management experience on programs, projects and research financed by the World Bank, the European Union, and the Italian Government on environment and development issues (including climate change, agriculture and natural resources, water, industrial pollution, energy) in a number of countries in Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa.. He has graduate degrees in economics (M.Phil, Oxford University and Ph.D., University of London) and is the author or co-author of over 30 technical papers and publications including two books and several book chapters.

Prior to his current assignment in Africa, Dr. Cervigni has been coordinating for about three years the World Bank's work on climate change in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), including the development of a regional strategy, the establishment of a regional program of technical assistance, and the management of major studies on climate change impacts in countries like Morocco and Yemen.



Dr. Jakkie Cilliers is the Executive Director of the Institute for Security Studies. Dr Cilliers co-founded the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in 1990 and played an important role in the transformation of the South African armed forces and the institution of civilian control over the military in the period 1990 to 1996. At present most of Dr Cilliers' interests relate to the emerging security architecture in Africa as reflected in the developments under the banner of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union as well as issues around African futures. Dr Cilliers has presented numerous papers at conferences and seminars and published a number of books on various matters relating to peace and security in Africa. He is a regular commentator on local and international radio and television and has attended a large number of international conferences. He is an Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Political Sciences, Faculty Humanities at the University of Pretoria and serves on the International Advisory Board of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP).



Ogunlade Davidson is the Minister of Energy and Water Resources. Previously, he was Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Dean of Postgraduate Studies at University of Sierra Leone. He was also Director of Research, Head of Department of Mechanical and Maintenance Engineering, and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the same university. He served as Chairperson of the Board of the Sierra Leone Environmental Protection Agency (SLEPA) and was Director of the Board of National Power Authority and member of the Transitional Management Committee on Sierra Leone Broadcasting Services. Internationally, he was Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development (GNESD). Mr. Davidson was Professor and Director of the Energy and Development Research Centre (EDRC) of University of Cape Town, South Africa. Before then, he was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at University of California, Berkeley and a MacArthur Scholar at Princeton University and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in USA. He has worked as visiting Professor at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, ENDA-TM in Senegal, and National Technical University of Denmark. He has published extensively on African energy systems and policies, power sector reform, renewable energy policy, mitigation of climate change and on national climate change strategy. He has worked as a consultant for UNESCO, UNIDO, ILO, ABD, UNECA, UNDP, UNEP, GEF, UNFCCC, NEPAD, ADB, and the World Bank. Professionally, he is a Registered Chartered Engineer of United Kingdom and Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences and of the Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers, and a Chartered Member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.


Henri Djombo has served as Minister of the Forest Economy in Congo since 1997. He joined the civil service in 1976, becoming an adviser to the Minister of the Rural Economy in 1977 and then Director of Studies and Planning at the Ministry of the Rural Economy in 1978. He was appointed Director-General of the Rural Economy in 1979 and served in the government as Minister of Water and Forests from 1980 until 1985. After leaving the government, Djombo was the Congolese Ambassador to Bulgaria from 1986 to 1988, and subsequently he was President and Director-General of the Sugar Refinery of Congo (Sucrerie du Congo, or Suco) from 1989 to 1991. While Djombo was Minister of the Forest Economy, his portfolio was altered several times: he was appointed Minister of the Forest Economy, Fishing and Fish Resources on 12 January 1999, Minister of the Forest Economy and the Environment on 18 August 2002, and Minister of the Forest Economy on 3 March 2007. In September 2006, Djombo announced plans to establish two environmentally-protected areas that would together total almost 1,000 hectares. The Republic of Congo depends on forest resource use for economic development, but it is also deeply committed to biodiversity conservation and sustainable forest management. It has already set aside an estimated 11 percent of the country's surface area as protected areas, 90 percent of which is tropical forest. In 2008, he was elected President of the Bureau of the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme. Djombo's ministerial responsibilities were expanded in September 2009, when he was appointed Minister of Sustainable Development, the Forest Economy, and the Environment.


