Forum 2012 Speaker Profiles

Forum Facilitator

Named 'Best News Anchor" at the ninth Asian Television Awards, Ms. Veronica Pedrosa is a veteran of more than 20 years' international news experience. She has lived and worked in three continents, and during her career she has made significant contributions to the world’s best known news broadcasts. Veronica has built up a reputation as one of the world’s most recognizable Asian journalists.

Opening Session and Keynote Addresses

Introductory Remarks: Mr. Lee Baker (ADAPT Asia-Pacific), Dr. Daisuke Sano (ADAPT Asia-Pacific)

Dr. Kit Batten is the Global Climate Change Coordinator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In this capacity, Dr. Batten serves to coordinate all climate change activities across all bureaus in the Agency.

Prior to her appointment at USAID, Dr. Batten was Senior Science and Policy Fellow and Program Director at the Heinz Center’s Institute for Science Communication and Policy Development. In this role, she taught scientists from academia, government, and non-governmental organizations how to communicate about the results of their research with policy makers and the media.

Dr. Batten has a strong working relationship with members of Congress, White House offices, many Federal Agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities, and other stakeholders. She has frequently participated in television, radio, and print media communication about science, climate change policy, and energy policy. She received a B.A. in chemistry from Oberlin College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California (UC), Davis.

Mr. Bindu N. Lohani is Vice-President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development and a member of the ADB’s Management Team.

He is responsible for ADB’s Regional and Sustainable Development Department, Economics and Research Department (Office of the Chief Economist), Office of Regional Economic Integration, Regional and Sustainable Development Department (RSDD), and Office of Information Systems and Technology.

Prior to assuming his current post, Mr. Lohani was Vice-President for Finance and Administration of ADB. During his 25 years in the Bank, Mr. Lohani held several positions, including Director General of RSDD (responsible for sectoral and thematic areas like energy, water, transport, urban development, education, environment, gender and social development, and governance). Concurrently he was Chief Compliance Officer; Special Advisor to the President on Clean Energy, Climate Change and Environment; Secretary of the Bank; and Deputy Director General for the Infrastructure Department and Office of Environment and Social Department.

Dr. Lohani holds a doctorate degree in Environmental Engineering. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering of United States, a diplomat of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Council. Dr. Lohani served on the 18-member Blue Ribbon Committee for Grand Challenges for Engineering for the 21st Century, an American National Science Foundation’s project, to identify the world's greatest challenges and opportunities in the next century.

Ms. Elisea "Bebet" Gozun is Presidential Assistant II for Climate Change for the Philippines Government. She also serves as a member of the Manila Bay Advisory Committee providing support to the Supreme Court in implementing the continuing mandamus for the Manila Bay clean up. She served as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources from December 2002 to September 2004. Before rejoining the government, she chaired and was a President of the Earth Day Network Philippines, a movement which aims to make caring for mother earth the concern of all. She was also Program Director for the environment of Gawad Kalinga and a Project Director of the City Development Strategy (CDS) project of Cities Alliance with League of Cities of the Philippines. An activist involved with many NGOs, she also served as consultant on environmental management and urban development for many development agencies and was the 2007 UNEP Champion of the Earth for Asia and the Pacific.

Adaptation Finance: Global Landscape of Available Resources and Discussion with Fund Managers

Moderator : Ms. Ornsaran Pomme Manuamorn (ADAPT Asia-Pacific)

A physicist by training, Dr. Bonizella (Boni) Biagini has worked on climate change mitigation and adaptation over the last 20 years in Europe and United States and in cooperation with developing country partners worldwide. She has also an extensive experience in climate change negotiations, having participated in all 16 Conference of the Parties (COPs), from Berlin in 1995 to Cancun in 2010. As Head of the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Operations Unit at the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Boni Biagini helped shaping the operational programmes that financed some of the first concrete adaptation investments at the World Bank, UNDP, IFAD, FAO, AfDB and ADB in partnership with the GEF.

She is currently responsible for the GEF Adaptation programme and portfolio of the GEF and manages the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). She is managing a $650 million project portfolio aimed at financing adaptation in vulnerable countries. She was selected to be part of the group of scientists who shaped the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, is a contributor and reviewer of the IPCC Third and Fourth Assessments Report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, and is the author of numerous publications on climate change science and politics, including the report Confronting Climate Change: Economic Priorities and Climate Protection in Developing Nations.

Dr. David McCauley heads ADB’s Climate Change Programme Coordination unit, providing policy and technical direction to ADB’s climate change programmes at the project, country and regional levels.

