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Healthy Oceans – Productive Ecosystems: A European conference for the marine environment 3-4 March 2014, Brussel

SPEAKERS BIOGRAPHIES

Keynote speakers

Janez PotočnikJanez Potočnik

Dr Janez Potočnik became a Member of the European Commission on 1 May 2004. From 2004 until 2010, he was responsible there for Science and Research. In 2010, he took on a second mandate as a Member of the European Commission responsible for the Environment.

Dr Potocnik was born in 1958. He graduated with honours from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana and continued his studies at the same university where he obtained his Master's degree in 1989 and a PhD in 1993. In July 1994, he was appointed Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development of the Republic of Slovenia. In April 1998, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia appointed Dr Potočnik Head of the Negotiating Team for Accession of the Republic of Slovenia to the European Union. In June 2001, he was appointed as Minister Counsellor at the Office of the Prime Minister. On January 24, 2002, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia appointed him as Minister without portfolio responsible for European Affairs. In May 2008, he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from London Imperial College. In March 2009, he received an honorary degree from Ghent University (Belgium). In September 2013 Commissioner Potočnik received the United Nations 2013 Champions of the Earth Award.

maniatis

Yannis Maniatis

Dr Yannis Maniatis is a rural and surveying engineer (National Technical University of Athens). He has been an Associate Professor at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki since 1995, an Associate Professor at theUniversity of Piraeus since 2002 and a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Economic Geography of the University of Bonn (1995). His main academic fields include: Geographic Information Systems (G.I.S.), Energy and Transportation Systems and Environmental Monitoring.

Dr Maniatis was elected as a Member of the Greek Parliament for the prefecture of Argolida for the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) for the first time in the 2004 elections and re-elected in 2007, 2009, May 2012 and June 2012 elections.

On 25th June 2013, he was appointed Minister of Environment, Energy & Climate Change. Prior to that, he has been Secretary of PASOK Parliamentary Group (2012-2013), Deputy Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (2009-2012), Secretary General of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (1998-2001), Chairman of the Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA) (2001-2002), Chairman of the Postal Savings Bank (1998-2000).

Dr Maniatis has published more than 80 scientific papers in international congress and scientific magazines. He has been Scientific Person in charge for 25 Inquiring Programmes that were financed by the European Union, the Greek State and Private Enterprises.

Klaus Töpfer

Klaus Töpfer

Professor Klaus Töpfer is the Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, having previously served as Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme in Nairobi, and as Under Secretary General of the United Nations.

In the national political field, he held the positions of German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (1987-1994,) and Federal Minister for Regional Planning, Civil Engineering, and Urban Development (1994-1998). He is also a member of the Bundestag.

Professor Töpfer’s current engagement includes serving as Vice President of the German World Hunger Organisation, as senator of the Helmholtz Association for Earth and Environment, and in 2011 he co-chaired the Ethics Commission on Safe Energy Supply.

Prof. Töpfer holds a doctorate degree from the Central Institute for Regional Planning at Mainz University, and has received numerous honors and awards including the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990 and the German Sustainability Award in 2008.

Speakers

Jackie Alder

Jackie Alder

Jackie Alder is the Coordinator of the Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems Branch at the United Nations Environment Programme. She is responsible for UNEP’s Water Ecosystems Programs which includes the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans and the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land Based Activities. She leads a team of dedicated professionals located throughout the world.

Before joining UNEP, Jackie was a Marine & Fisheries Policy Analyst & Researcher at the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada (2001-2008) and Edith Cowan University in Perth in Australia (1995-2001). She has extensive experience in working with governments, researchers, NGOs and coastal l, communities throughout the Asia & Pacific Regions, Australia and Canada. She has published numerous articles in a range of peer-reviewed journals, books and co-authored the popular book “Coastal Planning and Management”.

Ran Amir

Rani Amir

Rani Amir has been the Director of the Marine and Coastal Environment Division (MCED) in the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) in Israel for the last 13 years. In this capacity, he manages and executes the national marine pollution prevention and control policy and marine and coastal protection actions. The framework of his activities include directorship of all inspection and enforcement actions against polluters, both marine-originated and land-based activities, development of a scientific database of marine and coastal zone ecological status, professional support to governmental agencies, industries, NGO’s and the public. He also acts as his country's national focal point to Barcelona convention's Mediterranean Action Plan MEDPOL and REMPEC activity centers. Amongst others, Mr. Amir is also the national focal point in cases of marine oil spills and the activator of the National contingency plan according to OPRC 1990.

Previously, he held the positions of the Head of the Enforcement Coordination Department in the MoEP and also acted as Head of the Solid Waste Branch in the Central District of the MoEP in Israel. Under this capacity he specialised in landfilling techniques and incineration apparatus.

Mr Amir holds both a B.Sc, and an M.Sc. degree from the Soil and Water Department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also holds a Master's degree in public administration from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University.

Marina Argyrou

Marina Argyrou

Marina Argyrou, has a BSc on Biology from Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece and an MSc on Marine Ecology from Tulane University, USA. She is the Head of the Marine Environment Division of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Cyprus. She is the Marine Director of Cyprus, as well as the National Focal Point for the SPA/BD Protocol of the Barcelona Convention. Her responsibilities include the implementation of Marine Strategy Framework Directive, implementation of Habitat Directive as regards marine Natura 2000 sites, monitoring of Cyprus coastal waters under the Water Framework Directive and protection and conservation of endangered marine species and habitats.


Kriton Arsenis

Kriton Arsenis

Kriton Arsenis is a Member of the European Parliament in The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) since July 2009. He is a Member of the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Committee on Fisheries. He is also a substitute Member of the Committee on Development. He is active in issues related to biodiversity, fisheries and the fight against climate change.


He has been an active member of the environmental movement in Greece and abroad since the age of 15. He studied planning and regional development at the University of Thessaly in Greece (1996–2001) and continued on with postgraduate studies in International Development (MPA/ID) at the Kennedy School of Harvard University (2001–2003). From 2005 to 2009, he worked for the Greek NGO ELLINIKI ETAIREIA-Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and the Cultural Heritage, where he was responsible for setting up the "Sustainable Aegean Programme", a public awareness campaign for the sustainable development of the Aegean Islands and for which he received the European Grand Prize by Europa Nostra. From January 2008 to May 2009 he served as a member of the Greek National Planning Council where he represented 10 Greek environmental NGOs.


Kriton Arsenis, was the rapporteur on the Regulation on deep-sea fishing and led the S&D on IUU fishing and the multiannual plans for bluefin tuna and for anchovies in the Bay of Biscay and in 2010 was awarded the MEP of the Year Award, under the Fisheries Category. He was also the rapporteur on the Green Paper for forest protection and LULUCF and led the S&D on ILUC and the timber Regulation and in 2011 he was awarded MEP of the Year Award for the International Year of Forests.