Mersie Ejigu is the Founder and President of the Partnership for African Environmental Sustainability (PAES) and has worked as Senior Fellow for the Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability (FESS); Visiting Professor, UN University for Peace, Department of Environmental Security and Peace; and Assistant Director General for Programmes and Policy of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) based in Gland, Switzerland.  In his home country, Ethiopia, Mr. Ejigu served as Minister of Planning and National Development as well as Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Trained in agricultural economics and development economics at Alemaya College of Agriculture, Ethiopia and the University of British Columbia, Canada, respectively, Mr. Ejigu has extensively written on issues such as sustainable development strategies, poverty and environment, environmental security, and bio-energy.  


Dr. Hussein Elhag is the Executive Director of the African Energy Commission (AFREC). His recent positions included Deputy Director of the International Energy Forum at the Center for Energy and the Environment of the University of Pennsylvania; consultant to the United Nations and the World Bank on renewable energy and global warming; and Associate Researcher with the California Energy Commission. He is a member of numerous international professional societies, including Association of the American Energy Engineers, International Solar Energy Society, American Wind Energy Association, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, New York Academy of Science and Charter Member of the American Environmental Engineers and Managers Institute. Mr. Elhag assumed the position of the Executive Director of AFREC in August 2004. He holds a B.Sc. degree in Physics and Physical Chemistry from the University of Khartoum, a MS in Energy Resources and Technologies from the University of Pittsburgh, a MS degree in Energy Management and Policy from University of Pennsylvania, and a doctoral degree in Energy Management and Policy from University of Pennsylvania.


Jose Endundo is the Minister of Environment Conservation, Nature and Tourism (ECNT), He began his career as a teacher at the end of his graduate studies in Philosophy and Religious Studies. He went on to complete his studies in Belgium, and, respectively, became Executive Officer at the National Society of Railway Zaire (now SNCC), and Deputy Managing Director of Hoechst - he later earned a degree in pharmacy (Leuven / Louvain) and another in economic management. Subsequently, he established and managed a number of private companies. He became CEO of the Zairian control (1988-1990); CEO of the Office of Roads (1991-1995); and Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure (2003-2005). At the National Assembly, he chaired the Foreign Relations Committee until his return to the Government  (and to his current position) in November 2007. Mr. Endundo also served as Director-Member of the Executive Committee of the Anezi (National Association of Companies of Zaire, now the Federation of Enterprises of Congo, FEC, 1983-1997) and President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (1992-1997).


Mounkaila Goumandakoye is the Regional Director for the UNEP Regional Office for Africa (ROA).  He took up the position shortly after his appointment in June 2008 as the Regional Director for UNEP in Africa. Mounkaila joins UNEP from UNDP Drylands Development Centre, where he first started as Policy Advisor and since 2007, as Acting Director. Previously, he was Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa of the United Nations Soudano Sahelian Office (UNSO).  He brings extensive leadership and management experience in environment both at the policy and grassroots levels as well as combines an understanding of the geopolitical and socioeconomic situation in Africa with practical experiences on how UNEP can further strengthen its role and relevance on the continent. Prior to joining the United Nations, Mounkaila, worked at the national and regional levels on the nexus between environment and sustainable development. He was Director of Environment of Niger after holding the position of Head of the Ecology and Environment Division of CILSS, a sub-regional organization devoted to drought mitigation in the nine Sahelian countries of West and Central Africa. As a diplomat with the aim of serving global citizens, Mounkaila has also served as a senior member and advisor for many international and regional committees that deal with crosscutting environment and development issues and has authored a series of comprehensive environmental publications. He is a recipient of international awards and a Merit Order in Niger. Mr. Goumandakoye holds a Msc in Watershed Management and a degree of Engineer in Applied Sciences - Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife.


Bruce Hewitson is Professor of Climatology at the University of Cape Town.  He obtained his PhD from Penn State University in 1991 and has been instrumental in developing a strong climate change research capacity in South Africa.  Professor Hewitson was a coordinating lead author for the regional projections chapter in the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change Third and Fourth Assessment Reports.  His main interests are the development of methodologies for regional scale climate change projections and developing the use of climate modelling within Africa to explore sub-equatorial climate processes, in particular issues related to Africa land-use / land cover.  The research has a strong focus on supporting the climate change needs within Africa.  He participates in, as well as coordinates, a number of activities on climate change capacity development in Africa, including the development and dissemination of tailored regional projections to support the policy and adaptation communities. 


