Biodiversity and Land Degradation Staff Directory

Biodiversity Staff  Directory and Contacts Information                                                                                                               Go Back 

Sakalian,Marieta ,PhD
UNEP/DGEF Senior Programme Management /Liaison Officer (CGIAR/FAO), Biodiversity

UNEP/DGEF Regional Programme Coordinator Europe and CIS
FAO Headquarters
EU/CIS FAO HeadquartersTCAP Unit , D708 +39 06 5705 5969 39-338 647 1600 FAO, Headquarters,TCAP Unit, D708, Viale Delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy
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Sakalian Marieta has over 15 years of professional experiences working on biodiversity and natural resources management at both national and international levels.
She has gathered worldwide experience, in more than 30 countries worldwide, designing and supervising biodiversity conservation and natural resources management projects for national, regional and global level execution, implementing conservation projects at the national level and developing national biodiversity strategies and action plans.

Marieta has worked for a wide variety of  international institutions, organizations and consulting companies including Association For Rural Development, Inc. (ARD), Bioversity International, Biodiversity Support Program (BSP - USAID funded joint venture of World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and World Resources Institute), US Agency for International Development, US National Park Service.
At UNEP Marieta has worked in the biodiversity team  as programme management officer for the agrobiodiversity sub-focal area, before assuming her current responsibilities as UNEP GEF Biodiversity Senior Programme Management /Liaison Officer for CGIAR Centers and FAO and UNEP/GEF Regional Programme Coordinator for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Marieta  holds a Bachelor and Masters degree  in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry form Kliment Ochridsky University, Sofia, Bulgaria and PhD in Biology, Czech (ex-Czechoslovak) Academy of Science, Czech Republic. She also received training on sustainable rural community development and conflict management.


SESSAY, Mohamed ,PhD
Senior Programme Manager, Land Degradation
& Regional Focal Point for Anglophone Africa

Tel: + 254-20-762-4294; Fax: +
Focal Point East/South Africa
Office Phone: +254-20-7624294
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Mohamed Sessay  is the Regional Coordinator for Africa for Land Degradation within the Division of GEF Coordination, United Nations Environment Programme, in Nairobi, Kenya. Sessay coordinates implementation of various projects on integrated natural resource management (INRM), sustainable land management and biodiversity conservation in Africa. Sessay has been working for UNEP/GEF since May 2002.

He received his Master's Degree in Soil Science from the University of Florida in 1981 and his Ph.D. in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia in 1992. He has lectured in natural resources management and development in a number of universities in the United Kingdom (University of East Anglia and University of Leeds) and in Africa (Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone) and has also served as Research Fellow at Kings College London and University of Sussex and as Visiting Researcher at Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal.

He has researched and published on issues of refugees and environmental change and natural resource management in various regions of Africa and recently on assessment and modeling of soil organic carbon stocks and sequestration in soils in the tropics.

Max Zieren
UNEP/GEF Regional Focal Point Asia & Task Manager Biodiversity and Land Degradation
UNEP Regional Office Asia Pacific, Bangkok

Office Phone:+662 288 2101
Home Phone :+662 2537616 +66-811351092

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Max Zieren is the Regional Programme Coordinator Asia Pacific for the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP -Global Environment Facility Coordination (GEF), based in Bangkok. Max is responsible for developing and managing GEF projects with local and international partners in the field of biodiversity, land degradation and other GEF focal areas, and is the division global coordinator for projects in the field of invasive (alien) species.

Before joining UNEP in early 2004, Max lived in Indonesia for over 17 years and worked with governments, NGOs and consultant firms on a wide range of environment projects in both terrestrial, wetland and marine ecosystems. His professional interests and expertise include integrated coastal and marine management, wetland conservation, as well as community-participatory programs.

Max holds a Master Degree in Biology from the Wageningen Agricultural University and since his graduation has worked in the tropics on biodiversity conservation, environment and development, and institutional support programmes.

Task Manager

Office Phone: +685 23670 ext 26 +685 7505346 Private Mail Bag, Matauta uta, Apia, Samoa
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Greg Sherley is a Task Manager for Biodiversity Conservation based in Samoa in the south-central Pacific Ocean. He is also a "multi-focal" point which means he acts as a liaison officer for other's portfolios in most of the work areas of the United Nations Environment Programme. Most of his time is spent initiating new conservation programmes, facilitating them through the Global Environment Facility funding process, and then supervising their implementation.

About half of Greg's 33 year professional career has been spent as a wildlife scientist working on threatened species (avifauna, herpetofauna, insects and snails), pest species (mammals) and ecotoxicology. The other half has been evenly split between managing other technical conservation officers and as a programme manager for conservation projects in the Pacific. During his entire career, he has either worked for the New Zealand Government (Department of Conservation) or various Inter-Governmental Organisations. Greg prides himself as being a generalist and this is reflected in his various qualifications and publications.

He is currently trying to bring to bear this varied experience while developing new biodiversity conservation programmes throughout the Pacific.

Task Manager

Office Phone: +254-20-7623860
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Adamou Bouhari is currently a Task Manager in the field of Land Degradation and Biodiversity in UNEP's Division of Global Environment Facility Coordination(GEF). He is responsible for the supervision of and support to the identification, development and implementation of projects funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by UNEP in the Focal Areas of Land Degradation and Biodiversity.

