Speakers of the 2019 Exchanges


Access and Benefit Sharing Exchange:

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Cuc Nguyen

Biodiversity Conservation Agency, Viet Nam

MA. Nguyen Dang Thu Cuc is currently the Head of Division for Genetic Resources and Bio-safety Management. Her major was life sciences (bachelor) and development studies (master), graduated in the HAN University of the Netherlands and the Graduate Institute of Geneva, Switzerland respectively. She started working at the Biodiversity Conservation Agency under Vietnam Environment Administration, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment since 2009. The major roles involve: drafting and implementing legal documents on national biodiversity strategy, access and benefit sharing related to genetic resources, and biosafety management of genetically modified organisms; play role as national competent authorities to the Nagoya Protocol on ABS and the Cartagena Protocol and its supplementary protocol on redress and liability. In the field of ABS, since after adoption of the national legislation on ABS (Decree 59/2017/ND-CP), the division has now been in charge for reviewing a number of dossiers requesting for IRCC and export permission. 


Geetha Nayak

Team Leader, Indo-German ABS Partnership Project

Dr. Geetha Nayak is the Team Leader for the ABS Partnership Project at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in India implemented in partnership with Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the National Biodiversity Authority, Government of India. Since 2014, she has been working on projects to implement ABS both at national and state level in India. Her work involves facilitating diaologues between regulators and users for ABS compliance and capacity building of providers to establish ABS good practice. She holds a PhD degree in Ecology from Pondicherry University, India and is a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright postdoctotal fellowship to Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA.


María Julia Oliva

Deputy Director & Senior Coordinator for ABS and Policy, UEBT

Maria Julia Oliva is Deputy Director & Senior Coordinator for ABS and Policy at the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) since 2009. In this capacity, she provides training, advice and technical support for UEBT members and partners on issues such as equitable trade practices and access and benefit sharing. Julia has held several positions in international organizations and published widely on the interface between sustainability, trade and intellectual property. She is a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law and the Board of Directors of IP-Watch, an independent reporting service on intellectual property issues. She has a law degree from the University of Mendoza and a Masters of Laws (LL.M) in environmental law, cum laude, from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College.


Morten Walløe Tvedt

Senior Research Fellow, Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI)

Tvedt is associate professor at the University College in Molde, Norway, and a senior research fellow at the FNI. He is an internationally recognised expert and has extensive practical expertise on ABS, focusing on intellectual property and contract law. He is the co-author of the book on “Drafting Successful Access and Benefit-Sharing Contracts,” published in 2017.


Olivier Rukundo

Consultant, ABS Capacity Development Initiative

Mr. Olivier Rukundo is an international legal advisor on access and benefit-sharing (ABS), working with various organizations including the ABS Capacity Development Initiative, FAO, UNDP on the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on ABS and related international instruments. From 2011 – 2014 he was Programme Officer for the Nagoya Protocol at the Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity, where he managed a GEF Medium Size global project aimed at providing legal and technical assistance to countries for the ratification and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol. From 2007-2010, he served as legal and technical advisor to the African Group during the negotiations of the Nagoya Protocol. Mr. Rukundo holds an LL.M in International Law and Intellectual Property Law from the University of Turin, a BCL ( Civil Law) /LLB (Common Law)  from McGill University, and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from University of Northern Iowa.


Santiago Carrizosa

Global Advisor on ABS, UNDP

Dr. Santiago Carrizosa is the Global Advisor on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing (ABS) for UNDP and a Senior Technical Advisor on biodiversity and ecosystems for the Latin American and Caribbean region. Since 2012 to date Santiago has promoted the development of the global portfolio of ABS projects for UNDP. Prior to joining UNDP, Santiago worked with the National Department of Planning of Colombia and the University of California at Davis where he lectured on access and benefit-sharing policy development. He has also advised governments on biodiversity policy development and has published extensively on a wide variety of issues including sustainable use strategies, ABS, bioprospecting models, and M&E indicators. Santiago has over 20 years of experience in project management, environmental policy, and economics. He holds a Ph.D. and a Masters in Natural Resources Management, with emphasis on Environmental Policy and Economics from the University of Arizona (USA).


Sascha Liese

Manager Corporate Sustainability, Symrise

Sascha Liese is a business & biodiversity expert with an academic background in biology, environmental systems science and sustainable development. He works as Corporate Sustainability Manager with Symrise, a globally leading flavor, fragrance and cosmetic ingredient manufacturer headquartered in Germany. Since 2016, Sascha has been responsible for the development, implementation and continuous improvement of the biodiversity and ABS management system at Symrise. Sascha is member of the International Fragrance and Flavor associations’ Nagoya Protocol Task Force and board member of the German Biodiversity in Good Company Initiative.