Professor Najet Karaborni is the former Senior Interregional Adviser of UNDESA where she was providing advice and technical assistance in the design, formulation and implementation of development policies, national strategies, programmes and projects in the areas of poverty alleviation and sustainable development, public administration, participatory governance, ethics and professionalism, civic engagement, and NGO/civil society capacity building and development.  With experience working in more than 50 developing and least developed countries (especially in Africa) as well as countries with economies in transition, she was able to efficiently adapt to national contexts the “Holistic, Integrated and Multi-stakeholder Methodological Approach for Poverty Alleviation, Sustained Economic Growth and Sustainable Development”, which she developed and implemented in Tunisia, especially during her tenure as the first female Chef de Cabinet of the Ministry of Public Works and Habitat (1980) and the  first female Commissioner General for Sector/Space Planning, Land Management and Regional Development with rank of Secretary of State (1985). She was instrumental in the launching of the UN-NGO-Informal Regional Network (UN-NGO-IRENE) at all levels as well as the Arab Africa Citizen Engagement Network (AACEN) to enhance civic engagement in public policies and strengthen civil society contribution to the ECOSOC work in implementing the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs, as related to education for all and human dignity, poverty, environment, etc. She was the Founding President of the Tunisian Foundation for Community Development in 1985 (working in close collaboration with Save the Children).


Benoit Lebot is a Civil Engineer from France’s National School of Public Works (1986). He also holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California in Berkeley (1987). In 1987-1990, he was a research staff at Energy Efficiency Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in California.Between 1990-1997, he was part of ADEME, the French National Energy and Environment Agency. Benoit Lebot was previously with the International Energy Agency (1997-2003) as an advisor within the Energy Efficiency Policy Analysis Division. Since 2004, as a Climate Change Technical Advisor, Benoit Lebot provides technical leadership on UNDP activities on Climate Change Mitigation Policies and Programs. He promotes and reinforces the UNDP portfolio on GEF Climate Change mitigation projects with specific focus on public policies and legal, fiscal and technical measures on the energy demand-side. Current Projects cover Africa and Middle East.


Festus Mogae is a former President of Botswana, having served from 1998 to 2008. Mogae studied economics at University College, Oxford, and at the University of Sussex, UK, respectively. He returned to Botswana to work as a civil servant before taking up posts with the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of Botswana. He was Vice-President of Botswana from 1992 to 1998. Mogae was sworn in for a five-year term on 20 October 1999. Following his Party’s victory in the October 2004 general election, Mogae was sworn in for another term on 2 November 2004. Mogae was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on 20 March 2008 for his "exemplary leadership" in making Botswana a "model" of democracy and good governance. He stepped down as President on 1 April 2008.  He also won the 2008 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. Mogae currently serves as Special Envoy for the United Nations Secretary-General on Climate Change.


Abdalah Mokssit is currently a Board Member and Vice-Chairman of the Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is the chairman of SACOM, Scientific Council ACMAD (African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development) and member of the Management Group of the Commission on Atmospheric Sciences of the World Meteorological Organization. He served as the Vice-President of the General Assembly of ALADIN Consortium (comprising 14 European countries) in 2009 and was the main speaker for the implementation of the Aladin model, NORAF which covers the northern half of the continent.
In 2006 he was the Chairman of Action Group Open Forecasting and Climate Services Commission of Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization. At the national level, Dr. Mokssit has been at the helm of numerous metrological agencies and centers. He has received awards and prizes for his work in research and the metrological application for development.  


Sospeter Muhongo is an Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of London and an Honorary Research Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences. He was the founding Regional Director of the ICSU Regional Office for Africa, Pretoria, South Africa. Prof Muhongo is currently the Chair of Science Programme Committee (SPC) of the UN-proclaimed International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) and the Vice-President of the Commission of the Geological Map of the World (CGMW). He is the co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of African Earth Sciences (Elsevier) and Associate Editor of Precambrian Research (Elsevier). He is a Full Professor of Geology at the University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and an Honorary Professor of Geology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Prof. Muhongo has published over 200 well-acknowledged research articles, geological and mineral maps. Prof. Muhongo has been on many science, technology and innovation (STI) review/evaluation panels for both national and international institutions and organizations. Over the past two decades Prof. Muhongo has co-organized over 100 international STI and science policy conferences, including those on “Science with Africa”, which are hosted by ECA, AUC and their partners. Prof. Muhongo is also a member of the International Experts Group (Global Science Forum) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He mentors young scientists, engineers and technologists around the world and has developed a special interest in the application of STI for the sustainable growth and socio-economic development of the global society. Prof Muhongo, recipient of numerous scholarly and professional awards, grants and fellowships, studied Geology at the Universities of Dar Es Salaam and Goettingen (Germany).


