THE CORE TEAM
Hugo from Portugal is currently a PhD student at the University of Aveiro (Portugal) in collaboration with Tour du Valat, a research centre for the conservation of Mediterranean wetlands in Southern France. Hugo’s interest in the natural world started in his early days, when he watched nature documentaries and TV shows with his father. Following his passion and curiosity, he completed his undergraduate and master’s degree in biology and ecology at the University of Minho in Portugal. Despite starting as a marine biologist, he is now assessing the processes influencing population dynamics of the Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) throughout the annual cycle, and in doing so, gathering a comprehensive overview of the mechanisms beyond the inter-individual variation in migration tendencies. Due to his passion for science communication and his time as a European volunteer, Hugo is very active in sharing his journey, work, and youth activism, being an ambassador of campaigns like the #powerofWetalnds of Youth Engaged in Wetlands and the Role Models campaign from the Portuguese Youth Institute. Like many before him, Hugo was changed by the Camargue, where he discovered the magic of the Wetlands and the need to protect them.
Clarisa from Venezuela works in regulatory tech as a Sustainability Analyst at Greenomy. Her work involves climate finance and environmental regulation at the regional and international levels. She is an International Relations Graduate at IE University in Spain. Her main areas of interest are environmental policy and the role of natural resources in international relations. She studied the role of policy in all levels of governance and now aims to help bridge the gap between wetland scientists and environmental policymakers by making policy more accessible and tangible. She is a nonfiction reader, a novice climber, and she won't hike but if you see a snake, she'll be there.
CONSERVATION POLICY ADVISOR
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.
MATTHEW VINCENT TABILOG
KNOWLEDGE & CAPACITY BUILDING LEAD
Matthew, from the Philippines is the founder of Mangrove Matters PH and our organization seeks to mainstream the idea of mangrove conservation in the Philippines. In addition, he is currently working on blue carbon research on mangrove ecosystems.
AMERICAS REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Wendy Ampuero from Peru got involved in conserving coastal wetlands when she volunteered to clean beaches and wetlands while studying Engineering and Environmental Management at Universidad Científica del Sur in Lima. During her undergraduate studies, she was part of a project to identify and estimate the consequences of anthropogenic fires in coastal wetlands ecosystem services. Thus, she published the manuscript: Estimating the carbon stored in a Schoenoplectus americanus community in the coastal wetland Los Pantanos de Villa. To specialize more in wetlands, she did an M.Sc. Geography at McGill University. Here, her research was focused on examining the relationship of the mass and volume of each component of belowground plant material in soils from three dominant vegetation characteristics of salt marshes on the NW Atlantic. Currently, she is doing her Ph.D. at the same Department and University, where her research proposal is to determine the climate feedbacks of freshwater impoundments created on agricultural lands, which, in turn, were created by draining salt marshes in the Cumberland Marsh Region of Canada’s Bay of Fundy. She also has experience in Solid Waste Management, implementing Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental Management Systems in the industrial and construction sectors. Wendy loves seafood, the beach and dancing. During her free time, she paints and does trekking.
AMERICAS REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Rodrigo Toledo from Chile is an oneironaut, agroecology enthusiast, scientist, poet, essayist, charcoal drawer, popular educator and environmental activist. Born and raised under the influence of the Biobio river, in Hualpén, he has developed a strong interest in the conservation and restoration of wetlands after years of studying and realizing he has always lived between and upon wetlands. He studied a biological sciences degree in Universidad de Chile specializing in biology of cognition and autopoietic systems research. In 2021, he was acknowledged by the Alife 2021 Conference for his essay “Egregores, Golems and Humanity” on the ethical challenges of the search for artificial life. During the pandemic crisis, he worked with socio ecological organizations and independent constitutional representatives in the development and policy-making of the ecological chapters of the proposal of New Constitution for Chile, in the Constitutional Convention. After the pandemic crisis, he continued studying, achieving a certification on Integral Wetland Management and Territorial Ordering. With extensive experience in volunteer working, environmental and popular education organizations, he is currently collaborating with the Biobio Wetlands Network and the Plurinational Wetlands Network of Chile, among other local socio ecological organizations with the goal of enforcing adequate protection to territorial wetlands ecosystems.
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.
