Irene Dankelman (1953) is an ecologist by background. Already as a student she was a strong environmental activist. For almost 30 years she has been active as a professional working in the area of environment and sustainable development, working with national and international NGOs, government agencies, academia and the UN(UNIFEM, UNEP).
Since the Women's Conference in Nairobi in 1985 she is specifically focusing her work on gender and environment. Together with Joan Davidson she published the book 'Women and Environment in the Third World.'(Earthscan, 1988). From that time on she has been working as a lecturer, researcher, consultant, writer and senior advisor in the area of sustainable development and gender issues, and contributed to a wide range of publications and presentations on these subjects.
Irene has been coordinator of IUCN-Netherlands, co-funder of organizations such as Both ENDS (Environment and Development Services for NGOs), Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) and the Nature College. Most of all, she feels herself an advocate for a just and healthy planet, and enjoys working with students, local women and civil society groups.
Since the preparations for the Rio Conference she has been closely involved in the work of WEDO (Women's Environment and Development Organisation) and other women's environment organisations. She acted as co-chair of the Netherlands Johannesburg Platform (WSSD). Presently she is university lecturer and consultant, and a board member of several environmental NGOs.
People - particularly local women, nature and music, are essential sources of inspiration in Irene's work and life. She hopes to carry their messages forward.