Panel Members

Brian Child

Brian Child earned a B.Sc. (Hon) degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Zimbabwe, and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford (Rhodes Scholar) with a comparative study of the ecology and economics of livestock and wildlife in drylands in southern Africa.  He provided extension and research to private conservation landholders in Zimbabwe, and played a leading role in the development of Zimbabwe’s Communal Area Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE).  In Zambia he developed a sustainable park management system and a community conservation program in the Luangwa Valley, and introduced performance-based law enforcement in the greater Kafue ecosystem.  He chaired IUCN’s Southern African Sustainable Use Specialist Group for six years, promoting the concept of conservation as a local development strategy, and facilitating southern practitioners to publish five books or journal special editions.  He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Florida, with his research focusing on the institutional economics and governance of state, private and community conservation, but with a primary interest in developing new research/education approaches that bridge research and practice.  He has published or co-polished seven books and 60 peer-reviewed articles.   As a consultant he has planned or reviewed over seventy projects on park and community sustainability or educational capacity building for numerous development agencies (UNDP/GEF, NORAD, USAID, World Bank, Danida).   He also works for The Nature Conservancy to develop governance, livelihoods and economic monitoring systems for large landscapes.

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Ricardo Barra

Dr. Barra received his degree in biochemistry in 1988 from the University of Concepción and is Ph.D. in environmental Sciences from the same university in 1993.  He has been postdoctoral research fellow (Marie Curie) at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Milan, Italy during 1995-1996 period.Since 1993 Dr. Ricardo Barra, is at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences/EULA-Chile Environmental Sciences. His areas of specialization are, environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology and regulatory issues.

During the last years Dr. Barra has been working in different areas in the field of  environmental chemistry and toxicology, mainly in the field of environmental fate and effects of Persistent Organic Pollutants, emerging contaminants and mercury compounds.  In 2001 he was appointed as regional coordinator  (South American region) of a project  for performing a regionally based assessment of persistent toxic substances, then coordinated  by UNEP-Chemicals and in 2003 was part of a team that released a global report for UNEP regarding Persistent Toxic Substances. During 2004-2007 period was appointed by the National Commission on the Environment (CONAMA) on behalf of the Chilean University Council as advisor of the Consultative council of the Commission. Since 2004 was deputy director of Research and Education at the EULA Chile Environmental Sciences Centre, University of Concepción and in 2011 was designated as Director. In October 2007 – December 2008 he was nominated President of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Latin America (SETAC LA). In 2008 he receipts the Bio-Bio regional prize on the Environment granted by the Regional Commission on the Environment and the Presidency of the Biobio region. In 2008 he was nominated as a member for a 4 year period of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) of the Stockholm Convention where he chaired the group for the analysis of the endosulfan proposal to be nominated as POP. In  2011, he was granted with the municipal prize in applied research by the city major of Concepcion. In 2010-2011 he contributed as coordinating lead author to the chapter Chemicals and Wastes in the Global Environmental Outlook GEO-5, released in June 2012 just before the Rio+20 conference. In 2010 he contributes to the development of the GEF Guidance of  Emerging chemicals management issues, together with Henk Bowmann (South Africa) and Minh H Wong (Hong Kong, China). In 2014 was appointed as a panel member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). Currently, he is involved in research regarding chemical risks of POPs and emerging contaminants in Chile. He has published over 80 papers in international peer reviewed journals and several book chapters.

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Annette Cowie

Annette Cowie has a background in soil science and plant nutrition, with particular interest in sustainable resource management. She is the Director of Rural Climate Solutions, a joint venture between NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the University of New England. Previously Annette led the New Forests research program in the NSW DPI for ten years, researching environmental services from planted forests, focusing on greenhouse gas mitigation, amelioration of dryland salinity and land rehabilitation through use of recycled organics. Annette is also Co-Task Leader of the International Energy Agency Bioenergy research group on Greenhouse Gas Balances of Biomass and Bioenergy Systems.

Annette’s particular expertise and research interests include:

  • Sustainable land management – indicators, assessment and policy development
  • Soil carbon dynamics in agriculture and forestry: Sustainability assessment of bioenergy and biochar systems, including land use change issues and certification
  • Life cycle assessment, especially to assess the carbon footprint of wood products, and climate change mitigation value of reforestation, bioenergy and biochar systems
  • Synergies between environmental goals through sustainable land management
  • Estimation and accounting for GHG emissions and removals in agriculture and forestry, for inventory and emissions trading

During 2011, Annette was one of the six members of the Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee, an independent expert committee that was established to assess offset methodologies proposed under Australia’s Carbon Farming Initiative. Annette is a member of the International Standards Organisation working group developing the standard for quantifying and communicating the carbon footprint of products, and the committee developing sustainability criteria for bioenergy. She has more than 50 peer reviewed publications, largely focused on terrestrial carbon cycle, GHG accounting and sustainable land management.

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Thomas E. Lovejoy

Thomas E. Lovejoy is currently Biodiversity Chair and he was formerly President of The Heinz Center since May 2002. Before coming to The Heinz Center, he was the World Bank’s Chief Biodiversity Advisor and Lead Specialist for Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean and Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation.