He is also responsible for the coordination of ADB’s climate change efforts with external parties, and serves as frequent spokesperson for ADB’s climate change work.

Dr. McCauley has worked at ADB for 8 years and previously served as a Senior Consultant Advisor to the ADB, UNDP, UNEP, World Bank, and others, having lived and worked in Asia and the Pacific region for over 20 years, including as a resident of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and with ADB in the Philippines.

Prior to joining ADB, he worked for the Ford Foundation, Harvard Institute for International Development, East-West Center, International Resources Group and USAID. He holds a doctorate degree in resource economics from the University of Hawaii; with undergraduate trainings in environmental policy, biology and meteorology.

Mr. Dethie S. Ndiaye, a forestry expert, is Coordinator of the Adaptation Fund Bureau at the Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE) in Dakar, the first National Implementing Entity (NIE) accredited by the Adaptation Fund. He is also Senior Programme Officer in charge of the Major Programme “Natural Resources Management and Local Development,” at the CSE.

Mr. Dethie has been a panellist at the Pan African Parliament Workshop on Climate Change, organized by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (HBS) Southern Africa Office in 2011. He was also a speaker at the Adaptation Fund’s side event on the fringe of the UNFCCC COP17 in Durban.

In the 4.11 issue of the journal Perspectives, Mr. Dethie gave an interview on “Direct access as an act of empowerment and ownership”.

Mr. Sean Batten has been Director for Climate Change Policy and Adaptation  of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) for the last two years, managing AusAID’s portfolio of adaptation programs (and also AusAID’s REDD+ programs for part of that time).  Prior to that he was an advisor to Australia’s Foreign Minister on  a range of aid and Pacific issues. Before 2008 he held a number of other roles in the Australian Government on broadcasting, finance, health and education policy.

In his current role he manages Australia’s International Climate Change Adaptation Inititaive ($A328.2 over five years) which funds a range of activities - basic science, adaptation planning, capacity building and on-the-ground activities.

He holds a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering and a Master of Public Policy.

Mr. Kyosuke Inada is the Advisor for Climate Change at the Global Environment Department of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), responsible for strategy planning and agency-wide coordination of climate change issues. He has been engaged in Japan’s international development finance for nearly 20 years. He has served as 1) Representative, Beijing Office. 2) Deputy Director for Corporate Finance, contributing as a core member of the team that designed Japan Carbon Finance Ltd.  3) Deputy Director for an operation in Africa.

He studied Economics at the Keio University in Japan, before obtaining a

Master of Science in Environmental Change and Management at the University of Oxford. He studied Chinese at the Peking University.

Mr. Walter Kennes has worked more than 25 years for the European Commission on development cooperation-related issues. He started working with food security and moved on to macroeconomic adjustment, and later to trade and development. He has been a head of the sectors of regional integration (1995-2002) and environment and natural resources (2006-2011). Since mid-2011 he was appointed to implement the coordination of EU regional cooperation in Asia, focusing in particular on ASEAN as well as on environment, forestry and climate change issues.

Outlook for Future Adaptation Funding

Dr. David McCauley (see above the session ‘Adaptation Finance: Global Landscape of Available Resources and Discussion with Fund Managers’)

The Role of Multilateral Organizations in Facilitating Access of  Developing Countries to Global Adaptation Funds

Moderator: Dr. Peter King (ADAPT Asia-Pacific)

Dr. Magda Lovei has been working at the World Bank since 1993, focusing on environmental policy,  institutional and financing issues,  investment projects, policy-based lending operations, and analytical and technical assistance programmes for Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Currently she is Sector Manager for Social, Environment and Rural Development for the East Asia and Pacific regions, overseeing social development, environment, and rural development operations and programmes. She holds a doctorate degree in Economics from Hungary, and MBA in finance from George Washington University (GWU) in the United States. She is an author of the Bank’s first Environment Strategy and other several publications.

Mr. Nessim Ahmad is Director of the Environment and Social Safeguards Division (RSES), concurrently Practice Leader for Environment, and Chair of ADB’s Community of Practice on Environment. Mr. Ahmad’s current responsibilities include (i) advising management and operations departments on ADB's safeguard policies on environment, indigenous peoples, and involuntary resettlement, including compliance of all ADB’s projects with these policies; and (ii) promoting ADB's environment agenda, including addressing global environmental issues, fostering regional cooperation, and mainstreaming environment in ADB’s operations.