Julian Barbière

Julian Barbière

Julian Barbière is a Senior Program Specialist at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. For over ten years, he has coordinated the activities of the Commission on issues related to integrated coastal management and marine spatial planning, as well as contributing to the establishment of a world ocean assessment. He also led the implementation of a number of regional projects on marine ecosystem management in South America, the Mediterranean and West Africa. In preparation for the Rio+20, he coordinated the preparation of the UN Blueprint report on Ocean and Coastal Sustainability. He is involved in a number of UN initiatives related to the ocean, including UN-Oceans, and the Sustainable Development Goal process.


John Bell

John Bell

John Bell was appointed Director of the Bioeconomy Directorate in DG RTD on 16 January 2014. Before this he was the Chef de Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. In this role, as the Chief of Staff of the Commissioner's private office, he was responsible for the strategic political and policy direction of the European Commission's policy on research and innovation and the modernisation of the European Unions Research Framework Programme. His role in the definition of the European Union's 2010 "Innovation Union" policy, the 2011 "Horizon 2020" Framework programme, reinforcing the Joint Research Centre's global scientific impact and the 2012 European Research Area package, was his main priority as it entered the delivery phase.

He has been a European Commission official since 1993. During his career to date he has worked on humanitarian aid assistance programmes in the former Yugoslavia and in Albania, as well as public administration reform in Central and Eastern Europe. He was the Poland country desk officer responsible for the European Commission's Opinion on their application for EU membership. At senior level he was a member of the cabinet of Commissioner David Byrne with responsibility for enlargement, public health and global health security issues. As Head of Strategy for the Commission's food, health and consumers directorate general SANCO, he was responsible for rolling out Regulatory Impact Assessments, modernising stakeholder relations and foresight activities. He was the Chef de Cabinet for the first Bulgarian European Commissioner Meglena Kuneva on Consumer Affairs, where he led an economic empowerment approach to consumer policy and consumer markets including global safety issues.

Uta Bellion

Uta Bellion

Uta Bellion joined the Pew Environment Group in 2006 and heads the European Marine Program which aims to strengthen the role of the European Union in stopping global overfishing and the destruction of the world’s oceans. The program includes: campaigns to bring fishing limits in line with scientific advice; ending illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; reducing environmentally harmful subsidies; ensuring effective conservation and management measures for sharks. Uta also directs the 192 member group strong, Europe-wide coalition OCEAN2012, which aims to stop overfishing, end destructive fishing practices and deliver fair and equitable access to fish resources.

Before joining Pew, Bellion worked for Greenpeace International, where she led a number of environmental campaigns. She also served on Greenpeace International’s board of directors and as chairman of that organisation for several years. In addition, Bellion worked as the Policy and Campaigns Director for Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland and as an independent consultant to nongovernmental organisations.

Bellion holds a Master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Aachen in Germany.

Maria Betti

Maria Betti

Maria Betti has been Director of the Institute for Environment and Sustainability of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Ispra (Italy), since 1 October 2012.

From 1991 to 2008, Ms Betti led the Analytical and Environment Section of the Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) in Karlsruhe (Germany) which is part of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. In August 2008, she moved to Monaco where she was appointed Director of the IAEA Marine Environment Laboratories. From January 2010 until September 2012 she was responsible for the entire Environment Programme of the IAEA, heading a new Division called IAEA Environment Laboratories, which consisted of the Marine Environment Laboratories in Monaco and of the Terrestrial Laboratory in Seibersdorf (Austria).

Giovanni Bidoglio

Giovanni Bidoglio

Giovanni Bidoglio is leading the Water Resources Unit at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission where he provides science-based support to the implementation of EU Directives related to water resources and marine and coastal environments. He is interfacing science and policy making to support improvement of synergies between environmental legislation and economic objectives in the use of inland, coastal and marine waters. His research interests include the sustainable management of water resources, integrated modelling of ecosystem dynamics and scenario analyses, mapping of ecosystem services and environmental monitoring.

Mehmet Emin Birpinar

Mehmet Emin Birpinar

Professor Mehmet Emin Birpinar is the Deputy Undersecretary of Ministry of Environment and Urbanization of Turkey since 2013. He is responsible for the environmental management and the environmental impact assessment issues in the Ministry. Prior to this post, he held the position of the Provincial Director of Istanbul of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (2012-2013) and the former Ministry of Environment and Forestry (2003-2011).


Professor Birpinar is also the President of the Bureau of the Barcelona Convention for the term of 2014-2015. He was elected as the President during the 18th Meeting of the Contracting Parties held in Istanbul in December 2013.
He has also been a Professor since 2009 and an advisor to rector since 2008 at Yildiz Technical University. He holds a master’s degree in hydrology and water resources management from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.  His main academic fields are civil engineering, water resources management and hydrology.
He has published more than 70 articles or scientific papers in national and international congresses or scientific magazines. He also deals with writing articles for newspapers. He is a member of International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) and Water Engineering Research and Development Center (WERDEC).

borja

Angel Borja

Angel Borja holds a PhD in Marine Biology, from the University of the Basque Country (1984), Spain. He works as a Principal Investigator in AZTI-Tecnalia, a private research foundation, since 1985. He is also a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency (EEA), in the fields of marine spatial planning and marine ecosystems.

Dr Borja is the author of more than 250 publications, including 146 in international peer-reviewed journals (Hindex: 36), and, after Science Watch from Thompson Reuters, is one of the most-cited authors in the field of ecology and environment. Dr Borja is Editor and/or a member of the Editorial Boards of seven international journals: Journal of Sea Research; Continental Shelf Research; Frontiers in Marine Ecosystems Ecology; Marine Pollution Bulletin; Ecological Indicators; Ocean & Coastal Management; Revista de Investigación Marina. He is also a referee in 60 international journals and project evaluation agencies. Dr Borja is member of various scientific associations, e.g. ASLO, CERF and ECSA. He has participated in more than 100 national, European and international projects during the past 31 years. He has organised numerous international conferences, sessions and workshops. At the present time, he coordinates the EU project 'DEVOTES': DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status (EU FP7: 308392-2), related to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive implementation.