Dr. Lovejoy has been Assistant Secretary and Counselor to the Secretary at the Smithsonian Institution, Science Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior, U.S., and Executive Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund–U.S. He conceived the idea for the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems project (a joint project between the Smithsonian and Brazil’s INPA), originated the concept of debt-for-nature swaps, and is the founder of the public television series Nature. In 2001 he was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Dr. Lovejoy served on science and environmental councils or committees under the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations. He received his B. S. and Ph.D. (biology) degrees from Yale University.

Dr Lovejoy is the author of over 240 papers and 8 books and is an authority on biodiversity and sustainable forest management and on climate change and its impacts on living systems. He is particularly well-known for his extensively published work on Amazonian ecology, and he currently advises more than 100 international, governmental and non-governmental organizations and is the recipient of many awards and honor.

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Ferenc L. Toth

Dr. Ferenc L. Toth received his M.Sc. (1978) and PhD (1982) in economics from the Budapest University of Economics and a second doctorate (1994) in economics from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Toth worked as Senior Energy Economist and Unit Head at the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) in Vienna, Austria between 2003 and 2015. Previously he worked as a senior scientist and project leader on climate change, sustainable development, energy, and environmental studies at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria and at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Potsdam, Germany. His current activities are also in the domains of climate change, sustainable development, energy-economy-environment linkages, and energy economics. Dr. Toth served as Coordinating Lead Author and Lead Author of several chapters in the Working Groups II and III of several Assessment Reports and Special Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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Blake Ratner

Dr. Blake Ratner is Executive Director, Collaborating for Resilience—a cross-regional initiative working to address environmental resource competition and strengthen governance and livelihood resilience in interconnected resource domains and landscapes. The initiative works with partners to build capacity for structured, multi-stakeholder dialogue to assess the roots of resource conflict and to foster innovations that build resilient local economies, sustain critical ecosystem services, and increase social and economic well-being.

Dr. Ratner is the immediate past Director General of WorldFish, the CGIAR research institute dedicated to strengthening livelihoods and increasing food and nutrition security through fisheries and aquaculture. As chief executive, Dr. Ratner launched a six-year strategy, leveraging science to pursue transformational shifts in policies, institutional capacities and investments in these sectors, emphasizing private entrepreneurship, gender equity, and climate resilience. CGIAR, the global partnership for a food secure future, combines the efforts of over 10,000 scientists and staff working in over 60 countries across the globe.

Dr. Ratner has published widely on rights, equity, and accountability in environmental decision-making, drawing on insights from action research to inform both policy and practice. As member of the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel, he has responsibility as adviser on international waters, comprising both marine and freshwater systems, and works across focal areas on integrated approaches to achieve global environmental benefits and enhance environmental security.

Dr. Ratner has been based in Southeast Asia for 13 years (Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia), and has led program implementation in China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia. Early in his career he led a regional program on mountains, forests, and watershed governance at the World Resources Institute, co-led an initiative on stakeholder engagement in lending programs and policy advisory services at the World Bank, and worked with social entrepreneurs in Guatemala and the Palestinian Occupied Territories. He is fluent in French, Spanish, and Khmer, and holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Sociology and a Masters in Development Administration, both from Cornell University.

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Rosina Bierbaum

Dr. Rosina Bierbaum’s experience extends from climate science into foreign relations and international development. She is a Professor and Dean Emerita at the University of Michigan with appointments in both the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and the School of Public Health. She also served on President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and is a lead author of the U.S. National Climate Assessment, and an Adaptation Fellow at the World Bank. Previously, Dr. Bierbaum served for two decades in both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government, and ran the first Environmental Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She was selected by the World Bank to co-direct its prestigious World Development Report in 2010, which focused on climate change and development.

Dr. Bierbaum is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Ecological Society of America, and received the American Geophysical Union’s Waldo Smith award for “extraordinary service to Geosciences”, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Climate Protection Award”. She is also a board member for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Federation of American Scientists, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.

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Ralph E. Sims

Professor Ralph Sims began his career in Sustainable Energy at Massey University, New Zealand in 1971 making and testing biodiesel. After 4 years recently based at the IEA (International Energy Agency) in Paris as a senior analyst working on Renewable Energy and climate change mitigation, he has now returned to his position at Massey of Professor of Sustainable Energy, and Director, Centre for Energy Research.

For the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace prize, he was a lead author covering renewable energy and agriculture for the 3rd Assessment Report (2001), led the chapter on “Energy Supply” in the IPCC 4th Assessment Report 2007, the “Integration” chapter in the Special Report on Renewable Energy for Climate Change Mitigation (2011) and is currently leading the “Transport” chapter of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (to be published in 2014). Ralph is currently undertaking consulting projects for UNEP, UN FAO, REN 21 and OECD. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers and of the UK Institute of Agricultural Engineers, a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand and received the 2010 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) of which he was a Ministerial Board Member appointee for 3 terms.

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