Messages and reflections for Joke 16 Oct 2005
My deepest condolences go out to Joke's family and staff. I have always admired her courage and
persistence in the climate policy field. She served as a role model for women around the world and her
untimely death is a great loss for all of us.
-Bettina Wittneben, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy
The shocking news of the passing away of Ms.Joke Waller-Hunter on 14th October 2005 has placed the
whole entire UNFCCC family in a state of deep grief. Ms Joke has been taken away from us,But her legacy
would always remain with us. May the departed Soul Rest in Peace. Amen.
-Thomas Michael Mbeyela- MWLD,Tanzania
We will definitely miss her. We shall strive to live up to the spirit that was obviously behind her
zeal; streamlining the effort of nations to make the earth a better dwelling place for all her
inhabitants. The greatest honor we can accord her is to keep that flame alight.
-Stanford Mwakasonda, Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
It is with sorrow and regret that the Ramsar Secretariat learnt of the passing away of Ms. Joke
Waller-Hunter. She was a leading light in promoting sustainable development, as well as more recently
carrying the challenge of managing climate change. Our conventions had begun to work together on common
issues of concern, and we will continue in this vein, encouraged by her leadership. We wish all the
Secretariat strength to carry through her work, and express deep condolences to her family and
-Peter Bridgewater, on behalf of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat
You inspired, your leadership and touch will be remembered for ever, your innovation and motivation
with full energy with compassion are we shall miss. My sincere condolence.
-Mr. Noah Kiplgat Too, P.A. to Commissioners, Parliamentary Service Commission - National Assmbly,
It is with great sadness that I append this condolence message for a senior colleague who dedicated her
life to addressing environmental issues in general and climate change in particular. Joke, whom I first
met at the Chatham House annual climate conference in 2002 and continued to see in the next two years,
as I represented my country Pakistan at the climate change negotiations truly came across as a person
who brought personal and professional dedication to the serious task of supporting the multilateral
climate change efforts. She picked up from the first decade of UNFCCC Secretariat lead by Michael, who
had left with the Kyoto (KP) treaty and Marrakech Accords concluded and passing the important task of
actually operationalizing the Kyoto process in the hands of Joke. Joke, came at an equally challenging
time but handled the task with equal dedication, committment, and persevarence, which lead to the KP
entry into force, and the Secretariat structure modified to take on the increasing responsibilities.
She recently received a well deserved recognition of her hardwork by Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam,
through the award of the honorary doctorate degree. Her absence will long be left in the wider climate
community and in particular at the upcoming COP/MOP for which she worked so hard. May God bless her
soul and give patience to her family and friends to bear this loss.
-IMRAN HABIB AHMAD EX-MEMBER UNFCCC EGTT AND DIRECTOR DONOR COORDINATION CELL, ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
DIVISION, MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC AFFAIRS AND STATISTICS, ISLAMABAD-PAKISTAN
The passing-away of Joke Waller-Hunter is a great shock and loss for the international climate
community. Our condolences and best wishes go, first, to her family and, second, to her staff. May they
carry on Joke's important work in the spirit that has characterised the Secretariat from the
beginning: Highly motivated and with greatest diligence!
-Hermann E. Ott, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Envrironment and Energy
Joke dedicated her life to the preservation of the environment and she succeeded in doing great things
despite the odds against her. She deserves our unmitigated admiration and gratitude.
-Helene Connor-Lajambe, HELIO International, France
I wish to extend its deepest condolences to Joke's family, friends and colleagues. Her dedication
and sustainable works remain with us forever. "Swasdee" from Thailand
-Phorntippha Prathumratana Bonnie Kerrr, Ph.D. Program in Integrated Sciences, Graduate School,
Ms. Waller-Hunter was a truly remarkable woman. May she rest in peace. Now we must keep up the hard
work having her commitment to the principles of sustainable development as an inspiration.
-Ricardo Esparta, Ecoinvest Carbon
It is with great sadness that the world loses Joke. A firm and steady hand with much humanity and
humour has steered the forefront of the practical implementation of sustainable development and climate
change for some years. I first worked with Joke in the Netherlands in 1992 when she invited me into her
home and we became firm friends often to share an adventure somewhere in the world . She new how to
balance her life and work and live life to the full. She will be sadly missed. My condoleneces to her
family in the Netherlands.
-Judy Lawrence PS Consulting and Director of the NZ Climate Change Office 2003-2005
We are shocked by the extremely sad announcement of the passing of such a valuable personality in the
service of Sustainable (Human) Development, in a time of so many disasters - natural and man-made - all
over the Globe, where we badly need peoples of her stature to making all Millennium Development Goals,
(in particular Goal 7: environmental sustainability) happen. Madame Joke Waller Hunter deserves to be
commended and honoured for her great service in the best interest of Humankind. It will be very
difficult to replace her But it is true, that “The dead don’t die. They look on and
help”. (D.H Lawrence) This wonderful World Servant will be missed, but her Legacy will be
consulted forever. Our deepest feelings of sympathy go to her Family in the Netherlands, to the UNFCCC
Secretariat, to the entire UN Family. (Onze diepste gevoelens van medeleven in het bijzonder aan
Joke’s Familie in Nederland)
-Irma Loemban Tobing-Klein, on behalf of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Global Watch and United
Nations Association (UNA) Suriname
My sincere condolences to Joke's family, loved ones, and all her staff and colleagues. Her
dedication to the environment and sustainability was and will continue to be a great inspiration for
myself and the many others who have had the fortune to meet her. She will be sorely missed in the
climate change community, and her contribution must remain unforgotten.
-Johanna Wolf, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, UK
My name is Anca-Diana Barbu, I am Romanian citizen and I had the great privilege to work for OECD,
Environment Directorate when Mrs. Waller-Hunter was still at its helm. Ever since, Mrs. Waller-Hunter
inspired me in my professional and self-development journeys and I am deeply saddened by her passing
away. I wish to extend my condolences to her family and colleagues.
-Anca-Diana Barbu, PhD student
We have received with shock and dismay the passing of Ms. Joke. Her dedication, commitment and efforts
to adress the challengies of Climate Change will always be a living Memory. Our deepest condelences to
her family and the entire UNFCCC Secretariat Staff.
-Dr. Oscar Kibazohi, EPMS, Tanzania
I am deeply sorrow by the passing away of Joke which has come at a time when, particularly we in the
developing world need her most, because of her dedication and true commitment to the climate change
agenda. May the Almighty God rest her Soul in eternal Peace. Amen
-Richard Stanslaus Muyungi; Vice President's Office, United Republic Of Tanzania
Humankind has lost this great leader... when she was needed most. We send our condolences to the whole
community that is trying to make of this world a better place to live in.
-René Núñez-Suárez, "Climate Technology Leadership Award