Ibrahim Thiaw was the former Director of the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI), He was responsible for conceptualizing and managing UNEP's activities in two of its core thematic areas of focus - ecosystem management and services and conflicts and disasters. He also managed the adaptation component of UNEP's climate change sub-theme.
The Division spear-heads the ecosystem management sub-programme - an approach to natural resources management that focuses on sustaining ecosystems to meet both ecological and human needs as well as promoting a shared vision of a desired future by integrating social, economic and environmental perspectives. This vision has been fostered the best in the area of marine and coastal ecosystems. Here, key areas of work include environmental aspects of fisheries, integrated management of marine protected areas, marine biodiversity and ecosystems, and impacts of climate change on the marine environment. DEPI also coordinates UNEP's efforts in assisting countries to implement the Mauritius Strategy for further implementation of the programme of action for the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States.
The focus of the Disaster and Conflict sub-programme is on helping States minimize the threats to human well-being from environmental causes and consequences of disasters and conflicts. In this regard, the Division manages the Haiti programme to oversee its sustainable recovery, environmental assessment of Ogoniland, Nigeria, the DR Congo programme to contribute to its peace-building programme through equitable use of its renewable resources and the on-going programmes in Afghanistan.
Within UNEP, DEPI oversees the Poverty-Environment Initiative - a collaborative initiative between UNEP and UNDP to support country-led efforts to mainstream poverty-environment linkages into national development planning. In cooperation with UNESCO and other partners, the division is active in promoting education for sustainable development through innovative programmes for universities.
Some of the recent achievements of the Division include: the intergovernmental negotiation process leading to the establishment of the IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), the establishment of an Economics for Ecosystems Programme - both of which are a follow-up to the recommendations of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA).
Before joining UNEP in 2007, Ibrahim Thiaw worked as the IUCN Regional Director for West Africa and later as the Acting Director-General of IUCN. With more than 24 years of experience in the field of natural resource management at the national, regional and international levels, Ibrahim Thiaw's particular contribution has been in the successful development and implementation of large scale environmental programmes and projects.
Ibrahim Thiaw started his career with the Ministry of Rural Development of Mauritania and holds an advanced degree in Forestry and Forest product techniques.
He is fluent in French and English.
Secretary-General Appoints Ibrahim Thiaw of Mauritania as Deputy Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme