THE CORE TEAM
YEW NETWORK LEAD
Elise is a young water professional passionate about water, the conservation and wise use of wetlands. Her turning point, which led her down the path of wetland conservation, was her experience working with the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in Switzerland, delving into the world of wetland-related international governance. From there, Elise went to share her passion for wetlands through environmental education working with children and the wider public at the Natural Regional Park of the Cotentin and Bessin Marshes in France. As a Research Assistant with the Australian Rivers Institute, Elise supported an ecological monitoring project of conservation projects in Australia, focusing particularly on Ramsar Sites. She recently completed a Master of Integrated Water Management with the International WaterCentre in Australia. For her Master's thesis, she focused on researching the role of Ramsar Sites in environmental water management. Today, as the lead of Youth Engaged in Wetlands, she coordinates a group of committed young professionals from around the world to shape this growing youth movement and steer it towards reaching its objectives. Elise is also the Youth representative for the World Wetland Network. In 2018, she led and contributed to the active participation of youth at Ramsar’s 13th Conference of the Parties, which led to the establishment of Youth Engaged in Wetlands.
FINANCE AND FUNDRAISING LEAD
Takuma Satoh from Japan, started to be involved with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands since he was a junior high school student. He participated in an environmental education program called KODOMO Ramsar, where he gained experience more about wetlands and the convention. He currently represent an NGO called Youth Ramsar Japan as a university student, where he plans projects, manages workshops, and applies for grants at Youth Ramsar Japan. His favourite wetland animal is the water shrew.
Adarsh from India, is a conservationist and researcher, currently working on community-engaged wetlands restoration and preservation. This biotechnology postgraduate from Agriculture College, Vellayani is the Principal Investigator and key resource person of ‘Revive Vellayani’ project which seeks to rejuvenate and restore the Fresh Water Lake and its biodiversity. He explored diverse wetlands from the world's largest and best-preserved freshwater wetland, The Pantanal in Brazil to the disaster resilient Mangroves of Pichavaram and even through the rare forest wetland ecosystem, Myristica Swamps of Southern Western Ghats. He also worked as the Youth Reporter for UNFCCC and UNICEF panelist at COP23, Bonn, Germany. He is also an internationally recognized photographer and documentarian. He won 2016 World Wetlands Day Photo Contest conducted by the Ramsar Convention with the theme “Wetlands are essential for Sustainable livelihood” and in 2017 he won UNFCCC Global video contest with theme “Oceans and Climate Change”. Being a Climate Activist, he believes, nature-based solution like wetlands restorations are the most viable solutions to deal with climate crisis and to attain disaster resilience. He promotes community Engaged, public- private participatory, intergenerational actions to explore and implement nature-based sustainable solutions.
COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH LEAD
Gab Mejia from the Philippines, is a conservation and adventure photographer, and emerging storyteller, who particularly advocates for the conservation of wetlands. He is a National Geographic Explorer, and has traveled and covered stories on nature from the receding glaciers of Patagonia for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as the 2017 Global Youth Wetlands Photo Contest Winner, to the critically-endangered dwarf buffalos for the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF). He is an avid adventurer and mountaineer, having scaled mountains across different continents from Northern Africa all the way to the Himalayas and South America. He works as part of the National Youth Council of WWF-Philippines to educate and empower the youth to protect and conserve wetlands and mountain ecosystems through the art of visual storytelling. He is a Jackson Wild Media Lab 2019 Fellow and is currently a Nikon Asia Trailblazer Ambassador for the Philippines and has presented stories as a TEDx speaker. Mejia is currently pursuing a civil engineering degree in the University of the Philippines as he aspires to become an environmental engineer integrating his career in the arts and science.
COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH TEAM
Nic Fabian from the Philippines, is a marketer by profession with a penchant for digital media, research, and campaign ideations. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Research from the University of the Philippines, her belief system has been anchored on the premise of, “So what?” By this premise, she has always aimed to delve into projects which have a contribution to the society at large –and so she did just that. For the past half-decade, she has involved herself into different causes such as: skills capacity building for ASEAN youth through the ASEAN Youth Leader’s Association; women empowerment through Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business Asia Chapter and She Talks Asia; digital literacy through Mano Amiga Pilipinas and Facebook APAC; and environmental awareness through the UP Marine Biological Society and Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines. Her stints in these organizations varied from doing on-ground research to organizing nationwide conferences and events which aimed to educate and empower its participants in rippling change at their chosen spaces in the society. Now, she’s currently the communications and outreach support for YEW while also maintaining a corporate day job in the Philippine FMCG industry.
CONSERVATION POLICY LEAD
Dylan Jones from Australia works in environmental policy and regulation, with a focus on biodiversity conservation as it relates to land, water and resource use. He holds a master of conservation science from a world-leading research centre (ARC-CEED), with a thesis on conservation decision making, and worked on field research in a number of wetland and dryland systems throughout Australia. He has experience on the development of environmental policy at local, state, national and international levels, through public consultation and negotiation and has written research papers and analysis reports which were used for government decision making. A couple of achievements include coordinating the development of a large multilateral wetland conservation project in Central Africa, and the management of a UNEA resolution on the impacts of armed conflict on the environment. He currently works as a senior policy officer in the Department of Environment and Science, in his home city of Brisbane.