Churchill Monono, Minister Plenipotentiary and currently Technical Adviser in the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Cameroon, has served in various professional capacities in public information, humanitarian affairs and diplomacy with the Cameroon Government, IMF, and former OAU in Yaoundé, Washington DC, Addis Ababa, and Moscow, where he was a Minister Counsellor. A former Administrator and Communication Officer for the OAU’s International Panel to investigate the Genocide in Rwanda (IPEP)), he equally served as a consultant for humanitarian diplomacy with the ICRC Mission to the African Union as well as with the International Decade on Natural Disaster Reduction in Cameroon. He has published widely on humanitarian affairs in academic journals such as Humanitarian Affairs Review and the International Review of the Red Cross and was Guest Editor on “Humanitarian Governance in Africa” in the DPMF Bulletin. Mr. Monono is a committed Africanist who served as President of the Union of African Diplomats in the Russian Federation between 2007 and 2010. He holds degrees in journalism and international relations from Yaoundé University in Cameroon and Boston University in the US.


Erastus Mwencha was elected Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission in February 2008.  Prior to his election, he served as the Secretary General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) between 1998 and 2008. He has worked extensively with COMESA since its inception and was instrumental in the establishment of its predecessor, the Preferential Trade Area  (PTA). While at COMESA, he played a central role in the establishment of a number of institutions, including the Court of Justice, the Clearing House, Eastern and Southern African Trade Development Bank (PTA Bank) and the PTA Reinsurance Company (ZEP-RE). He also spearheaded the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI-ACA), launched in 2001, serving as the interim Managing Director for the Agency, which aims to provide political risk insurance and improve terms of trade between African member states. Before his work with PTA and COMESA, he worked with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of his native Kenya as a Senior Economist and served as the head of the Department of Industry. Mr. Mwencha studied economics at the University of Nairobi, also earning his M.A. Economics at York University in Toronto.


Dr. Namanga Ngongi has been the President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) since 2007. He has diverse professional experience at national and international levels in areas related to agriculture, food security and management of international organizations.  He began his career in Cameroon working as an Extension Officer and Deputy Head of Projects in the Ministry of Agriculture. In 1980, he was appointed Representative to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in Rome. He joined the World Food Program (WFP) in 1984 and became Deputy Executive Director in 1994. In 2001, he was appointed Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and led the peacekeeping mission (MONUC) for two years. He helped put together the transitional government. Dr. Ngongi retired from the UN in 2003. He has since undertaken several high-level missions for the UN, including a study on food reserve systems in Africa and coordination of an international conference on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration in Sierra Leone. Dr. Ngongi holds a PhD (Agronomy/Crop Science) (1976) from Cornell University.


Augustine B Njamnshi is a Jurist (LL.M) specialised in Environmental Governance and Policy. He has over 16 years experience in management and policy of biodiversity in the Congo Basin and especially in Cameroon where he contributed immensely to the development of biodiversity policies. In addition to being the Executive Secretary of Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme -Cameroon (BDCP-C), one of the most experienced NGOs in Cameroon working on biodiversity and climate change. The main mission of this organization is to link biodiversity conservation with economic and health needs of local people. He also holds key positions of the major civil society networks in Africa such as The Access Initiative (TAI) and  Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).


Jabavu Nkomo is a Senior Programme Specialist in the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) programme for the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).  Prof Nkomo holds a PhD degree in economics from the London School of Economics, and previously served as Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Social Studies at the University of Zimbabwe; Dean School of Business, University of Venda, South Africa; and also worked for the Energy Development Research Centre and the Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town, South Africa.  He taught advanced economic theory; microeconomics; economic statistics; and poverty, energy and development.  His research interests include: climate change (adaptation and mitigation), energy, transport, environmental and health economics. Nkomo has published in these areas and done consultancy work for agencies such as: the World Bank, UNCTAD, UNDP, SADC and the Beijer Institute of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. 


