Technical Workshop on Climate Finance in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - Biographies of resource persons
Mr. Albert Magalang

Technical Workshop on Climate Finance on ASEAN Co-Lead

Mr. Albert Magalang is presently the Head of the Climate Change Office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and concurrently the Head Secretariat of the Philippine Designated National Authority (DNA) for CDM under the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He is the DENR’s regular representative in the Philippine delegation as a country negotiator in the UNFCCC climate change talks and as the national representative in the ASEAN Working Group and in the UN Environment Assembly.

He was elected as one of the five (5) UN regional representatives to the UNFCCC-DNA Forum Chairing Committee as the representative of the Asia and the Pacific Region.

His past designations at the EMB have enabled him to be engaged and to hone his expertise and skills in environmental research, planning, environmental impact assessment, solid waste management and climate change.

He is the pioneering Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Commission and chaired the multi-sectoral drafting committee of the IRRs of the Philippine Ecological Waste Management Act of 9003.

Dr. Roslynna Rosli

Technical Workshop on Climate Finance on ASEAN Co-Lead

Dr. Roslynna Rosli is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Programme Area, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Brunei.

She obtained her PhD from Newcastle University specializing in marine renewables where she conducted both the numerical and experimental hydrodynamic analysis of a novel tidal turbine, the Hydro-Spinna. This research was a direct outcome of her interest for a cleaner and sustainable future based on her prior Masters in Renewable Energy where she investigated the performance characteristic of the Evopod Twin Tidal Turbine owned by Ocean Flow Energy, UK. She is currently active in researches and activities related to renewable and tidal energy, computational fluid dynamics, as well as climate change issues in Brunei Darussalam.

She is also the Deputy Director of Tri-CEd, UTB’s own unit overlooking the advanced continuing education where she is responsible for facilitating lifelong learning programmes offered by the university.


Mr. Yolando Velasco

Mr. Yolando Velasco is presently managing the Climate Finance Sub-Programme of the secretariat of the United Nations Climate Change Convention based in Bonn, Germany. He has 25 years of experience in national and international climate policy development, managing climate-related projects and the intergovernmental process on climate finance.

He has been with the United Nations Climate Change secretariat since 2000 leading the work on technology transfer, capacity-building, national communications of developing countries and climate finance. Before joining the secretariat, Yolando served as a member of the Philippine delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Convention (1992-2000) and actively negotiated on issues related to technology transfer, national communications and financial mechanism. As Country Manager of the International Institute for Energy Conservation from 1997–2000, he implemented the Green Buildings and Sustainable Energy Programmes in the Philippines.


Dr. Grant Kirkman

Dr. Grant Kirkman leads the work on finance for climate across the UNFCCC regional collaboration centers in Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Caribbean and Middle East. In the context of COP and CMP mandates, this involves working with government counterparts to identify needs and enable opportunities for low carbon and climate resilient finance and investment; leveraging existing initiatives, partnerships and collaboration with domestic and international financial institutions, bilateral funds, regional, multilateral development banks UN agencies and other market players; identifying co-financiers and project owners and facilitating visibility and access to climate finance. 

He has over 20-years’ experience finance, business development, research, and international policy and holds a PhD in Biochemistry, a MSc in Statistics, a bachelor’s in economics.


Ms. Maria Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros



Ms. Maria Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros has more than twenty years of leadership and management experience in environment, development and natural resource governance in developing countries with a particular focus on climate change, clean energy and sustainable finance. She is currently Director of the Asia Program of the Growald Family Fund, a venture philanthropy founded by Eileen Rockefeller and her husband Paul Growald. Prior to this, she was the global director for nine years of the Sustainable Finance program of the Washington DC- based think tank, World Resources Institute. WRI’s Sustainable Finance program works to improve the environmental and social decision making and performance of public financial Institutions. She has authored and led policy research and convening on the architecture of climate finance, and on transparency and reporting of climate finance flows. Before moving to the US, Athena worked for Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Southeast Asia for over 14 years performing various management, leadership and campaigning functions.