AFRICAN REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Thandeka grew up and undertook most of her studies in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Although she started out in ecology, she quickly discovered that her first love was studying and working in wetland ecosystems. Aside from a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry, she holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Resources Management specializing in Land and Water Resources. For her MSc, she characterized the hydrology of the first officially documented peatland in Eswatini, located in the largest nature reserve in the country - Malolotja Nature Reserve. Currently, Thandeka is a student at the University of Pretoria in South Africa pursuing a PhD degree in Environmental Management. Her current research focuses on comparing land-use driven management differences in the ecohydrology, greenhouse gas fluxes and pysico-chemical composition of peatlands in her home country of Eswatini. Thandeka has experience working in and with nature reserves, communities and private landowners. She continues to raise awareness on wetland degradation and the value of wetlands to different kinds of stakeholders such as young people and policy and change makers.
ASIAN REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Ting from China is a writer and curator with particular focus on wetland governance, landscape anthropology and political ecology. She lands several columns includes "Nature and City"; in Urban China magazine and "A New Normal for Nature 普通人的自然"; in The Paper news. The later one is an ongoing monthly column with emphasize on survival challenges and the actions and desires of Chinese conservation practitioners under ecological anxiety. Ting studied Urban planning and design at the Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, followed with a Master’s in Landscape Architecture and an ongoing PhD Study in the Division of Landscape Architecture at The University of Hong Kong. Her Ph.D. dissertation explores the politics of mainstreamed wetland park constructions in Tai Lake Basin, Yangtze River Delta, China. Her design works have won competition awards and been exhibited in 2017 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture.
EUROPEAN REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
OCEANIA REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Ariana from Australia is a young environmental professional with a strong interest in the science-policy interface, particularly at the intersection of climate change and biodiversity conservation policies, including the application of nature-based solutions. Ariana is especially passionate about wetlands, and this has been the focus of much of her education and professional work. Ariana has an undergraduate Bachelors degree in science, majoring in ecology and zoology (with Honours) and a postgraduate Masters degree in Climate Change and Environmental Policy. Ariana strengthened her experience in the international wetlands policy space during her two years of experience working with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI). There her work included bringing awareness to the largest transboundary Ramsar site in the world, in the Congo Basin, which includes globally significant tropical peatlands, and supporting the adoption of two resolutions on peatlands at the Ramsar COP13 in 2018. Returning her focus back to Australia, Ariana’s Masters dissertation was a policy and policy process analysis focusing on mangrove and coastal wetlands restoration in Queensland, Australia, as a nature-based solution to climate change mitigation, adaptation, and biodiversity protection. Ariana is currently working in the Australian Government’s wetlands section on wetlands policy and programmes including implementing Australia’s Ramsar Convention obligations. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and exploring new wetlands.
FINANCE AND FUNDRAISING LEAD
Lucy from the UK can trace her passion for wildlife conservation back to her Blue Planet DVD box set, which offered a chance to see the amazing diversity of landscapes and wildlife that existed beyond her patch of busy London. She graduated with a degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology from Plymouth University in 2018, after which she worked as a marine researcher at the British Antarctic Survey and Trinity College Dublin/The Marine Institute. During this time, Lucy became increasingly interested in environmental justice and the application of social science methods in conservation, which led her to her current role as Research Officer in the Ecosystem Health and Social Dimensions Unit at WWT. She supports several projects spanning a range of topics related to people and wetlands, including health and wellbeing, blue carbon, cultural ecosystem services and the campaign to reduce lead ammunition poisoning of wetland wildlife. Lucy uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods in her research, including participatory research methods like PhotoVoice which aim to empower community members and democratize the research process. She is also a member of WWT’s Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging working group.
FINANCE AND FUNDRAISING OFFICER
Carola, from Italy, has been an activist for as long as she can remember. Despite a predominantly historical-literary background, which led her to a PhD in Comparative Literature between the University of Padua and the University of Limoges, her interest is aimed primarily at the environment. That is also why in 2021 she interrupted her teaching profession to devote herself to a seven-month trip to Eastern Europe (in the company of her beloved dog, Polly) to clean beaches and rivers of plastic. From this experience came an ever-increasing need for knowledge that led her to enroll in the Master's in Climate Change and Sustainability at the University of Pisa and the Master's in Sustainability and Circular Economy at the Rome Business School. She then collaborates with Treeonfy, for which she is project manager of reforestation projects in Italy, and published the divulgative volume "Plastichiadi," on plastics in the Mediterranean.