Dr. Pradeep Kurukulasuriya is Senior Technical Advisor for Adaptation at UNDP.  He leads UNDP’s support to countries around the world to access finance from vertical funds such as the GEF’s Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF), Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), recently established funds such as the Kyoto Protocol’s Adaptation Fund and bilateral finance. In 2011, the UNDP Environmental Finance team supported over 24 countries around the world to access and start utilizing grant funding to address adaptation priorities in the context of green low emission, climate resilience development. Dr. Kurukulasuriya holds a doctorate degree in Environmental Economics from Yale University and his works on the economics of adaptation are published in international journals.

Dr. Dechen Tsering has been with UNEP since 2006 and in the position of Deputy Regional Director of UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (UNEP.RRCAP) since July 2008. In Asia and the Pacific, UNEP operates through its Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and works in 44 countries and covers the six cross-cutting thematic priority areas namely, i) Climate Change; ii) Disasters and Conflicts; iii) Ecosystem Management; iv) Environmental Governance; v) Harmful Substances and Hazardous Waste; and vi) Resource Efficiency. Dr. Tsering has over 20 years of experience in national governments and intergovernmental organizations including the World Bank. She has considerable experience in international environmental negotiations and has been involved in the Rio processes,  particularly the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Dr. Tsering holds a doctorate degree from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, a master’s degree from the Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California (UC), Berkeley.

Developing Country Experience in Preparing Adaptation Projects and Accessing Adaptation Funds

Moderator: Mr. Sarvat Maharramov (ADAPT Asia-Pacific)

Mr. Wilbur Dee is presently Director at GlobalPartners, Inc., a new import corporation. He is Chairman and President at Techair Global, Inc. which is a three year old corporation that manages a plant to recycle and treat oil sludge. In November 2011, he was appointed as Program Manager of the Philippine Climate Change Adaptation Project (PhilCAPP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Science and Technology, funded by the GEF-World Bank.

Mr. Dee holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of the Philippines and a Master of Science in Environmental Science form the State University of New York under the scholarship of the United Nations food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Mr. Syamphone Sengchandala is a Director of the Climate Change Office, Department of Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) in Lao PDR. He is a national focal point of the UNFCCC and Adaptation Fund. His experiences have involved developing key documents and activities for: First National Communication activity (to implement the UNFCCC), National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs), Technology Need Assessment, National Strategy on Climate Change, NAPA follow up 1: Climate Resilient Agriculture Project, NAPA follow up 2: Effective Governance for Small-Scale Rural Infrastructure and Disaster Preparedness in a Changing Climate, and Capacity Enhancement for Coping with Climate Change.

Ms. Tri Dewi Virgiyanti (Virgi) has been working at Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS) of the Republic of Indonesia since 1997. BAPPENAS is a national agency responsible for formulating Indonesia National Development Plan in cooperation with the line ministries and local governments. BAPPENAS is also responsible for coordinating the formulation of national programs funded by external donors. Ms. Virgi has been positioned in Directorate of Environment as Deputy Director for Environmental Pollution and Degradation Control since 2008. One of her tasks is to coordinate the formulation of Climate Change Adaption Strategy and National Action Plan, and its mainstreaming process into the national development program and budgeting. She has been actively involved in the formulation and establishment of Climate Change Program Loan, Indonesia Climate Change Trust Fund and Indonesia National Action Plan on Reducing GHG Emissions. She graduated from Bandung Institute of Technology, majoring in Environmental Engineering in 1995 and obtained a master’s degree from Australian National University in Environmental Management and Development in 1999.

Ms. Diane McFadzien is the Climate Change Adaptation Advisor at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Apia, Samoa.  Originally from the Cook Islands, Ms. McFadzien previously worked as National Climate Change Coordinator at the Government  of Cook Islands, as Pacific Climate Change Coordinator at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Fiji, and as Asia-Pacific Policy Coordinator for WWF International, before moving to Samoa to work for SPREP in 2010.  Ms. McFadzien’s work at SPREP involves supporting a variety of adaptation projects across the Pacific region, as well as assisting countries within the international climate policy negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Mr. Dethie S. Ndiaye (see above the session ‘Adaptation Finance: Global Landscape of Available Resources and Discussion with Fund Managers’)

Capacity Building for Adaptation Project Preparation in Asia and the Pacific

Moderator: Mr. Robert Dobias (ADAPT Asia-Pacific)