AMERICAS REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
María from Ecuador is a mountain lover, scientist, puddle observer, ukulele novice, yoga practitioner, and climber. Born and raised in the Andes, she has specialized her research in studying how human pressures affect mountain peatlands. She has been lucky to work in awesome field and laboratory jobs that bolstered up her love for nature. She studied Environmental Engineering at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, followed with a Master’s in Applied Ecology from Michigan Technological University, and is currently studying a PhD at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. Based in Canmore, Alberta, she is studying how peatlands in the Canadian Rocky Mountains will be affected by a change in winter precipitation due to climate change. She looks forward to share her love for wetland and mountain ecosystems and support initiatives that empower youth to take action on wetland conservation and knowledge mobilization.
KNOWLEDGE AND CAPACITY BUILDING LEAD
ASIAN REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Bidhya from Nepal is currently a PhD student at Department of Geography, McGill University looking at Green House Gas Emissions from peat use in horticulture. With her first degree in Nepal, she did her MSc in Wetland Science and Conservation from Bangor University in 2018. Sharma is a 2017 Chevening Scholar awarded by Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK. She loves art, history and science and enjoys travel, fiction and outdoors. Coming from Nepal, mountains are the absolute love of her life. Sharma leads the Knowledge and Capacity building team which aims to bring together the youths involved in wetlands and building up network and knowledge sharing.
KNOWLEDGE AND CAPACITY BUILDING TEAM
Roger from Guinea is a Specialist in Managing Science-Policy Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services and was awarded by the IUCN in 2017 for protected areas management in West Africa, Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and a 2018 IPBES fellow on West Africa Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services programme in Cote D’Ivoire, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany and IKI. He is a project Associate and specialist of coastal wetlands management at Wetlands International Africa based in Dakar. ISNAD-Africa Mentee 2019 and Human Nature Project national Director of Guinea. He has work experiences in capacity building of young people, children and local communities and indigenous people in water resources and watershed management, wildlife conservation and mangrove ecosystems restoration. His research interests and expertise focused on wetlands ecosystems services assessment and restoration, socio-ecological resilience of coastal wetlands, seagrass, bio-monitoring, and promoting indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) on natural resources management. He is currently involved in the Integrated Management and Sustainable Development of the West African Coastal wetlands programme of Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar focused on Biodiversity in Mangrove ecosystems, Mangroves and Climate Change, Cultural aspects and the specificity of the inhabitants around the mangrove sites and other wetlands ecosystems. He is is on his master estimating ecological and socioeconomic values of mangrove ecosystems of Kapatchez Delta Ramsar site, Republic of Guinea.
AWA MANOUORE NYOJA
AFRICAN REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Awa Njoya from Cameroon is an engineer of water and sanitation and PhD student in hydrobiology and environment specializing in bacteriology at the University of Yaoundé I - Cameroon. She is the permanent secretary of the African Network Youth on Wetlands. Since 2018, Awa has coordinated the International Program Youth of Wetland in Cameroon to strengthen the capacities of youth on the importance of wetland protection. She is working with the NGO Volontariat Pour l’Environnement (VPE) in Cameroon on the issues related to wetlands and climate change. As a young focal point for the preservation of wetlands in Africa, she participates in several colloquium, conferences to share her experiences. In 2019, she was invited to the International Water Security Summit in Morocco to discuss the importance of wetland conservation on climate and youth action.
ASIAN REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Priyanka from India is a young scientist passionate about conservation and sustainable management of the wetlands. Her research interest focuses on understanding how various ecological aspects of wetlands are related to the socio-economic dimensions, livelihood sustenance and human well-being; besides, investigating the carbon sequestration potential of wetlands. A scientist with more than 8 years of working experience on Inland wetlands, she had also worked in coastal wetland ecosystems in New Jersey and California, USA. As the 2019 SWS Wetland Ambassador at the Drexel University in Pennsylvania, USA, she developed a project investigating the potential of biochar (a soil additive) in increasing the carbon sequestration potential of the wetland restoration projects. As a member of the Young Ecosystem Services Specialists (YESS), she co-hosted the technical session: ‘Engaging early career researchers to strengthen and communicate the science of Ecosystem Services in Asia” at the 2018 ESP-Asia Conference on ‘Communicating and Engaging Ecosystem Services in Policy and Practice in Asia’. Currently, finishing her PhD on conservation of a floodplain wetland from the ecosystem services perspectives at Assam University (India), she is the Asia lead of the Youth Engaged in Wetlands. She has recently joined the Wetland Ambassadors Committee of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS). Besides, she is also involved with various national and international conservation agencies and non-profit organizations. Recently, she has received the 2019 Green Talents Award from German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
OUR HONORABLE ALUMNI
TATIANA LOBATO DE MAGALHÃES
CONSERVATION POLICY TEAM
AMERICAS REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Tatiana from Brazil is a Agronomic Engineer with a Ph.D. in Biology and an international award-winning scientist and conservationist. Her professional history includes various research and administrative positions such as environmental monitoring coordinator at the Brazilian government and conservation specialist at The Nature Conservancy. She has worked with the academy, government, and non-governmental organizations from different countries, including rural and remote locations such as Amazon and Mexican highlands. Currently, she serves as chairwoman of the International Chapter at the Society of Wetland Scientists, is The Americas' representative at the YEW and part of the Conservation Policy team. She has been researching large-scale spatial patterns of aquatic plants, combining community, population, and landscape approaches. One example of her remarkable research is the study about climate change impacts on seeds in the Great Salt Lake wetlands, which she developed as an SWS Wetland Ambassador fellow at the Utah State University, USA. Her doctoral research on the Mexican geographically isolated temporary wetlands allowed her to win an award by the International Association of Landscape Ecology, the "José Mariano Mociño” Medal by the Mexican Society of Botany, and recognition as an outstanding doctoral student at the Autonomous University of Queretaro, Mexico.