Patrick Noack has extensive experience in building scenarios and in social development. He has an MSc in Population Development from the London School of Economics (LSE), a PhD in sciences and was a core member on the UNAIDS project on the ‘Future of AIDS in Africa’. In 2001, he established "Scenario Development", which is an independent firm advising its clients on building scenarios and facilitating workshops. Patrick's work focuses on building scenarios by promoting dialogue on complex issues among diverse stakeholders. Recent assignments include climate change and development scenarios for the Government of Slovenia during its EU Presidency; concepts on the future of Rwanda; the outlook for HIV in Grenada; the future of globalisation; and annual workshops with university partners. Mr. Noack is currently engaged in advising on use and construction of scenarios for government, industry, NGOs and international organisations. He is a contributor to Oxford Analytica and "This is Africa", a Financial Times publication.

Dan Bondi Ogolla (Kenya)

Dan Bondi Ogolla obtained his Ph. D. in Law from the Centre for International and Comparative Law, University of Bordeaux I, France in 1991. He also holds the LL.B and LL.M degrees from the University of Nairobi and a DEA from the University of Bordeaux I. Dr. Ogolla taught environmental law at the University of Nairobi School of Law from 1983 to 1992 before joining UNEP in 1992 as Legal Officer responsible for UNEP’s technical assistance programme to developing countries and countries with economies in transition in the field of environmental policy, law and institutions. He was Legal Adviser at the Convention on Biological Diversity (Montreal) from 1999 to 2006 and has been the Chief Legal Adviser at UNFCCC (Bonn) since 2007.

Dr. Ogolla is a member of the International Council of Environmental Law, the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, the Kenya National Academy of Sciences, and the Editorial Board of the Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy. He is the co-author of the International Encyclopaedia of Environmental Law: Kenya. He has contributed chapters in books and published several articles in reputed international journals on environmental law, trade and environment, and land tenure issues.



Janos Pasztor is currently the Director of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team.   During the last 25 years, he has worked for various United Nations as well as non-governmental organizations on issues of energy and environment, and over time, increasingly on climate change. His assignments included work with the World Council of Churches (WCC), World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED or Brundtland Commission), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and the secretariat of the United Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, or Earth Summit). From 1993-2006 he worked at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in various positions.  Before joining the office of the UN Secretary-General (in 2007), he was Director of the UN Environment Management Group (EMG) in Geneva. He received his MS and BS degrees at MIT.


Johan Rockström is a Professor in natural resource management at Stockholm University, and the Executive Director of the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. He is an internationally recognized scientist on global sustainability issues, where he led the recent development of the new Planetary Boundaries framework for human development in the current era of rapid global change. He is a leading scientist on global water resources, and strategies to build resilience in water scarce regions of the world, with more than 15 years experience from applied water research in tropical regions, and more than 100 research publications in fields ranging from applied land and water management to global sustainability. He serves on several scientific committees and boards, e.g., as the vice-chair of the science advisory board of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact research (PIK) and he chairs the visioning process on global environmental change of the International Council for Science (ICSU). He was awarded the title “Swede of the Year” in 2009 for his work on bridging science on climate change to policy and society.


Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Southern African Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network since 2004. She is currently coordinating policy research and advocacy programmes in 14 southern African countries, all aimed at making southern Africa a food-secure region. Her program portfolio includes policy research and advocacy work on food policies, agricultural productivity, natural resources and environment, and the impact of HIV/AIDS on agriculture and food security in southern Africa. In 2009, she led the climate change global campaign on “No Agriculture No Deal” in the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) meeting in Copenhagen. Dr. Sibanda is an animal scientist by training and a practicing commercial beef cattle farmer, breeding Thuli and Brahman cattle. She received her BSc at the University of Alexandria, Egypt; and her MSc and PhD at the University of Reading, UK. She has been a serving Trustee for two Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) boards: CIMMYT (Maize and Wheat Research) and ILRI (Livestock Research) since 2008 and has been involved with the ‘Farming First’ global campaign, advocating for a hostile approach to sustainable agricultural development since 2008.