Dr. Srikantha Herath is currently Academic Director of the Postgraduate Programmes and Senior Academic Programme Officer at the Institute of Peace and Sustainability of United Nations University in Tokyo Japan. He is trained as Civil Engineer and received his Ph. D. from the University of Tokyo in Hydrology and Water resources. His work experiences include Civil and Irrigation Engineer in Sri Lanka, Senior Research Engineer and Consulting in Japan, and as Associate Professor and Guset Foreign Professor at the University of Tokyo. He has wide experience in conducting research programs in water and disaster risk reduction fields in a number of Asian countries and is engaged in collaborative programs in EU and Oceania. Currently he coordinates University Network for Climate and Ecosystems Adaptation Research, which is a consortium of leading universities in Asia, developing common educational and research programs for climate and ecosystems change adaptation

Dr. Pradeep Kurukulasuriya (See above the session ‘The Role of Multilateral Organizations in Facilitating Access of  Developing Countries to Global Adaptation Funds’)

Dr.  Supat  Wangwongwatana is the Secretary General of the Office of Natural Resources and  Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand. The Office is the primary organization responsible for Thailand’s climate change policies and negotiations. Last year, he attended the UNFCCC conference at Durban, South Africa as part of the Thai delegation. Before joining ONEP, Dr. Supat worked as a Director General of Pollution Control Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for more than 5 years. He has also been closely involved in the WHO Expert Advisory Panel in the area of air and water pollution, and has been Chairperson of Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network, and Director of Thailand Air Pollution Center of Excellence (TAPCE). Furthermore, he has been teaching on environmental and engineering programs in various universities and institutes.

Dr. Supat received his Ph.D. (Air Pollution Engineering) from University of Cincinnati, U.S.A. in 1988. He was also awarded Honorary Degree (Air Quality Training and Management) by Air Pollution Training Institute, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S.A..

Ms. Elisea "Bebet" Gozun  (See above the ‘Opening Session’)

Mr. Steve Why has worked in the beautiful coral atolls of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) since 2004 on partnerships promoting conservation, environment, and solid waste management improvements. Originally from the UK, Mr. Why has enjoyed living and working on development opportunities with the Pacific Islands people since 1980. Now, deeply concerned about global warming, he recently completed a master’s degree at UK’s Plymouth University researching and better understanding sea level rise, coastal processes underlying atoll morphological resilience, and adaptation strategies. He was recently recruited by RMI national government as Senior Climate Change Advisor at the Office of Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination, Office of the President, supported through a two-year US Embassy/OES grant.

Ms. Lisa Kircher Lumbao is a Senior Environmental Expert with over 19 years of professional experience in Asia. She is currently a consultant on the USAID Environmental Cooperation-Asia (ECO-Asia) program and USAID Climate Change Adaptation Project Preparation Facility for Asia and the Pacific (ADAPT Asia-Pacific) project.  Most recently, she was Chief of Party of the USAID Philippine Sanitation Alliance, which worked with cities, the private sector and water utilities to develop low-cost wastewater treatment and sanitation projects. Ms. Lumbao is certified as Qualified Environmental Professional by the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice and has a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Yale University.

Challenges and Ways Forward to Facilitate Access to Global  Adaptation Finance

Facilitator: Ms. Veronica Pedrosa

Mr. Bradford Philips is Regional Climate Change Adaptation Adviser with USAID’s Regional Environment Office in the Regional Development Mission for Asia. He has lived and worked in the Asia- Pacific Region for over 30 years, and was most recently engaged in the areas of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center and the World Bank. His previous tenure with Asian Development Bank (ADB) spanned 20 years. His last two positions prior to his retirement in 2006 were those of Country Director for Vietnam and Director of ADB’s regional Agriculture, Natural Resources and Social Sector Division. Mr. Philips has worked in most countries across Asia and has lived for a year or more in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Dr. Peter King (See below ‘ADAPT Asia-Pacific’ )

Mr. Robert Dobias (See below ‘ADAPT Asia-Pacific’ )

Closing Session

Facilitator: Ms. Veronica Pedrosa

Mr. Winston H. Bowman is Regional Environment Director with USAID’s Regional Environment Office in the Regional Development Mission for Asia. As USAID’s Regional Environment Director for Asia, Mr. Bowman manages regional environmental programs in a wide range of areas,including climate change and clean energy, clean water and sanitation, biodiversity conservation, and environmental governance. 