She is a long-time policy advisor to the Philippine government’s official climate change negotiating team at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and assisted various Philippine ministries on climate, energy and finance issues at key international sessions such as the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), UN Climate Action Summit. She is a technical consultant to the UNFCCC climate finance team on the work of the Standing Committee on Finance including the biennial assessment and climate finance needs. She has published widely on environment and climate change issues, particularly climate finance, clean energy, governance and role of philanthropy.

Dr. Stefanos Fotiou



Dr. Stefanos Fotiou is an expert on environment and sustainable development and currently serving as the Director or the Environment and Development Division in the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific. In this capacity Stefanos is responsible for the planning and implementation of the UN ESCAP work on natural resources management, climate change, sustainable urban development and green economy. Prior to this Stefanos worked for 10 years in the UN Environment in various roles in the Economy Division and in the Asia-Pacific office.

Throughout his career, which began in academia and included assignments in NGOs, the private sector and the last 14 years in the UN system, Stefanos has taken leading roles in international forums, had conceptualised and let the development of regional and national strategies on environment and sustainable development and his work has been published and referenced. He holds a PhD in Natural Resource Economics, a Master in Information Systems, and a Master in Forestry and Natural Environment.


Dr. Joao Aleluia



Dr. Joao Aleluia is a technical advisor with the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Center Bangkok (RCC), where he has been leading the regional work on carbon pricing and market-based instruments in the scope of the project “Collaborative Instruments for Ambitious Climate Action”. Prior to joining the RCC in July 2018, Joao had several advisory and managerial positions in the fields of climate change, sustainable energy and waste management. Among these, from January 2013 to September 2016 he worked with UN-ESCAP as the coordinator of the regional programme “Pro-poor and sustainable solid waste management in secondary cities and small towns”. Before his work with UN-ESCAP, Joao was the managing director of a Norwegian-owned CDM project development company based in Beijing, China, and worked as a management consultant with Arthur D. Little. Joao holds a Ph.D. in Sustainable Energy Systems from the University of Lisbon, MIT Portugal Programme, a Master’s in Energy Management (ESCP-EAP Paris, BI Norwegian School of Management & IFP French Petroleum Institute), and an MSc in Engineering and Industrial Management (University of Lisbon).

Mr. Saychai Lithchana


Mr. Saychai Lithchana is the Deputy Director of the Multilateral Financial Cooperation Division, External Finance and Debt Management Department at the Ministry of Finance Laos. Prior his current role he served as the deputy director for Planning and Finance Division at the Ministry.

He holds a Master degree in Business Administration (Finance) from Rattana Business Administration College in Lao PDR.

Ms. Saudamini Bagai

Ms. Saudamini Bagai is a development practitioner with specialization in communications and outreach. She have over seven years of national and international experience as a communication, advocacy, outreach, and partnerships in the areas of climate change, education, as well as in the private sector. She is currently working with UN Climate Change's Regional Collaboration Centre for the Asia-Pacific in the capacity of a communication and outreach specialist. She has received a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and has obtained a Master of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge.


Ms. Lyka Ranelle Dela Cruz


Ms. Lyka Ranelle Dela Cruz is an Executive Assistant to the Commissioner in the Climate Change Commission (CCC), the Philippines’ lead policymaking and program coordination government body for climate change. She is a member of the technical support team of the National Focal Point of the Designated Authority to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Prior to joining the CCC, she worked as a Legislative Officer and member of the policy team of the Senate Committee Chairperson on Climate Change, Finance, and Environment and Natural Resources. She holds a Master Degree in Public Administration from the University of the Philippines – Diliman.

Mr. Souphasay Komany


Mr. Souphasay Komany is the Director of the Division of Climate Change Management Promotion (DCCMP) of the Department of Climate Change (DCC), Laos Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Prior his current post he was the director of the Secretariat Division for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control Committee, Department of Disaster Management and Climate Change (DDMCC) at the Ministry.

He holds a Master degree in Agricultural Science major in Water Balance and Soil Science from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology and United Nations University Diploma in Integrated Water Resource Management offered by the University International Network on Water, Environment and Health at the UN Water Virtual Learning Center, Asian Institute of Technology.