SINAZO SIBISI (South Africa)

Over the past thirteen years, Ms Sibisi has worked as a politician, an executive level official and consultant. During the course of her career she has gained in-depth experience in strategic planning, the design and implementation of comprehensive OD programmes, human resource development, programme management as well as regional and local economic development. She has also gained first-hand insight into the complexities of political processes, city governance and urban transformation and participated in a variety of national policy and legislative processes relating to the transformation of local government and the public sector - through which she has also demonstrated an ability to interact at the highest political and administrative level as well as build networks and partnerships with critical stakeholders. She was appointed Member of the Special Ministerial Task Team on the Establishment of Municipalities in 2000 and has served/serves inter alia as a board member of the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business Advisory Board, UCT Council, Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Committee, Business Women’s Association Johannesburg and the Isandla Institute. In January 2005, she joined Deloitte Southern Africa as a Director, where she went on to lead the Public Sector Industry for Consulting and the Firm; serve on the Global Public Sector Management Board as well as the Global Advisory Team on Corporate Responsibility; and also spent some time as Head of Corporate Affairs. In November 2007, Ms. Sibisi was appointed Chief Investment Officer for the LED initiative within the Development Bank of Southern Africa, focusing on the development and implementation of economic turn-around strategies as well as funding catalytic economic infrastructure. In May 2009, she moved to the Development Planning and Implementation unit as Divisional Executive: Planning.

SHEILA SISULU (South Africa)

Sheila Sisulu became Deputy Executive Director for Hunger Solutions in the Office of the Executive Director of the World Food Programme in January 2008. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Sisulu served as WFP’s Deputy Executive Director for Policy and External Affairs Department from 2003. Before joining WFP, Ms. Sisulu was South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States. Her diplomatic career began in 1997 as Consul General in New York and as Ambassador to Washington two years later. In addition to her diplomatic skills, Ms. Sisulu has 25 years’ experience in South African politics and government. After graduating in 1974, Ms. Sisulu started work as a high school teacher in Soweto, at the same time becoming closely involved with the radical opposition to the apartheid system. With the end of apartheid and the advent of black majority rule, she moved from being a force for change from outside, to being an implementer of change from within – as a special adviser to the national minister of education and a member of the team assigned to draw up new legislation. She was responsible in particular for policy on gender equity, youth development and early childhood care and education. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Botswana Lesotho and Swaziland (UBLS) in Lesotho. Ms. Sisulu holds a postgraduate degree and a Bachelor of Education (University of Witwatersrand, 1990), as well as honorary doctorates from the University of Maryland and the City University of New York.



Thomas Staal has spent most of his career working overseas in international development.  He has worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) since 1988, beginning in Sudan as an Emergency Program Officer.  In the early 1990s he worked in the USAID regional office in Kenya, managing food aid and doing project development throughout eastern and southern Africa.  From 1996 to 2002 he worked in the USAID West Bank and Gaza program, providing assistance to the Palestinians, focusing on water supply projects, as well as local community development.  Following the US invasion of Iraq, he went to Iraq for a year in 2003-2004, serving as the USAID Regional Representative for Southern Iraq, overseeing all USAID projects in that part of the country.  He also served a year as the Deputy Director of the Food For Peace Office in Washington, and spent a year studying at the National War College.  He was most recently the Director of the Iraq Reconstruction Office in Washington and Mission Director USAID in Lebanon. Before joining USAID, Mr. Staal worked for World Vision International as their representative in Sudan in the mid-1980s.  He also worked for ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia in the late 1970s and the early 80s in their government relations department.  Tom Staal has a Master’s Degree in Comparative Politics (Middle East focus) from Columbia University and an M.Sc. in National Strategic Security Studies from the National Defense University.  Since his parents were missionaries in the Middle East, he grew up in Iraq and Kuwait, and attended boarding school in India.