Anne-Christine Brusendorff

Anne-Christine Brusendorff

Anne Christine Brusendorff is the General Secretary of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). ICES is an intergovernmental organization whose main objective is to increase the scientific knowledge of the marine environment and its living resources and to use this knowledge to provide advice to competent authorities. Anne Christine leads the secretariat and is facilitating the implementation of the ICES Strategic Plan (2014–2018) that focuses on developing the science to support integrated ecosystem understanding.
Prior to joining ICES in 2012, Anne Christine Brusendorff spent 14 years working for the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM). Leading that organization as Executive Secretary, but has also served as HELCOM Deputy Executive Secretary, and HELCOM Professional Secretary (maritime matters). Before moving to Finland to work at HELCOM, Brusendorff was the Head of Section at the Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy, Danish Environmental Protection Agency.
Ms Brusendorff studied Maritime and Environmental law at the University of Copenhagen and London School of Economics and Political Science, before completing her Ph.D. (International Law of the Sea and International Environmental Law) at the University of Copenhagen.

  Hans Bruyninckx

Hans Bruyninckx

Hans Bruyninckx is the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency since 1 June, 2013.
In 1996, Dr Bruyninckx completed a PhD in international environmental politics at Colorado State University.
From 2010 until his appointment at the EEA, he was head of the HIVA Research Institute in Leuven, Belgium, a policy-oriented research institute associated with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven where he was also head of the Political Science department from 2007 to 2010.

Over the last 20 years, he has conducted research in more than a dozen countries, in areas including environmental politics, climate change, and sustainable development. He has taught global environmental politics and global environmental governance in relation to the European Union (EU), publishing extensively on EU environmental policies and its role as an actor in global environmental governance.

Throughout his career, Dr Bruyninckx has worked with governmental agencies, civil society and businesses, often in an advisory role.

Pia Bucella

Pia Bucella

Pia Bucella joined the Commission in 1979 after graduating in philosophy from the Catholic University of Milan in Italy.

In the European Commission's Directorate-General for the Environment, she was responsible for relations with the Council and European Parliament, for civil protection. She then headed the Directorate for Legal Affairs and Impact Assessment.

She is now the Director in charge of Natural Capital. Her current responsibilities cover the development and implementation of the strategy and policies that pursue the protection and enhancement of Biodiversity and to promote better understanding of the value of Biodiversity to our society through the Natura 2000 network (Habitat and Birds Directives), and also the integration and development of strategies and policies for Agriculture, Forest, Soil and Nitrates.

Darius Campbell

Darius Campbell

Darius Campbell is the Executive Secretary for the OSPAR Commission, which is an intergovernmental organisation aiming to protect and conserve the North East Atlantic and its resources.  OSPAR’s Contracting Parties include those members of the European Union with an coast opening onto (or a river system emptying into) the North East Atlantic.

Before taking up his post in November 2012, Darius was working for the UK’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs as a Deputy Director.  In this role he was responsible for developing the UK’s National Climate Change Adaptation Programme, and before this for leading UK policy on marine environment, including licensing of marine activity and the Government’s marine science provision.  At this time he also lead UK’s policy on action against international illegal fishing (together with UK’s Department for International Development) as well as broader international oceans governance issues. Over 11 years in the department, Darius led on a variety of international, European and national policies and negotiations on as well as regulation.  Before joining the UK Civil Service, Darius worked in international development, in particular on agriculture.  Work included long term practical development and research programmes in Jordan, Nigeria and India.  His first degree was in zoology, followed by an MSC in Livestock production and a PhD in nomadic livestock systems in Nigeria. 

Carstensen

Jacob Carstensen

Dr. Jacob Carstensen is a professor at the Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, and the Danish manager for the Baltic Nest Institute (www.balticnest.org). Dr. Carstensen earned his doctoral degree from the Technical University of Denmark in 1994 and has previously been employed at SAS Institute, Technical University of Denmark, National Environmental Research Institute, University of Maryland and Joint Research Centre.

Dr. Carstensen is an ecological statistician with over 20 years’ research experience in analysing environmental data. His research focuses mainly on describing and understanding long-term changes of marine ecosystems in response to natural and anthropogenic pressures, particularly eutrophication and climate change. He has developed indicators and assessment systems for ecological and environmental status in support of the implementation of European Directives (WFD, MSFD). He led the work on eutrophication targets for the Baltic Sea Action Plan. Dr. Carstensen is the author of more than 80 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

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Antidia Citores

Antidia Citores

Antidia Citores studied international and European law. In 2008, she integrated the Surfrider team in her CIFRE (Industrial Agreement for Training through Research) thesis, which was concerned with the integration of environmental issues into maritime transport standards. She is the Coordinator of the Environment and Lobbying Departments and she manages the association’s relations with both national and European institutions. She participate to the negociation of several text at the European level linked to marine, and environmental issues (maritime safety, oil drilling, MSFD implementation). She negotiated the resolutions of the Sea Grenelle with regards to exploitation of the sea and maritime governance and made the report on biodiversity and environment strategy linked to the French “Assises nationale de la mer”. She represents Surfrider and the national council dedicated to marine and coastal issues, and the national council working on ecological transition, she participates also to marine sub regions debates on MSFD implementation. Antidia Citores participates in the determination of the association’s litigation strategy. She gives lectures in International Public Law at Master Degree level in several universities throughout France.

Constantin

Gheorghe Constantin

Gheorghe Constantin is director for water and fishery resources management within the Department for Water, Forest and Fishery from Ministry of Environment and Climate Change of Romania and also the Romanian Water and Marine Director. In this position he is in charge with the implementation of the EU directives in Romania, particularly Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Directive.
For more than 13 years he is involved in the cooperation for the Black Sea region being the Deputy Member of the Black Sea Commission and Member of  the Environmental Protection Working Group within the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.

Constantin

Ann Dom

Ann Dom is Deputy Director of Seas At Risk, the European association of environmental NGOs working to protect and restore to health the marine environment of the European seas and the wider North East Atlantic. Seas At Risk has currently 20 member organisations in 14 countries. Ann has a long standing expertise on EU environmental policy and its integration into sector policies. At Seas At Risk, her work focuses on the EU’s Marine Strategy, Integrated Maritime Policy and Blue Growth strategy. Before joining Seas At Risk in 2012 Ann was employed at the European Environment Agency and the Environment Directorate General of the European Commission. She also worked as a consultant and researcher and taught at the Free University of Brussels. Ann holds Master’s degrees in Physics and in Environmental Assessment.

Lisette Enserink

Lisette Enserink

Lisette Enserink is advisor at Rijkswaterstaat, the Agency of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment that is responsible for the management of national infrastructure, including the North Sea. She currently leads the EU funded project ‘Towards a Joint Monitoring Programme for the North Sea and the Celtic Sea’ (JMP NS/CS). Lisette participates in the MSFD CIS process, in OSPAR and in ICES, focusing on monitoring and assessment. Furthermore, she leads the development of the OSPAR Science Agenda and the identification of national science needs for marine policy and management.