He also contributes to knowledge management objectives by codifying and summarizing lessons derived from the projects for which he provides oversight.
Prior to joining UNEP he was Program Analyst, Energy and Environment and GEF Portfolio Manager at UNDP Niger Country Office and at the Ministry of Hydraulics and Environment, Department of Environment, Niger Republic as a Natural Forests and Land Management Program Officer.

Adamou holds a Masters degree in International and Compared Environmental Law, University of Limoges (France), a Bachelor's degree in Forest Resources Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (Nigeria).He is Fluent in both French and English.

MWANGI, Esther
Task Manager, Biodiversity

Office Phone: +254-20-7623717
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Esther Mwangi is a Pogramme Officer in UNEP GEF since 2005 working on Biodiversity Conservation. She develops and manages GEF funded projects in the areas of Enabling Activities to Governments, as well as projects on Protected Areas and Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES). In the Division of UNEP GEF she is currently the Focal Point for Gender mainstreaming and for ONE UN issues.

Prior to this position Esther worked for 6 years as the National Coordinator for UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme in Kenya. Before that she was a Research Scientist at the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), working on projects on Biological Control of pests.

Esther is a holder of MSc in Parasitology, MBA in Total Quality Management, and PhD in Entomology.

ERATH, Robert
Task Manager

Office Phone: +507 305-3171 (507)305-3100
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Robert Erath is a national of Austria and Peru. He is Task Manager for DGEF in the focal areas of Biodiversity and Land Degradation at UNEP’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean. He is also DGEF’s Regional Focal Point for Latin America. Prior to joining the DGEF Panama team he was active as a consultant for project design, implementation and M&E with agencies such as IFAD, UNOPS, UNDP, UNCCD and UNEP for several years. His academic qualifications include an MSc in Agriculture with a specialization in Irrigation System design and management from the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, CA, USA. His undergraduate degree was in agriculture science at the Universität für Bodenkultur in Vienna, Austria.

Mr. Erath has eighteen years of working experience at technical and managerial level in agricultural and livestock production with the private sector in Latin America, emphasizing appropriate technologies and environmentally sustainable practices. He also has several years experience working with conservation and sustainable agriculture development with NGOs.

Task Manager

Office Phone: +254-20-7624066
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Alex Owusu-Biney  is the Regional Coordinator for Africa on Biosafety with UNEP’s Division of Global Environment Facility Coordination (DGEF). He supports countries in the African region through capacity building activities funded by GEF to meet obligations under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. His main areas of focus are on the Development and Implementation of National Biosafety Frameworks and providing advisory support on the Biosafety Clearing House Project.

His areas of expertise include research, development and management in biotechnology and biosafety, science and technology policy issues and information management.

Prior to joining UNEP, Alex was the National Biosafety Coordinator for Ghana and was the key facilitator/techincal advisor on the development of a draft biosafety framework for Ghana. He also reviewed several National Biosafety Frameworks including the Gambia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Rwanda and Mozambique to mention a few.

AYIECHA, Linda Programme Assistant
Office Phone: +254-20-7623476
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Ayiecha Linda has been with the UNEP-Division of GEF Since November 2008 working initially working under the International Waters focal Area as a Programme Assistant. Her work is to provide backup support to the Senior Programme Officer and the Task Managers initially under International Waters but now works in the Biodiversity Focal Area. Her work focuses on reviewing for completeness and accuracy the project documents, maintaining electronic records of the same, organizing travel and general programme support to the Biodiversity Team.

Her interests include diplomacy and is passionate about development especially in the third world. Linda has worked with other various UN Agencies including - UNDP, UNDSS, UNAIDS, UNV and UNEP. She has a Bachelor's degree in Education where she majored in French Language and Secretarial Studies from Kenyatta University in Kenya and a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Westminster in the UK.


MACHASIO, Evelyn Programme Assistant
Office Phone: +254-20-7624157
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Everlyn Machasio Worked as Personal Legal Secretary in Nairobi and thereafter as Personal Secretary to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Egerton University-Njoro.
Joined UNICEF/ESARO  as Programme Assistant (Supplies Unit) in July 1993.  In 1995 joined UNEP/DGEF as Secretary in the following Focal Areas, Climate Change, Biodiversity and Land Degradation.

NIMSUWAN, Benchaporn
Programme Assistant UNEP/ROAP, Bangkok

Office Phone: +66-2 288 1873 66-80 948 0070
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Benchaporn Nimsuwan joins the Division of GEF Coordination, UNEP/ROAP as Team Assistant in July 2009. Before working with us, she served as Project Assistant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Bangkok, Thailand during 2006-mid 2009.  From 2001-2006, she was Secretary for “Promotion of Renewable Energy Technology in Thailand” project , a joint collaboration project between Danish Government and Ministry of Energy, Royal Thai Government and the Centre for Energy-Environment Research and Development/ Asian Institute of Technology, a research center working in energy and environmental projects funded by WB, ADB, EU, etc. Benchaporn holds a Bachelor's Degree in French language and a Master's Degree in General Management

FRANGAKIS, Gloritzel
Programme Assistant
Office Phone: +507 305-3136 ,+507 305-3105
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Gloritzel  Frangakis is a national of Panama. She is the Programme Assistant of DGEF Panama Team for the Focal Areas of Biodiversity and Land Degradation, at UNEP’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to joining the team, she was an international student in Japan, where she obtained 7 years research experience in health economics and risk management of emergent infectious diseases. Her academic qualifications are: Bachelor in Economics (National University of Panama, Panama); and Master of Medical Science (University of Tohoku, Japan), and her work experience includes government institutions and private consultancies.