Achim Steiner is the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).  Before joining UNEP, Mr. Steiner served as Director General of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) from 2001 to 2006. IUCN is widely regarded as one of the most influential and highly respected organizations in the field of conservation, environment and natural resources management. His professional career has included assignments with governmental, non-governmental and international organizations in different parts of the world. In Washington, where he was Senior Policy Advisor of IUCN's Global Policy Unit, he led the development of new partnerships between the environmental community, the World Bank and the United Nations system. In Southeast Asia, he worked as Chief Technical Advisor on a programme for the sustainable management of Mekong River watersheds and community-based natural resources management. In 1998, he was appointed Secretary-General of the World Commission on Dams, based in South Africa, where he managed a global programme of work to bring together the public sector, civil society and the private sector in a global policy process on dams and development. He worked both at grassroots level as well as at the highest levels of international policy-making to address the interface between environmental sustainability, social equity and economic development. Mr. Steiner has a BA from the University of Oxford as well as an MA from the University of London, with specialization in development economics, regional planning, and international development and environment policy. He also studied at the German Development Institute in Berlin as well as the Harvard Business School.


Dr. Cheick Tidiane Tall is Executive Director of the African Council on AIDS Service Organisations (AfriCASO), a regional network that exists to promote and facilitate the development of HIV and AIDS community response in Africa through advocacy, networking, development of sustainable organizational systems and capacity building for networks and NGOs in order to improve the quality of life of communities. Dr. Tall is an accomplished medical doctor in the international development domain, with 19 years’ professional experience in private clinic management, health and health systems issues, sexual and reproductive health, HIV & AIDS. He has extensive knowledge of community organizations working on health in Africa and around the world. Dr. Tall has worked with international institutions such as UNAIDS, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM), UNDP and UNICEF and bilateral and multilateral cooperation organizations. His portfolio extends to experience in proposal development and implementation and resource mobilization. He is widely versed on the HIV/AIDS epidemic and STIs: scientific aspects, trends of evolution, policies, challenges and priorities and formulation of national responses. He is the Communication Focal Point for the developing country-NGO delegation to the Global Fund Board.

IBRAHIM THIAW (Mauritania)

Ibrahim Thiaw is the Director of UNEP’s Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI). He brings more than 22 years of expertise in the fields of natural resource management and environmental policy. Since his early career with the Ministry of Rural Development of Mauritania, he has successfully developed and implemented large-scale environmental programmes and projects in Africa and has worked closely with regional organizations and global programmes. As IUCN Regional Director for West Africa, and most recently as Acting Director-General of IUCN, Mr. Thiaw was instrumental in developing key environmental initiatives in Africa.  Mr. Thiaw holds an advanced university degree in Forestry and Forest Product Techniques.


Dr. Bamanga Tukur is Chairperson of BHI Holdings Limited and ECOMARINE Seatrade International and Executive President of the African Business Roundtable and Chairperson of the NEPAD Business Group. Dr. Tukur has held numerous national appointments in Nigeria and has extensive experience in the country’s transportation and logistics systems. Between 1975 and 1982, he was the General Manager/Chief Executive of the Nigerian Ports Authority.  In 1983, he was elected the civilian Governor of the defunct Gongola State (now Adamawa State).  He was a member of the Federal Executive Council and the Honourable Minister of Industries of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 1993 to 1995. Dr.. Tukur has received several honours, both at national and international levels, including the Nigerian Commander of the Order of the Niger - CON, the Togolese Commander of the Order of the Mono and the Cote D’Ivoire Commander of the Order of the Niger -all in recognition of his contribution to national and private sector development in Africa. Dr. Tukur is a member of the Ghana Investors Advisory Council, appointed by H.E. former President John Kufuor of Ghana and member of the Presidential Investment Advisory Council of Benin Republic, appointed by H.E. President Boni Yayi.  He was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to address the United Nations General Assembly in September 2005 on behalf of the global private sector. Dr. Tukur was conferred the Doctorate Degree of Law (Honoris Causa) by Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria in May 2004, and the Honorary Degree of “Doctor of Business Administration” (Honoris Causa) by Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho, Nigeria in November 2007. Dr. Tukur was elected to Chair the APRM National Council in Nigeria in November 2009, and in March 2010, was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council of Nigeria.