Lisette has a PhD in ecotoxicology and over 15 years experience in international marine policy and management. She has led the overall assessment chapters of the OSPAR Quality Status Reports 2000 and 2010 and has been a co-lead for the development of common indicators for biodiversity in OSPAR (EcoQOs and MSFD common indicators).

Siv Ericsdotter

Siv Ericsdotter

Siv Ericsdotter is Head of the BalticSTERN Secretariat at Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University. The Secretariat coordinates international research on costs and benefits regarding the environmental problems of the Baltic Sea, including guidance towards cost-effective measures and policy instruments.

Siv Ericsdotter was Director of the Swedish Environmental Advisory Council (1998-2007) and Director of the Swedish Ecocycle Commission (1993-1998). She also held positions within the Ministry for the Environment, responsible for economic instruments, EU- coordination, negotiations on EU membership and as Head of Secretariat in the Overview of the Swedish System for Environmental Quality Objectives. Her former employments include the Swedish Competition Authority and the Swedish National Audit Office.

Siv Ericsdotter holds a Bachelor of Science from the Stockholm School of Economics and has Academic degrees in Social Anthropology and Economic History.

Lowri Evans

Lowri Evans

Lowri Evans is from Britain. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Liverpool University and is a trained Chartered Accountant. Between 1978 and 1983 Ms Evans worked in Audit and accountancy with Deloitte Haskins & Sells. In 1983 she joined the European Commission as an Administrator in DG Financial Control. In 1987 she became a Case officer in DG Competition. Between 1993 and 1994 she was a Member of Cabinet of Commissioner Flynn. In 1995 she was appointed Head of unit in DG Employment. In 2000 she joined DG Competition, where she was subsequently appointed Director, then Deputy Director-General in 2006. In July 2010 she was appointed Director General of DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Karl Falkenberg

Karl Falkenberg

Karl Falkenberg has a long experience as a negotiator in the European Commission. He started his career in the Commission as textiles negotiator, has dealt with international fisheries issues and since 1985 with the GATT. In 1990, he served as foreign policy advisor to EU President Jacques Delors, with particular focus on the German unification process. He was involved in the Uruguay Round negotiations and has been negotiating the telecommunications and financial services agreements in WTO. From 1997 to December 2000 he was in charge of the coordination of all WTO issues. In 2001 he was appointed Director in charge of sectoral trade policies and bilateral trade relations with North America, Japan, the Mediterranean area and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and in 2002 Director for Free trade agreements, Agricultural trade questions, ACP. From 2005 to 2008 he coordinated all bilateral trade policies as Deputy Director General.  In January 2009, he took up the position of Director General of the Environment, covering the EU's environmental policy in both its domestic and international dimensions.

Karl Falkenberg is a trained economist and journalist.

Emma Gileva

Emma Gileva

Since September 2000 Emma Gileva has been Executive Director of the Black Sea NGO Network, a regional association of environmental NGOs from Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine working on Black Sea and sustainability issues with seat in Varna, Bulgaria. Her work currently focuses on the implementation of projects on regional and EU environmental policies, Black Sea issues, international water management issues, international and EU legislation, Black Sea and marine biodiversity protection, integrated coastal zone management, public awareness, environmental education, campaigning and others. She maintains regular contacts with the regional NGO sector.
Mrs. Gileva is former journalist and graduate of the St. Climent of Ochrid University, Sofia.   

Giordano Giorgi

Giordano Giorgi

Dr. Giordano Giorgi was born in 1973, holds a PhD in Mathematics and gradutated in Physics by  University of Rome “La Sapienza”.  Dr. Giorgi has contributed since 2005 to the design and implementation of SINTAI – Italian Information System for Water Protection for ISPRA – Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, where WISE and WISE Marine national nodes have been developed. He has designed the data base structure and algorithms for the collection, analysis and elaboration of data and production of report for Nitrate Directive, Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD), River Basin Management Plans of Water Framework Directive (WFD), Classification schemas for surface water bodies and Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), also providing technical support to the Italian Ministry of Environment. He is MS Italy representative in technical group of WG DIKE, in Ecap Correspondence Groups on GES and Targets (COR-GEST) for Hydrography theme of UNEP/MAP and in UWWTD Expert Group. He has participated to the production of EU Technical Guidance on the preparation of Priority Substances Inventory requested by EQS Directive and of JRC Technical Guidance for Monitoring of MSFD. He is currently working on transport model for the estimation of input of nutrients from atmospheric deposition and on biogeochemical flux model (BFM) for Mediterranean Sea.

Beate Gminder

Beate Gminder

Ms Beate Gminder is in charge of the unit "Maritime Policy in the Mediterranean and Black Sea" in the Directorate-General Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission. Her main responsibilities consist of supervising political and technical development of a Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) for better maritime surveillance including pilot projects with 14 Member States, developing the maritime strand of the Adriatic-Ionian macro region, implementing cooperation projects with North African Countries and seeking awareness and capacity building on various aspects of marine and maritime policy in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Ms Gminder is a career official of the European Commission, with various postings in communication jobs as well as  spokesperson for food safety and consumer protection, adviser to Commissioners and as Head of Human Resources in interior and justice affairs.

Ms Gyorgyi Gurban

Gyorgyi Gurban

Gyorgyi Gurban is the Ecosystem Approach Project Manager of the Barcelona Convention Secretariat/UNEP-MAP. The project lead by Gyorgyi aims to assist the achievement of the Ecosystem Approach Roadmap in the Mediterranean, such as developing an Integrated Monitoring and Assessment programme, carrying out socio-economic assessment, developing assessment fact sheets, testing EcAp indicators, targets, next to reviewing relevant measures for the implementation of the ecosystem approach in the region, such as implementation of the Marine Litter Regional Plan and establishment of SPAMIs in open seas.

Previously, Gyorgyi was the head of the Brussels Office of E3G, where she focused on the decarbonisation of the European power sector. She was also beforehand  the climate change attaché of Hungary, leading the climate work of the EU Presidency team in Brussels. She also worked as a policy officer in the European Commission, where she lead the multilateral processes team of DG Environment, preparations on CSD, Rio+20. Prior to that, Gyorgyi gathered experience at the Legal Service of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, at the Climate Unit of the Hungarian Ministry of Environment and at Allen and Overy Law Firm.

Gyorgyi has a JD, an LLM in International Law, and an MSc in Environmental Management.

Bo Gustafsson

Bo Gustafsson

Bo Gustafsson is Director of the Baltic Nest Institute at Stockholm University. He has over 20 years experience of scientific research on the Baltic Sea. He is a physicist by training with a PhD in physical oceanography from Gothenburg University and primarily worked with development of numerical models of ocean circulation and biogeochemical cycles. In recent years, focus of the work has, besides running the Baltic Nest Institute, been devoted to supporting, e.g., HELCOM with scientific advice.

