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Durban Forum on Capacity-building - 6th Meeting - Biographies

Mr. Espen Ronneberg
(Discussion leader - Breakout group 2)

Espen Ronneberg, Climate Change Adviser, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Apia, Samoa. Since October 2006.Prior to joining SPREP, between 2000 and 2006, he worked as Inter-regional Advisor for Small Island Developing States in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Between 1992 and 2000 he worked as an adviser for the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, eventually becoming Minister Counsellor at the Permanent Mission to the UN. Having been involved in climate change negotiations from 1992, he has also taken part in many other international negotiations. He has also worked on several practical climate change related projects in Marshall Islands and Maldives, and provided advice to the Small Island Developing States on climate change and sustainable development. From 1997 to 1999 he served as Vice-President of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC at Kyoto and Buenos Aires. From 1998 to 1999 he served as Co-Chairman of the UNFCCC working group on compliance. 

Ms. Gelila Terrefe
(Panelist - sub-topic #1)

Ms. Gelila Terrefe is a Senior Country Support Specialist for National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support of UNDP. In this role, Ms. Terrefe directs support to LDCs for national adaptation plans under the overall framework of the UNDP’s climate change adaptation portfolio of initiatives, financed by LDCF, SCCF, GCF, and other sources. Ms. Terrefe also manages the UNDP portion of the expanded phase of the LDCF-financed NAP Global Support Programme for LDCs, and ensures full coordination with the UNEP-led portion. She provides, sources and organizes direct technical assistance and strategic advice to Ministries of Finance and Environment on formulation and implementation of adaptation plans, and identifies strategic opportunities for programming support from vertical funds. Prior to her current role at UNDP, until mid-2016, Ms. Terrefe led the sub-team in the UN Secretary-General's Climate Change Support Team (CCST) at the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG), responsible for the UN Secretary-General’s (UNSG)'s engagements with Government leaders and with intergovernmental processes on climate change, including through the UNFCCC. This included analytical and policy advice support to the UNSG, in his engagement of Government leaders in the lead-up to the Paris Agreement on climate change. In this role, Ms. Terrefe also held some management responsibilities. Ms. Terrefe has over 15 years of experience with the United Nations, in the Executive Office of the Secretary General 2008 - 2010 and 2013-2016 as well as in UNDP in the interim years since 2001, both at headquarters and country-level, in Policy Advisory and Project Management roles in the areas of climate change and biodiversity. Ms. Terrefe holds a Masters in Environmental Studies, Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering, and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degrees from the University of Toronto and York University in Canada.

Ms. Julia Wolf 
(Discussion leader - Breakout group 1)

FAO Natural Resources Officer - Climate Change Adaptation. She is an agriculture economist and has been working for FAO, UNDP and the German Government for over 14 years. Currently, she is the Programme Coordinator of the “Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans (NAP-Ag) Programme”, a collaborative effort with UNDP to support the agriculture sectors (including fisheries and forestry) of Least Developed and Developing Countries to integrate their priorities into the NAP processes. www.fao.org/in-action/naps

Ms. Mandy Barnett 
(Panelist)

Dr. Mandy Barnett is from South Africa. She currently leads the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s work programme of work as the National Implementing Entity to the Adaptation Fund and a Direct Access Accredited Entity of the Green Climate Fund. She has been employed at SANBI since 2003 and has held the positions of Director of SANBI’s Climate Change Adaptation Programme and Director of SANBI’s Southern Bioregional Programmes, which are partnerships between government, civil society and the private sector that enable improved biodiversity management in priority biomes and ecosystems in South Africa. Prior to joining SANBI, Dr Barnett held positions in the private sector and in academia. Under Dr Barnett’s leadership, SANBI developed and is implementing two Adaptation Fund projects, including the Adaptation Fund’s first enhanced Direct Access Climate Change Adaptation project. She is also currently leading SANBI’s GCF pipeline project development processes

Mr. Webster Whande
(Panelist - sub-topic #3)

Webster Whande is the focal point for the CDKN negotiations support in Africa and is a Co-Director at SouthSouthNorth based in South Africa. Webster has extensive experience in natural resources management in Southern Africa and prior to joining the CDKN Africa team, Webster worked as a researcher and programmes coordinator on human migration and natural resource management in Africa. He has provided technical advice on climate finance focusing on enhancing the flow of finances to African countries. 

Ms. Yamide Dagnet
(Discussion leader - Breakout group 3)

Yamide Dagnet is a Senior Associate with WRI’s International Climate Action Initiative and leads WRI’s projects on the UN Framework Climate Change Convention. After managing the project ACT 2015 (Agreement for Climate Transformation 2015) on the design of the 2015 climate agreement, she is now leading the research, analysis and stakeholder engagement regarding the implementation of the Paris Agreement. This consists in designing effective and participatory rules, guidelines and mechanisms to scale up actions and support, to get transparent and verifiable data, to hold countries accountable for their commitments, and to also provide the necessary enabling, institutional and regulatory environment, capacity building to transition toward a sustainable and fair zero-carbon and climate-resilient economy. Achieving this goal requires working within the UNFCCC, leveraging initiatives outside UNFCCC, harnessing the outcome and output of a number of other projects and programs within WRI and collaborate with institutions and a wide range of stakeholders around the world. Yamide brings 13 years of experience, including working for the UK and French governments in safeguarding environmental assets, as a policy lead and negotiator on UNFCCC measurement, reporting and verification framework, as manager of the UK greenhouse Gas inventory, the UK Deputy Focal Point for the IPCC, reviewer under the UNFCCC of countries’ national communications, France’s Focal point for the EU neighborhood policy and twinning program and UK representative for European standardization process for chemicals in contact with drinking water. Yamide holds a Master in Engineering from the University of Technology of Compiegne (France), with a minor in European studies and specialization in environment, security and quality insurance. In addition to English, she speaks French, Spanish, Portuguese and Creole.

Mr. Zitouni Ould-Dada
(Keynote presenter)

Dr. Ould-Dada is currently Head of Technology Unit at the Economy Division of UNEP based in Paris. Since joining UNEP in 2013 he has been leading work on the global diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to help achieve intergovernmental agreements including on climate change, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Before joining UNEP, he worked for the British Government for 15 years holding several senior positions at various ministries. His 20 years’ international experience covers a wide range of fields including environmental policy; climate change; energy policy; radiation protection; animal health and welfare; and sustainable development. Dr. Ould-Dada is renowned internationally for his diplomatic skills and effective leadership with a track record for building successful partnerships, resolving conflicts and delivering practical solutions.