Her passion for wetlands comes from her grandfather, who managed, before the Ramsar Convention, some ponds in Sardinia, Italy.
LOCAL CHAPTER LEAD
Manamela Thakgatso is a young aspiring scientist who has obtained her BSc degree in Environmental Sciences and Resource studies at University of Limpopo, South Africa. She has a great passion for the environment and her substantial knowledge in environmental management, GIS and remote sensing ignites her interest for climate change, biodiversity conservation and water resources modelling.
Thakgatso is currently a researcher in the South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) for Biodiversity and change in the University of Venda, pursuing her Master’s degree. She’s a member of an organization for academics and researchers - Centre for Ecological and Sustainability Advisory where she deepens her knowledge and exposure in freshwater field and develop the necessary skills for environmental consulting.
She volunteers for the South Africa Youth Parliament for water and the South African Young Water Professionals through WISA where she’s currently the Financial Lead in the Limpopo Chapter. When she’s not talking about biodiversity and conservation, she’s advocating for meaningful youth participation and finding ways to try save the world, through sustainable initiatives and volunteerism. She also advocates for youth leadership and empowerment, across all sectors. Above all things, she believes that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Joie Didier Sossoukpe
COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH
Joie Didier is a dedicated Conservationist and Expert Junior Consultant with a strong focus on Protected and Conserved Areas Management. He holds two Master's degrees, one in Community Development from the University of Abomey Calavi in Benin, and the other in Protected Areas and Biodiversity Management from Senghor University in Alexandria, Egypt. With a rich educational background, he has honed his expertise in environmental conservation and sustainable community development.
Joie Didier has been an integral part of the Benin Environment and Education Society (BEES NGO) since 2016, where he holds the position of Program Assistant. Throughout his tenure at BEES, he has been actively involved in leading and supporting various projects aimed at the protection and conservation of Ramsar Sites in Benin. His approach involves engaging and collaborating closely with local communities to ensure the sustainability of these protected areas while addressing their needs and concerns.
Joie Didier has demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting Ramsar Sites in Benin, emphasizing the importance of these wetlands for biodiversity and local livelihoods. As a passionate ornithologist, he actively contributes to the protection and conservation of water birds, through ecological monitoring and participating each year in the International Census of Water birds in Benin. His future work will also focus on the restoration of mangrove ecosystems in Ramsar Site 1018 (Lower Ouémé Valley Biosphere Reserve in Benin).
Jord Earving Gadingan
COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH
Since 2014, the rural barangay is the place of practice of J.E. Gadingan as a writer and community worker. He initiated Sa Ngalan ng Lawa [For the Sake of the Lake] as an investigation of how the community learns and navigates freshwater environments. He spends restful weekends by the shore of Lake Taal, Philippines.
OUR HONORABLE ALUMNI
TATIANA LOBATO DE MAGALHÃES - BRAZIL/MEXICO
YEW Core Team member from October 2019 to December 2020
Tatiana joined YEW as the Conservation Policy Support Lead and Americas Regional Representative. Tatiana, from Brazil, is an Agronomic Engineer with a Ph.D. in Biology and an international award-winning scientist and conservationist. While serving as the chairwoman of the International Chapter at the Society of Wetland Scientists and Postdoc Researcher in Mexico, she dedicated her time, skills and ideas to support the development of Youth Engaged in Wetlands. In particular, as part of the Conservation Policy Team, Tatiana worked on the development of YEW’s Constitution and Bylaws, a crucial foundational document that establishes a formal structure and the procedures for YEW. Tatiana also helped develop a proposal of a Draft Resolution on Youth and provided thoughtful input and feedback on YEW’s various projects. As one of the America’s Regional Representative, Tatiana also contributed to diverse YEW activities in the region - she was one of the members of the Jury for the Mucura Award, she also supported the development of a workshop with Guardianes de los Humedales (Peru), and established connections with the Society of Wetland Scientists, which allowed YEW to be featured several times in the Wetland Science and Practice journal. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Autonomous University of Queretaro (Mexico) and an editorial board member of the "Wetlands: Ecology, Conservation and Management" Springer Nature book series. Inspired to encourage youth scientists, in 2021, Tatiana created the “HumMentor” - a student mentoring program focused on the Latin America and Caribbean region in collaboration with the Society of Wetland Scientists International Chapter and Education Section.