The Baltic Nest Institute host the Nest system, a decision support system aimed at facilitating adaptive management of environmental concern in the Baltic Sea. Baltic Nest Institute can contribute to the formulation of policies that are fair, transparent and cost-efficient. The main target group for the Nest Decision Support System is HELCOM and regional water directors in the riparian countries.

Rudy Herman

Rudy Herman

Dr. Rudy Herman is a marine biologist by training and graduated at the University of Ghent, Belgium. Currently he is a Senior Researcher at the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) and involved, in particular, in international environmental, water and marine research programmes and research infrastructures. He has been the representative in the Belgian programme committee delegations for DG Research & Innovation, i.e. ‘Environment, including Climate Change’ and ‘Research Infrastructures’. He served as member of several EU expert groups, such as the ESFRI Working Group ‘Environment Research Infrastructures’ and chaired the Expert Working Group on ‘Marine Research Infrastructures’.

Rudy Herman has been involved, from the beginning, in the development of the Joint Programming Initiative ‘Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans’ (JPI Oceans).

He is the Flanders Government representative in the Flanders UNESCO Science Trust fund and is particularly involved in UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) initiatives focused on capacity building.

Holthus

Paul Holthus

Paul Holthus is the founding President/CEO of the World Ocean Council (WOC), the international business leadership alliance on corporate ocean responsibility. The WOC brings together oil and gas, shipping, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, offshore renewables and other ocean industries, creating an unprecedented ocean business community and private sector leadership in addressing shared marine sustainability challenges.

Mr Holthus has held senior positions with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and international environmental organisations, including serving as Deputy Director of the IUCN Global Marine Programme. Among other things, he created the “Coral Triangle” concept, a highly successful large seascape approach to international ocean sustainable development.

Since 1998, Mr Holthus has worked primarily with the private sector to develop practical solutions to ocean sustainability and responsible use challenges. He has worked in over 30 countries with companies, communities, industry associations, UN agencies, international non-governmental organisations and foundations.

Mr Holthus is a graduate of the University of California and the University of Hawaii, with advanced degrees in marine resource management and international business. He was a Fulbright scholar is an alum of the East-West Center.

Fritz Holzwarth

Fritz Holzwarth

Fritz Holzwarth was appointed Deputy Director General for Water-Management in the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in 1991 until 2014. His professional responsibilities are, inter alia, Head of the German Delegation in HELCOM and OSPAR, President of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) (2004-2007) and President of the International Commission for the Protection of the River Elbe (2008-2010). Mr. Holzwarth has been actively involved in transboundary cooperation in international river basins. Together with the World Bank, he was one of the initiators of the “Petersberg Process on Transboundary Water Management”, a global initiative.

In his position as German Water Director, he has been actively involved in developing EU-Directives such as the WFD, the MSFD and other water-related regulations. Furthermore he jointly initiated with the Commission and the Joint Research Centre the discussion process on Climate Change and the European Water Dimension and was Chair of the Conference “Time to Adapt - Climate Change and the European Water Dimension Vulnerability – Impacts – Adaptation” in February 2007 under the German EU Presidency. Fritz Holzwarth studied Economics, Law and Political Science at the University of Freiburg/Breisgau and holds a Diploma (1977) and Ph. D. (1984) in Economics and a Diploma in Business Administration (1973) from the College of Economics, Pforzheim.

Dr Salman Hussain

Salman Hussain

Dr Salman Hussain joined UNEP in January 2014 to coordinate the TEEB project (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) from SRUC, Edinburgh where he was a researcher in ecological economics. His PhD was on the economics of the ‘greening’ of industry but his research focus for the past decade has been on ecosystem economics, and particularly marine ecosystems. He coordinated the economics work package of an EC FP7 project (ODEMM) that married ecosystem service valuation with the bio-physical modelling of the impacts of policy interventions (such as the establishment of marine protected areas).

Heike Imhoff

Heike Imhoff

Working in the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, building and Nuclear Safety in Germany, Ms. Heike Imhoff is Head of the Division “Protection of the Marine Environment”. She is a lawyer with special interest in European and International Law. Her responsibilities comprise Global, European, Regional and National marine policy issues.


With regard to the global level she has an eye on marine environment protection issues in the framework of the yearly Resolution of UNCLOS. Other areas of business interest are the United Nations’ Informal Consultative Process on the Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS) and the ‘Regular Process’. As a participant of the Rio+20 conference in 2012 she made use of the opportunity of feeding in regional and European experience into the global context. Her Division in the Federal Ministry for the Environment is the leading and coordinating unit in Germany as regards the implementation of the
European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD and she represents Germany in a number of politically oriented Working Units on EU-level in the framework of the MSFD CIS process.Ms Imhoff started her international marine business activities at the Regional level. She has been the German Head of Delegation to HELCOM and OSPAR. Presently she is the chairperson of HELCOpM GEAR, i.e. the Liaison Group between MSFD relevant HELCOM-activities and the implementation process of the MSFD.


As had been foreseeable the MSFD implementation process needs to build on the experience, the achievements and networks of the existing Regional Sea Conventions (RSCs) governing Europe's seas. Bearing this in mind Ms. Imhoff and the German Marine Team have initiated a ‘streamlining process’ amongst all relevant processes and institutions/organizations on what level so ever, being part of the MSFD implementation process in order to achieve enhanced cooperation and better coordinated implementation.

Andrzej Jagusiewicz

Andrzej Jagusiewicz

Mr Jagusiewicz is Chief Inspector of Environmental Protection in Poland. He has a PhD in atmospheric pollution forecasting. During the 40 years of his professional career, he has held various positions in government administrations, science, business and international organisations.  He has been the Polish representative in various negotiating and political bodies in the United Nations and the European Commission, among others, the CAFE Steering Committee, the Air Quality Committee, the Advisory Council of the Global Monitoring of Environment and Security (GMES) and the Executive Body of the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (also Vice-Chair). He represents the European Federation of Clean Air and Environmental Protection Associations in the bodies of the UNECE and is an international expert on the subject. He is Vice-Chair of the Management Board of the European Environment Agency and Vice-President of the Bureau of the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Basel Convention. He is the first Polish Marine Director appointed under the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

Pierre Karleskind

Pierre Karleskind

Pierre Karleskind is Vice-President of the Region of Brittany and President of the Finance Committee, responsible for European Affairs and Maritime Affairs. PhD in Oceanography, Pierre Karleskind coordinates the CPMR working group on maritime safety (Erika IV) and he is in charge of relations with the IOPC Funds (International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds) in which the CPMR is an observer member and with the IMO (International Maritime Organisation).