Prior to joining USAID in October 2003, Mr.Bowman was the Program Director for the EcoLinks Partnership Grants Program in Eastern Europe.   This USAID-funded program was administered by the Institute  of International Educationand designed to develop market-based solutions to urban and industrial environmental problems.  Prior to that assignment, he was Deputy Director for Programs at the Regional EnvironmentalCenter for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), an independent organization supported by 26 governments, dedicated to promoting regional cooperation in environmental problem-solving.  Mr.Bowman also served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Hungary.  He received his undergraduate degree from Claremont McKenna College and his MBA in international management from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Mr. Lee Baker (See below ‘ADAPT Asia-Pacific’ )

Climate Change Adaptation Project Preparation Facility for Asia and the Pacific (ADAPT Asia-Pacific)

Mr. Lee Baker is Chief of Party for USAID ADAPT Asia-Pacific, with overall programmatic and technical responsibility for program implementation. Mr. Baker is an urban development specialist and senior AECOM manager with more than 30 years of broad-based urban project formulation and implementation, policy development, and program management experience principally on major donor-assisted assignments. Prior to joining ADAPT Asia-Pacific, he was based in New Delhi for AECOM as Chief of Party of the long-running USAID FIRE-D project, which achieved a number of  firsts in South Asia in the financing of municipal infrastructure and participation of the private sector in the provision of urban water and sanitation services. For over 20 years, Mr. Baker has led project teams across the Asia region, including Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Mr. Baker holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Mr. Sarvat Maharramov is the Deputy Chief of Party for the USAID ADAPT Asia-Pacific. He has more than 10 years of experience in project development and implementation, capacity building and training, and program monitoring and evaluation.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Maharramov worked as a Program Manager for AECOM International Development and Program Development Specialist for USAID managing large scale technical assistance programs in Asia, Middle East and Eastern Europe.  Originally from Azerbaijan, Mr. Maharramov received his Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, where he specialized in public management and policy analysis.  He also received his Master in International Affairs at Baku State University in Azerbaijan. 

Mr. Robert Dobias is Adaptation Funds and Capacity Building Team Leader for ADAPT Asia-Pacific project. He has lived and worked in Asia continuously since 1978 when he came to Thailand as a US Peace Corp volunteer. He spent his first 16 years working in the villages and forests of Thailand, Nepal, and Lao PDR, and with policy makers, to promote the integration of economic growth and environmental protection. In 1994 he joined the Asian Development Bank as an Environment Specialist. He left ADB in December as Senior Advisor and Head of ADB’s Climate Change Coordination Program.

Dr. Peter King has been an avid environmentalist since undergraduate days at Melbourne University and has maintained an abiding passion for 40 years. He started his career in the Soil Conservation Authority in the state of Victoria and became a Land Studies Coordinator in Victoria’s first Ministry for Conservation. He spent some time at the Environment and Policy Institute, East-West Center in Hawaii and then set up his own environmental consulting company.

Following some successful work for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as consultant in 1984-88, he started working with the ADB in March 1991 as  Environment Specialist in the Office of Environment. He established a sound reputation as ADB’s leading natural resources management (“green”) expert, with responsibility for over 50 loan and Technical Assistace (TA) projects.

In 1998, he was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science from Murdoch University in Perth, with a thesis entitled Integrated Economic and Environmental Planning at Sub-national Level in Asia.

In 2005, he took early retirement from ADB and is currently Senior Policy Advisor for the Institute of Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), heads the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) secretariat, and is Team Leader for the Adaptation Project Preparation and Finance of ADAPT Asia-Pacific project.

Dr. Daisuke Sano is Knowldege Management Team Leader of ADAPT Asia-Pacific. He has been with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) since 2005 and is currently a Director of the IGES Regional Centre based in Bangkok. He has been engaged in various projects including climate change adaptation, biofuels, sustainable agriculture, and the impacts of trade liberalization. He has been working on the agricultural/environmental issues for 20 years since he started his career at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan as a technical officer. He holds a doctorate degree in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida.

Ms. Ornsaran Pomme Manuamorn is Regional Technical Coordinator for the ADAPT Asia-Pacific project. At ADAPT Asia-Pacific, she analyzes global financial resources for climate change adaptation focusing on multilateral and bilateral funds.

Concurrently, she serves as Environmental Governance Specialist for the USAID-funded Environmental Cooperation-Asia (ECO-Asia) project, where she handles projects related to mainstreaming climate change in environmental impact assessments and enhancing capacity in water resources planning the Mekong region.

Between 2004-2009, Ms. Manuamorn was Operations Analyst at the Agriculture and Rural Development Department at the World Bank in Washington DC, during which she provided technical and operational support to countries in Asia to develop innovative agricultural insurance schemes and improve access to rural finance.

Ms. Manuamorn holds a MPA in International Development from Princeton University, USA and a M.Phil in International Relations from Cambridge University, England. She received a B.A. in Political Science from Chulalongkorn Univerisity, Thailand


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