ANNE VALENTINA BOURBON - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
YEW member from October 2018 to October 2019
Anne, from Colombia, was working at Emirates Nature in UAE when she attended Ramsar’s 13th Conference of the Parties (COP13) in Dubai in October 2018 and met the members of the youth team, the Youth Engagement Thematic Group of the Ramsar Culture Network - the precursor to YEW. With the initial discussions for the creation of YEW taking shape in parallel to the COP13, Anne naturally joined the emerging YEW team through the key activities that took place in Dubai and which led to the establishment of YEW. Notably, Anne helped to coordinate the drafting of the Youth Closing statement of the Ramsar COP13. She then took the floor, in front of over 1000+ representatives of Governments and NGOs, to read out the Closing Statement on behalf of YEW. Following the COP13, Anne actively participated in the construction of the vision of YEW and the development of the YEW Scoping Document for the 2019-2024 period. She helped set up the Core-team structure and select the first ever YEW Core-team. Today, Anne joined National Aquarium Abu Dhabi in the role of Education and Conservation Manager, and brought to this role experience learned from YEW in building multidisciplinary teams, connecting with Government organizations to deliver coordinated conservation initiatives. This directly helped Anne in connecting with EAD, leading to a partnership for the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of vulnerable native creatures of the Arabian Gulf, more specifically Sea Turtles.
LUCÍA GAMARRA - PERU
YEW Member from March 2018 - February 2019
Lucía, from Peru, holds a BSc in Food Science from the Peruvian National Agrarian University La Molina and a Master of Integrated Water Management from the University of Queensland and Griffith University. She contributed significantly to the early stages of the development of YEW, participating as part of the Youth Engagement Thematic Group (YETG) of the Ramsar Culture Network (the precursor group to YEW) at the 13th Conference of the Parties (COP13) of the Ramsar Convention. In particular, Lucía helped to design and fundraise for the participation of three members of the YETG at the COP13. She supported the organisation and facilitation of the official youth side-event of the COP13 focused on showcasing youth stories from around the world. Lucía also developed and led the Youth Visioning Workshop which was the first step in shaping the YEW strategy and participated actively in the drafting of the Youth Closing Statement for the COP13. Prior to the COP13, she helped to develop a short study on youth-led initiatives in wetland conservation providing initial insight into youth’s motivations and challenges around wetland conservation, showcasing the results through a poster exhibited in the World Wetland Network stand at the COP13. After volunteering for the YETG and YEW, Lucía worked with the International WaterCentre in Brisbane, Australia in the delivery of integrated water management projects, where she co-organised the Innovate 4 Water forum. Currently, Lucía supports the Australian Water Partnership knowledge, partnerships, events, communications and program areas. Her time with YEW deepened her passion to explore the interconnectedness and interdependencies between nature, technology, governance and finance to manage water resources in an equitable and sustainable manner.
PRIYANKA SANKAR - INDIA
YEW Member from March 2018 - December 2021
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.
TAKUMA SATOH - JAPAN
YEW Member from October 2018 - June 2021
Takuma Satoh from Japan, worked as the Finance and Fundraising Lead. His involvement with Youth Ramsar Japan allowed for YEW to find funding for the first in person meeting in January 2020, which was hosted in Japan. He helped develop the strategic plan 2020-2024. He participated in an environmental education program called KODOMO Ramsar, where he gained experience more about wetlands and the convention. Takuma has been involved with the Ramsar Convention since young.
ADARSH PRATHAP - INDIA
YEW Member from 2019-2021
Adarsh worked as the Regional Coordinator and Asia Representative for YEW. In this period he participated in the 1st in person meeting in January 2020 and helped develop the strategic plan 2020-2024. Adarsh 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.
GAB MEJIA - PHILIPPINES
YEW Member from 2018 to 2023
Gab Mejia worked with YEW as the Communications and Outreach Lead, and was a co-founder of YEW. During this time he participated in the 1st in person meeting in Japan 2020, where he helped develop the strategic plan, while keeping the communications and social media in place. He dedicated a lot of work for the East Asian and Australasian Flyway Forum, as well as a presentation for the Peat Fest in 2020. He designed and laid out the survey report of the "Status, Challenges and Aspirations of Wetland Youth". He 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. Gab is now a civil engineer.