Steven Katona

Steven Katona

Steven Katona is Conservation International’s managing director for the Ocean Health Index, the first assessment tool that scientifically compares and combines biological, physical, economic and social indicators to measure how sustainably people are using the ocean.

He received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University and was a Fulbright Scholar at the Department of Oceanography, Southampton University, U.K. His Ph.D. dissertation was the first demonstration that diffusible sex pheromones stimulated the sexual behavior of copepods and contact sex pheromones probably regulated species-specific mating.

He was a founding faculty member, then president at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, where his laboratory pioneered collaborative studies on individual photo-identification of humpback and finback whales to study their distribution, abundance and population stock sub-structure.

Olivier Laroussinie

Olivier Laroussinie

Olivier Laroussinie is Director of the Marine Protected Areas Agency of the French Ministry for Ecology and Sustainable Development.

Civil engineer specialized in water and forests, he began his career at l'Office national des forêts in the Alpes de Haute-Provence, before dedicating a dozen years to forest research in French Guyanna at the head of Silvolab. He joined the French Ministry for Ecology and Sustainable Development in 2003 as assistant to vice-director in charge with natural sites and responsible with the office for national parks and natural reserves. In 2003-2005, he became the person in charge with the implementation of the national strategy for biodiversity, and in 2005-2007, he became responsible for the coordination of marine related questions within the Agency. He was nominated director of the Marine Protected Areas Agency of the French Ministry for Ecology and Sustainable Development in January 2007.

Tony Long

Tony Long

Tony Long has 35 years of experience leading environmental non-governmental organisations in the United Kingdom and Europe.  Hefounded and heads the WWF European Office in Brussels which opened in 1989. Prior to that, he worked for WWF in the UK (1986-88), the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) (1981-85) and several local authorities in north-west England. He serves on the Assembly of WWF International, the main decision making committee of the organisation, and is a Board member of WWF Greece.  In 1977-79, he worked in the US Congress in Washington D.C. and at state levels of government as a joint holder of a Congressional Fellowship of the American Political Science Association and a Harkness Fellowship of the Commonwealth Fund of New York.  He was Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, Bruges (1997-2002) teaching a course on environmental lobbying. He is a graduate of Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, in Town and Country Planning. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (FRSA).

Laurence Mee

Laurence Mee

Professor Laurence Mee is Director of the Scottish Association for Marine Science, Scotland’s foremost marine institute, also an academic partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands and an Associate Institute of the UN University.  

Laurence specialises in marine social-ecological systems and works at the interface between science and policy, recently leading the 14-country FP7 project  Knowledge-based Sustainable Management of Europe’s Seas (KnowSeas), informing the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. His international experience includes ten years in Mexico and an eleven year career in senior posts in the UN where his work was scientific, diplomatic and worldwide. He was responsible for the process that led to the 6-country 1993 Black Sea Ministerial Declaration, the first post-Soviet environmental agreement and subsequently led international efforts to restore and protect the severely damaged Black Sea environment.   In 1998 became the UK’s first Professor of Marine and Coastal Policy and was subsequently appointed as Director of the University of Plymouth Marine Institute. He was Special Advisor to the UK House of Commons Select Committee Inquiry on Investigating the Oceans and the Scrutiny Committee on the UK Marine Bill. He publishes widely on adaptive management and the Ecosystem Approach for managing Europe’s seas. He is a passionate environmentalist and keen sailor and diver.

Gunnar Noren

Gunnar Noren

Gunnar Norén is the Executive secretary of Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB), an association of 22 environmental NGOs in eleven countries in the Baltic Sea drainage basin. CCB works for protection of the Baltic Sea environment and sustainable development in the Baltic Sea Region. He has a long experience of water and marine protection and management related to the Baltic Sea environment. He is involved with Baltic regional institutions and bodies addressing water protection and fisheries management, such as HELCOM, EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and Baltic Sea Regional Advisory council for fisheries. He focuses on EU-policies on water management and fisheries management, but also on EU agricultural policies related to water management.  Previously Gunnar was a senior officer at the Swedish EPA working with sustainable water management for pulp-paper and food industries.  Gunnar holds a MSc in chemical engineering and biochemistry.

Xavier Pastor

Xavier Pastor

Xavier Pastor, Senior VicePresident and Executive Director Oceana, Europe.

Xavier Pastor (Palma de Mallorca), earned his degree in Biological Sciences, Zoology, from the University of Barcelona.

His professional career began in the Spanish Oceanographic Institute (Instituto Español de Oceanografía) where he worked as fisheries biologist for 11 years. Subsequently, he founded Greenpeace Spain in 1984 and headed this organisation as Executive Director for over 15 years. He also coordinated the Greenpeace Mediterranean Project, being responsible for the opening of offices in Italy, Greece, Malta and Tunisia.

He received the National Environment Award from the Spanish Government in 2002. Then he developed and leaded for the first two years the MarViva fleet project in Central America in order to monitor and control illegal fishing practices in the Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia MPAs. Since 2003, he develops and leads Oceana in Europe, with offices in Madrid, Brussels and Copenhagen, dedicated to research, recover and protect the oceans.

He has carried out and leaded many oceanographic campaigns and research projects concerning fisheries aboard the Spanish Oceanographic Institute's ships and other international organisations dedicated to investigation. He has sailed as an observer aboard many fishing vessels in different parts of the world and has directed dozens of marine environment protection expeditions aboard Greenpeace, MarViva and Oceana ships.

Furthermore, he has participated in numerous scientific conferences within the framework of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM), the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and other international organisations.

He has also published hundreds of scientific and technical studies about fisheries, as well as various books concerning environmental protection.

Dominic Pattinson

Dominic Pattinson

Dominic Pattinson works for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and, since October 2012, has led implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in the UK. As part of this, he represents the UK on the EC’s Marine Strategy Coordination Group, co-chairs the MSFD Working Group on Economic and Social Affairs and has recently led a drafting group producing recommendations on the development of Programmes of Measures for the MSFD. He is also the UK’s representative on, and a co-convenor of, OSPAR’s Intercessional Correspondence Group on MSFD.

Before moving to marine, Dominic worked in Defra’s food policy team. While there he was responsible for the development of policy on sustainable food procurement by the public sector, including the setting of Government Buying Standards for food. Prior to that, he was responsible for developing policy on food-related consumer behaviours and delivery of a programme of support for regional and local food producers.