Rhoda Peace Tumusiime is the African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture. Prior to her 2008 election, she served as both the Commissioner for Agricultural Planning and Commissioner for Women and Development in her native Uganda. In her time in the Ugandan Government, she played a central role in cultivating the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP), as well as in policies aimed at closing the gender gap in education and politics. She has authored several publications and led high-level committees on issues including agricultural development, food security and HIV/AIDS and was instrumental in the promotion and implementation of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). Commissioner Peace studied agricultural economics at Makerere University in Kampala, and went on to earn an MA in economics at the University of Manchester, UK.


Dr. Kevin Urama is an Environmental and Ecological Economist developing trans-disciplinary and integrated tools for sustainable management of social, economic and ecological systems. He is the Executive Director of the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) - a multi-disciplinary network of researchers, practitioners and policy makers that promotes science, technology and innovation (STI) policy research, dialogue and practice, for African development. Dr. Urama is also the Inaugural President of the African Society for Ecological Economics (ASEE) – the African chapter of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE). He has longstanding experience in developing and managing collaborative research projects and research networks for effective technology / knowledge sharing among relevant institutions and networks in Europe and Africa. He has coordinated large international and trans-disciplinary research programs at the Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen UK and in Africa. Dr. Urama sits on many international governing boards, advisory boards and advisory councils for science, technology and innovation-based initiatives, including the International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre for South-South Cooperation (ISTIC); the Responsible Innovation (MVI) of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, (NWO), Division of Humanities program of the Government of the Netherlands; the ISEE, the ASEE, etc. He is a member of editorial (advisory) boards of many international journals, including Science and Public Policy, Ecological Economics; and Environmental Policy and Governance, etc. He is a member of the UNEP International Panel for Natural Resources Management, and a lead author for the sustainable development chapter of the IPCC Working Group III - Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN), and member of the World Bank STEP B Project International Advisory Board. He has over 70 publications in various media, including international journals such as Land Economics, Ecological Economics, Journal of Environmental Management, Journal of Agricultural Economics, International Journal of Sustainable Development, etc. He holds the 2002-2003 James Claydon Prize for the most outstanding PhD thesis in Economics or related subjects, St. Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge.


Ibrahim Wani is Chief of the Africa Branch in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva. From 2005 until his recent appointment, he was Chief of the Research and Right to Development Branch in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, also in Geneva. Previously, he served as the Regional Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in which capacity he represented OHCHR at the African Union and other African regional and sub-regional organizations, and managed OHCHR’s programmes and activities in the region. Preceding his service with the United Nations, Mr. Wani had an extensive career in academia as a professor of law at the University of Virginia and the University of Missouri in the United States. Mr. Wani was the pioneer Academic Dean at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, DC. He also served with the World Bank in various capacities in Africa and at the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington, DC. He started his professional career in Uganda as a Foreign Service Officer and subsequently as the legal officer in the Permanent Mission of Uganda at the United Nations in New York. Mr. Wani is a lawyer by training and holds an LLB degree from Makerere University in Uganda, and LLM and SJD degrees from the University of Virginia Law School.  


Dr. William Westermeyer is the Senior Scientific Officer and Coordinator of the Regional Activities Programme of the World Meteorological Organization-sponsored Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Secretariat, where he has worked since 1999.  From 1984 to 1995 he was a senior policy analyst in the Oceans and Environment Programme of the United States Congress Office of Technology Assessment in Washington, D.C., participating in and/or directing a variety of assessments on natural resources, environment and marine policy for use by Congressional committees. Dr. Westermeyer has organized several workshops in Africa, including a 2006 workshop co-sponsored by the ECA, which led to the development of the Climate for Development in Africa Programme. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1972 with a degree in Geology and later earned Master’s and PhD degrees in International Relations at the University of Southern California.


Dr. Stephen Zebiak is Director-General of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University, which uses a science-based approach to enhance society's ability to understand, anticipate and manage climate risk to improve human welfare. He leads an inter-disciplinary team of over 40 scientists specialising in climate prediction, agriculture, health, water, economics and development policy. Dr. Zebiak has worked in the area of ocean-atmosphere interaction and climate variability since completing his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984. He and Dr. Mark Cane authored the first dynamical model used to predict El Niño successfully. He has published extensively in publications such as Journal of Climate, Science and Nature; and has chaired or served on advisory groups for numerous US and international climate research programmes.