NIC FABIAN - PHILIPPINES
YEW member since 2020 to 2023
As the Communications and Outreach Officer, Nic helped YEW develop a communications package and branding for YEW. She also worked for the East Asian and Australiasian Flyway Youth Forum. Nic 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 maintains a corporate day job in the Philippine FMCG industry.
ELISE ALLELY-FERME - USA/FRANCE/MEXICO
Yew member from March 2018 to January 2023
Elise is the co-founder of YEW. Her vision of constructing a youth network parallel to Ramsar started as she worked as part of the Young Professionals program with the Ramsar Convention. She worked with a group of young people in COP13 in Dubai to realize this vision. Later as the Network Lead, Elise helped develop the strategic plan for YEW 2020-2024, developing an internal culture of collaboration and overseeing multiple important projects that YEW was involved in and networking with other local and international youth groups in environmental leadership as well with government leaders and NGOs. She worked organizing the East Asian Australasian Flyway Youth Forum, developing the youth survey and writing the report "Status, Challenges and Aspirations of Wetland Youth", she participated in the Peat Fest as well as multiple presentations as invited guest. Elise also served as the Youth representative for the World Wetland Network. Elise is a young water professional passionate about water, the conservation and wise use of wetlands. She shared 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 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. Elise is currently the manager of climate change issues in ProNatura.
BIDHYA SHARMA - NEPAL/CANADA
YEW Member from 2019 to 2023
Bidhya worked as the Knowledge and Capacity Builiding Lead. During her time with YEW she attended the 1st in person meeting for YEW in Japan, where she helped develop a strategic plan for 2020-2024. She developed the wetland youth survey. An important survey that helped generate knowledge on the status of wetland youth. She led the analysis of the information gathered from the survey as well as the writing of the report "Status, Challenges and Aspirations of Wetland Youth". This document has been a keystone for the following activities that YEW focused attention, as it helped us understand the needs of youth working in wetlands. It was also important to develop a larger network. Bidhya also participated in the East Asian and Australasian Flyway Youth Forum, Peat Fest and other networking activities. Most recently she represented YEW in the CBD COP15 in 2022 in Montreal. Bidhya 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.
ROGER DELAMOU - REPUBLIC OF GUINEA
YEW member from 2019 to 2022
Roger worked as the Knowledge and Capacity Building Officer. He 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.
DENZEL URIETA - PHILIPPINES
YEW member from 2021 to 2023
Denzel, a Civil Engineer from the Philippines, served as the Asia Representative for YEW. In his time with YEW he co-organized with There is no Earth B the "Once Upon a Wetland' event which included workshops and networking opportunities for Indian youth working in wetlands. He is currently a graduate student at De La Salle University specializing in water resources engineering and management. As a young water professional, he is passionate about water and how it is interdependent with the ecosystem. In his journey of being a water expert, he nurtured a deep interest in groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDE) — particularly wetlands. As part of his dissertation, he is currently exploring different nature-based solutions, such as low impact development (LID), and their applicability to urban areas. He is also actively affiliated with other organizations, including his advisor's LID research team and Lasallian student ambassador for graduate education.
MARÍA ELISA SÁNCHEZ - ECUADOR
YEW member from 2019 to 2023
María Elisa a wetland scientist from Ecuador served as the Americas Representative (2019-2021), Associate Coordinator (2021-2022) and Acting Coordinator (2022-2023). During her service with YEW she generated relationships with local and regional initiatives in the Americas and in the rest of the world. She contributed with different YEW projects and collaborations: writing and editing the "Declaration on Wetlands and Biodiverstiy, Tokio 2020", presenting in Re-Peat "Peatfests", contributing to the Wetlands International #PowerOfWetlands campaign, co-writing and co-editing the Wetland Youth Survey Report, moderating the Intergenerational Dialogue hosted by the Ramsar Secretariat in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention, amongst others. She contributed to refining the draft of the Youth Resolution as well as finding Contracting Parties as sponsors for its presentation on the 59th Standing Committee meeting. During a time of change in YEW's internal structure she started her term as Acting Coordinator where she contributed by keeping the team on track and led (at the distance) the "on-site" team attending the Ramsar COP14, were the Youth Resolution was successfully adopted. During her time as acting Coordinator she ensured a proper transition with new team members and continued development our commitments enacting the Youth Resolution. Her contributions were led by the love of wetlands and a sense of intergenerational and cultural equity. She continues to work for wetlands through her PhD research in mountain peatland biogeochemistry.