Eeva-Liisa Poutanen

Eeva-Liisa Poutanen

Dr. Poutanen has a long career in marine science, and in marine protection and management. Currently, she is employed by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, in which she is the head of the marine protection group in the Department of the Natural Environment. She is deeply involved in marine protection issues and serves as Head of Delegation of Finland to the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) and Marine Director of Finland for EU Co-operation. Under her direction, the marine protection group is responsible for implementing the EU marine strategy directive and has the shared coordinator role with Poland for the priority area NUTRI of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Additionally, the group is responsible for environmental issues concerning maritime traffic (IMO MEPS), marine protected areas (Natura 2000 and BMPAs), EU maritime policy, OSPAR, UNCLOS, ASCOBANS, and other related issues.

In her previous posts, Dr. Poutanen served as Director General of the Finnish Institute of Marine Research and Environment Secretary for the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM). At HELCOM she had responsibility for the Environment Committee and its activities, which are directed at marine monitoring and assessment, as well as nature conservation and biodiversity issues.

Erenesto Penas Lado

Ernesto Penas Lado

Mr Penas Lado is originally from Spain where he obtained a diploma in Biological Sciences delivered by the University of Alcala of Madrid.  Later he did a PhD in marine ecosystem modelling in the USA.

His career at the European Commission / Directorate-General for Fisheries began in 1986 but he took a three-year-break to complete his functions of Director General for Fisheries and Aquaculture for the Galician Regional Government in Spain.

Back to the European Commission / Directorate-General from Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, he was responsible for different horizons like the negotiations in the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, then he occupied the post of Head of the Unit "Conservation Policy", and finally "Common fisheries policy and aquaculture".

In 2009, he was appointed Director of the Directorate "Baltic Sea, North Sea and Landlocked Member States" and from mid-2010 he has been occupying the post of Director in the Directorate MARE-A "Policy Development and Co-ordination"  In this capacity, he manages the ongoing reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Hugues Ravenel

Hugues Ravenel

Hugues Ravenel has been for two years head of strategic unit at Plan Bleu before being appointed director by the Plan Bleu general assembly of June 2012.
He graduated the Ecole Polytechnique and National School of Geographic Sciences and holds a Master Degree in Policy Science.
Hugues Ravenel served in various institutions: World Bank, Ministries of Environment and Cooperation, Sahara and Sahel Observatory, French weather service.
He was born in 1971, he is married with three children.

Leonie Robinson

Leonie Robinson

Dr Leonie Robinson is a Lecturer in Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool, UK. Before joining the University of Liverpool, Dr Robinson completed a PhD at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and a postdoctoral position at the Fisheries Research Services Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Her research background is in community ecology of marine ecosystems with particular reference to understanding the drivers, both natural and anthropogenic, of variability in temporal and spatial dynamics. Her work currently focuses on the application of ecological theory in underpinning management of marine resources (particularly: ecosystem-based management; ecosystem approaches to fisheries management; integrated assessment).

Leonie has recently led the pan-European EU FP7 project “ODEMM”: Options for Delivering Ecosystem-Based Marine Management, which has developed tools and understanding to help deliver the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. She is also a member of the ICES Working Group on Ecosystem Effects of Fishing.

Ulrike Rodust

Ulrike Rodust

Since September 2008, Ulrike Rodust is a Member of the European Parliament as part of the Socialist and Democrats (S&D) group.
S&D spokesperson (coordinator) on fisheries affairs and European Parliament's rapporteur on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, she is also a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as a Member of the Schleswig-Holstein Regional Assembly (Landtag) (1993-2008).  In parallel to her European functions, Ms Rodust was Mayor of Holzdorf (Germany) between 2008 and 2009.
Ms Rodust qualified as business administration officer and accountant, and was self-employed in the catering trade, inter alia at Restaurant Lotsenhaus, Brunsbüttel between 1979 and 1997.

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Paul Rose

Paul Rose

A man at the front line of exploration and one of the world’s most experienced science divers, expedition leaders and polar travellers, Paul Rose has been helping scientists unlock and communicate global mysteries for the past 30 years in the most remote and challenging regions of the planet.

Paul is Vice-President of the Royal Geographical Society, an active explorer, television and radio broadcaster, a field science expert and published author. He has been working in Antarctica and the Arctic every year since 1990. He is Expedition Leader for the National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions.

A popular and sought-after presenter, his television credits include the highly acclaimed BBC Oceans, Britain’s Secret Seas and Voyages of Discovery. He reports for BBC News and makes regular appearances on BBC current affairs programmes, Sky News and CNN.

He was the Base Commander of Rothera Research Station, Antarctica, for the British Antarctic Survey for 10 years and was awarded HM The Queen's Polar Medal. For his work with NASA and the Mars Lander project on Mt Erebus, Antarctica, he was awarded the US Polar Medal.

Pablo Saavedra

Pablo Saavedra

Pablo Saavedra is the Director General for Sustainability of the Coast and the Sea in the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food of Environment since January 2012. He graduated from the Law School at the Madrid Complutense University, and became a member of the State Civil Administrators Body, as a jurist specialist. Some of the posts he has held previously are:

  • Assistant Deputy General Director for Staff Selection, in the Selection and Training School within the National Institute for Public Administrations
  • Adviser for the Secretary of State for Territorial Cooperation in the Ministry of Public Administrations
  • Deputy General Director for Bilateral Relations with Regional Authorities in the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Administration

His current responsibilities include the implementation of international, European and national legislation regarding marine protection, the management of the maritime-terrestrial public property, and the protection of the coast.

Angelo Salsi

Angelo Salsi

Angelo Salsi majored in agricultural sciences in Bologna and started his career as agro-meteorologist. In 1994 he joined the European Commission and worked for the Nature Conservation department of the Directorate General for Environment for almost 10 years. Saving butterflies and birds has a lot to do with the old Native American proverb that says: "We do not inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children".

In 2000 he was appointed deputy head of a new department - "The Life Unit". This unit was responsible for the management of the whole Life financial program, financing projects covering all possible environmental aspects. A great opportunity for him to learn and to stay in contact with the territory, something he greatly appreciate.

In 2005 it was time to move to a management responsibility as head of a new finance unit. This experience helped him shaping his skills in the challenging world of management.

After several years dealing with contracts and invoices he came back to his first love: nature conservation and biodiversity. He is now responsible for the Life Nature unit. Once more on the front line helping member states and all concerned parties to protect Europe's natural heritage and the wider biodiversity of which we are part.