Ms. Maria Theresa Espino-Yap

Ms. Maria Theresa Espino-Yap is a Programme Analyst in UNDP Philippines. She handles the biodiversity portfolio of the Climate Action Team. She has been engaged in project development and management for environmental management, biodiversity and climate change projects. Her stint with USAID’s Philippine Environmental Governance Project for almost 10 years provided her with first hand experience on working with the Local Government Units (LGUs) and communities. Her work with UNDP started with the New Conservation Areas in the Philippines Project (NewCAPP). She also served as the National Coordinator the Green Climate Fund Readiness Programme of BMU of the Federal Government of Germany. Ms Espino-Yap is a graduate of BS Business Economics and Masters of Public Administration from University of the Phlippines – Diliman. She earned her Diploma in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management from UP Open University and is a licensed Environmental Planner.


Mr. Edgardo Tongson




Mr. Ed Tongson is currently the Chief-of-Party for Sustainable Finance of WWF Philippines.  He leads the Philippine team as part of a ASEAN regional initiative with financial institutions to channel financial flows to support the Paris agreement and to achieving the SDG goals. Prior to his assignment, he was the Chief-of-Party of the USAID-funded Abuan Watershed Management Project from 2012 to 2017 and Senior Consultant for watershed and water resources for WWF Philippines from 2008 to 2012. He joined WWF-Philippines in 1998 as a Program officer, appointed Director in 2000, Asst. Vice President for Field Operations in 2001 and became the Vice-President for Programmes in 2003. Before joining WWF, he served as Executive Director for the Haribon Foundation from 1994-1998. He earned his Masters of Business Administration Degree in 1992 and Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering in 1982 from the University of the Philippines Diliman Campus. He published papers on crop models, climate change, disaster risk management, indigenous peoples and conservation financing.

Mr. Bjoern Surborg

Mr. Bjoern Surborg is the head of climate change and disaster risk management at GIZ in the Philippines, working closely with the Climate Change Commission of the Philippines and other government agencies. In this role he is responsible for the overall coordination of the climate change and disaster risk management portfolio in the Philippines. Prior to his position in the Philippines he led the climate finance governance project in Bangladesh for GIZ. Before that Bjoern worked for GTZ, UNDP and other international organisations as an independent consultant on climate finance and the governance of climate change, land use planning, national and regional planning and Human Development. He has contributed to various research projects in Vietnam, South Africa and Canada. He completed his Doctorate and Masters in Geography at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and was a post-doctoral fellow at Trinity College in Dublin in Ireland.

Ms. Sok Sim Loong

Ms. Sok Sim Loong is a policy analyst in Central Bank of Malaysia. With experience from prudential and developmental policy analysis and development, her current portfolio focuses on scaling up green and sustainable finance in Malaysia. She is involved in developing and executing the central bank’s strategies and action plans in green finance market development and initiatives to integrate sustainable consideration within the central bank’s operations. She is also involved in the development of the Value-based Intermediation Financing and Investment Impact Assessment Framework (VBIAF) that facilitates the implementation of an impact-based risk management system for assessing the financing and investment activities of Islamic banking institutions in line with their respective VBI commitment (This paper is jointly developed with The World Bank and INCEIF).  She holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from University of Malaya, Malaysia.

Ms. Federica Chiappe


Ms. Federica Chiappe has extensive experience across the entire climate policy and finance architecture and pipeline, from governance, to climate investment planning, to mobilisation, and tracking and monitoring in different sectors, with focus on UNFCCC-Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). She currently also leads the blended finance work at Neovela Transition Finance, a start-up that has the ambition to accelerate a low carbon transition through at scale finance solutions to deploy renewable energy in developing and middle-income countries. She leads the development of blended finance products focusing on de-risking instruments such as large-scale guarantees, concessional finance, and effective use of grants.

Previously, she led Ricardo Energy & Environment’s work in climate finance. Of relevance, she led Nigeria’s engagement in the Climate Finance Accelerator, an innovative and catalytic initiative bringing together project proponents with financiers in the City to explore options of blended finance and develop bankable climate change projects. Additionally, she supported a number of countries and private institutions in accessing finance from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), from accreditation, institutional strengthening, development of project pipelines, and elaboration of concept notes and proposals. She has also received training on IFC’s Environmental and Social Safeguards and gender, on Sectoral Finance, and on the Green Investment Group’s sustainable investment toolkit, among others. 

Atty. Paola Sherina Alvarez