Richard Seeber

Richard Seeber

Born in 1962, Richard Seeber studied both economics and law. In 1995, he was nominated as the first director of the newly established liaison office of the Euregio Tyrol at the European Union in Brussels. Since 2004, he has been a Member of the European Parliament and a Member of the Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. He is also a Substitute Member of the Committee for Regional Development. In January 2010, he founded the Intergroup on Water of the European Parliament - a broad platform on water aspects for MEPs, representatives of the European Commission as well as stakeholders from economy, environmental protection and regional development. Further key elements of Richard Seeber's work are environmental protection, air quality and mountainous regions.

Haitze Siemers

Haitze Siemers

Haitze Siemers has been working for the European Commission since 1993. His first postings were on EU-Japan relations, both in Brussels and in Tokyo. This was followed by a posting in trade policy at the time of the Seattle and Doha Ministerials of the WTO, during which he played a significant role in the development of the European Commission's dialogue with civil society organisations in the context of Trade Policy. After a stint in the Commission's consumer policy department, Mr. Siemers joined the Maritime Policy Task Force, as part of the core team developing the Green Paper and the Blue Book on an Integrated European Maritime Policy. In 2008, Mr. Siemers joined the team tasked with the implementation of EU Maritime Policy in the reorganised DG MARE. Mr. Siemers has a degree in Japanese studies which led to both academic and private sector work in and with Japan prior to his joining the European Commission. Since 2009 he is Head of Unit of Maritime Affairs for the North Sea and Baltic (DG MARE).

Mark Tasker

Mark Tasker

Mark Tasker has two jobs at present, his main one being a Marine Programme Leader in the UK’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), with his second job being a vice-chair of the Advisory Committee of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

Mark Tasker has worked for JNCC and its predecessor bodies for 34 years, always dealing with marine issues and particularly advising on the nature conservation aspects of human activities. In recent years, he has led many advisory groups looking at the assessment of underwater noise and its effects on the marine environment. He is currently co-chair of the EU Technical Group on Underwater Noise that is providing advice relevant to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Mark is also vice-chair of the Advisory Committee of the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, and has been a member of the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, dealing with fishery issues.

Richard thompson

Richard Thompson

Richard is a Marine Biologist specialising on the ecology of shallow water habitats. He obtained his first degree from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1992, followed by a PhD from Liverpool University in 1996.

Much of his work over the last decade has focused on marine debris with numerous publications on this topic. In 2004, his team published the first report on the presence of microplastics in the environment in the journal Science. Subsequent research examined the extent to which microplastics were retained upon ingestion and the potential for microplastics to transport pollutants to organisms.

In 2009, he was lead guest editor for a 200 page volume of the scientific journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, focusing on Plastics, the Environment and Human Health. He is a co-author of the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive Task Group 10 on marine litter and has recently prepared two reports on marine debris for the United Nations Global Environment Facility: Marine Debris as a Global Environmental Problem: introducing a solutions based framework focused on plastic (2011); Impacts of Marine Debris on Biodiversity: Current Status and Potential Solutions (2012).

Charlina Vitcheva

Charlina Vitcheva

Ms.Vitcheva is Director at the European Commission, Directorate General for Regional Policy since April 2009 to date.

As of 1.1.2014, she has been nominated Director for the Competence Centre for Smart and Sustainable Growth and the Implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Malta, Cyprus and Greece. She is also Acting Director, responsible for the Competence Centre for Inclusive Growth, Urban and Territorial Development and the implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden.

In her previous posts, she has been Director of the European Integration and International Cooperation Directorate at the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture and Food, managing the pre-accession preparation and the accession negotiations, head of the agriculture and fisheries team in the trade negotiations under the Europe Agreement and in the framework of WTO, head of department in the Permanent Representation of Bulgaria to the EU.

Marianne Wenning

Marianne Wenning

Marianne Wenning is currently Director for 'Quality of Life, Water & Air' in DG Environment of the European Commission. In this capacity she oversees the implementation and enforcement of an extensive body of environmental legislation with regard to air quality, industrial emissions, water & marine issues and industrial accidents, and she works towards the further integration of environmental and sustainability aspects into other Union policies.

Ms. Wenning has been working for the European Commission, DG Environment, since 1992. Her experience in developing and implementing environmental policies, also cutting across transport, agriculture, regional, industrial, research and development policy areas includes the economic aspects of environmental policy, programme management in Asia as well as negotiations at European and international/UNECE level, in particular with regard to the Kyoto, the Montreal and the Gothenburg Protocols.

Ulla Li Zweifel

Ulla Li Zweifel

Ulla Li Zweifel is Professional Secretary for the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) which is the governing body of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (Helsinki Convention). She is responsible for the management of work of the HELCOM Working Groups on Monitoring and Assessment (MONAS), Nature protection and Biodiversity (HABITAT), and the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan and the regional coordination for the implementation of the MSFD (GEAR).


Dr. Zweifel has a research background in microbial ecology with specific interest in the role of diversity in marine biogeochemical cycling. She has worked with applied aspects of marine management for more than 10 years, including project management for HELCOM thematic assessment on biodiversity and marine assessments for UNEP. In recent years she has chaired projects and groups with the task to develop indicators and define good environmental status for marine waters, both for HELCOM and OSPAR. Before taking on the position at HELCOM she worked at the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment.

Moderators

Aminda R. Leigh

Aminda R. Leigh

Aminda R. Leigh has 25 years’ experience as a professional journalist, working for BBC radio and TV for over a decade. She moved to Italy in 2001 and now works as a reporter, producer, moderator, trainer and translator for Italian, European and international clients. Her areas of specialism include environmental issues and climate change, media, culture and European affairs.

Aminda has moderated at Green Week for many years, as well as at conferences and events on subjects such as REACH chemical legislation, endocrine disrupters, LIFE nature projects, energy efficiency and civil protection, to name but a few.
Recognition for Aminda’s journalistic work includes an Honourable Mention at the 16th Webby Awards in 2012 (the Oscars® of the Internet) for a web-documentary on EU-US relations made for the European Commission. She is a published author.

Thompson

Rick Thompson

Rick worked for BBC News for 27 years, first as a reporter, presenter and producer, then holding senior positions at the Regional, National, and International levels. He was Editor Newsgathering for BBC World Service Radio and Television, and helped to launch the 24-hour channel “BBC World”; for four years he edited the main BBC TV evening news. Rick has a special interest in European journalism, and led a series of BBC training courses in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He also has a longstanding interest in the environment. He produced and presented wildlife documentaries, and was on the governing council of the RSPB for several years. Now Rick works as an independent consultant, running the “T-Media” network which specialises in the development of high-quality broadcasting in Europe. He is also a regular moderator of European conferences, such as Mobility Week, Europe Direct and Green Week. Rick is the Visiting Professor of Broadcast Journalism at the Birmingham City University.

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Contact: hope2014@milieu.be