Suhel al-Janabi

Co-Manager, ABS Capacity Development Initiative

Suhel al-Janabi is Co-Manager of the ABS Capacity Development Initiative inter alia in charge of working relations with African Governments, the private sector and the donors of the initiative. He is also Executive Director of GeoMedia – a consultancy on environment, development and communication – and a member of the Informal Advisory Committee on Communication, Education and Public Awareness of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Mr. al-Janabi holds an MSc after studying geography and ecology. 


Thomas Greiber

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation

Mr Greiber works for the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz – BfN) where he is heading Division I 1.3 which serves as the German Competent Authority for the Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol. He holds a law degree from the University of Cologne Law School and a Master of Laws in International Environmental Law from the George Washington University in Washington D.C. Mr Greiber has authored and edited several publications on ABS and other environmental law and policy topics. In particular, he was the lead editor and co-author of the IUCN Explanatory Guide to the Nagoya Protocol which provided critical support to Governments in the early ratification process of the Nagoya Protocol.


Xiaoou Zheng

Researcher, UEBT

Xiaoou Zheng works part-time on access and benefit sharing. She is a lawyer with a Master's Degree in Environmental Law, and currently a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh.

Ethical Sourcing of Natural Ingredients Exchange:


Bas Schneiders

Head International Strategic Sourcing, Weleda

Bas Schneiders has long experience in procurement, sustainability management and sales in sustainable, ethical food and fast moving consumer good industries. Since 2001 Bas has been working for Weleda, since 2010 as Head International Strategic Sourcing & Corporate Sustainability. Since 2012 he is part of the UEBT Board of Directors; Bas currently acts as the Board President.  

Cathrien de Liagre Böhl

Sector Lead Herbs & Spices, Rainforest Alliance

Cathrien is lead for Herbs and Spices at the Rainforest Alliance, responsible for defining plans and recommending impactful strategies toward the goal of realizing responsible supply chains for herbs and spices. After joining UTZ in 2014, Cathrien worked on improvement of the tea program, and the development and introduction of the herbal tea program in partnership with UEBT. Cathrien has extensive experience in working on responsible agricultural value chains in both the business environment and the non-profit sector. She started her career in marketing positions with various companies in the fast moving consumer goods industry. Cathrien grew up in the Netherlands and holds a master’s degree at Wageningen University in land and water management and nature conservation, as well as an executive economic master’s degree from TIAS Business School.


David Hircock

Executive Director Corporate Affairs, Estée Lauder Companies

David Hircock, has worked extensively around the globe as a respected expert on issues related to human rights, conservation of biodiversity and working with Indigenous Peoples. Particularly related to the supply chains of raw materials and services. A passionate advocate for human rights, David has worked closely with Kailash Satyarthi’s – Nobel Peace Laureates teams in India since 2005 committed to the eradication of child labor and slavery.


Heather Ducharme

Global Sustainable Sourcing Assurance Manager, The Body Shop

Heather has been working in the sustainability field for over 20 years. She began her career in Canada, working in field ecology, environmental assessment and waste management before moving to the UK in 2009 to focus on sustainable supply chains. Prior to joining The Body Shop in 2016, she spent five years with The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, a major UK-based nature conservation NGO, developing a programme on sustainable consumption of deforestation-risk commodities.  She  holds an MSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics as well as degrees from McMaster and York Universities, Canada.


Julia Santander

Managing Director Investments, EcoEnterprises Fund

Julia Santander is Managing Director of Investments at EcoEnterprises Fund, where she is in charge of the group’s pipeline development, investment structuring and portfolio management in the Andean region, Mexico and Brazil. With a background in strategy consulting, corporate development and mergers and acquisitions, Julia firmly believes in the power of the private sector to create lasting positive impacts through sustainable business models that build inclusive and equitable value chains, lift rural communities out of poverty and incentivize the sustainable use of natural resources and the conservation of our Earth’s biodiversity. Julia is proud to be co-leading EcoEnterprises Fund’s capital raise for its third fund under management, that celebrated its successful initial closing in 2018, guaranteeing that EcoEnterprises Fund will continue to build on its 20-years trajectory and multiply the palpable impacts achieved with its first two funds. Julia holds a Master in International relations, economics and business administration from the University of Passau in Germany with a specialization on Latin American economies.


Kate Larsen

Founder, SupplyESChange Initiative & Modern slavery prevention Advisor

Kate Larsen is an Advisor on Human Rights and worker conditions with over 15 years experience working in and with large firms and initiatives. Kate speaks Chinese, and worked in Environmental Resources Management China 2004-6, then was the first Burberry Corporate Responsibility Manager Asia building the ethical trade and sustainability programme from 2006-12. Following this work with the luxury, apparel and cosmetics sector she consulted to clients included Kering, European retailers, and presented to The Body Shop China suppliers. Kate was then Director Responsible Sourcing for a large retailer, then delivered projects in Human Rights Watch and on Modern Slavery. She was then Principal Consultant ERM London advising on ESG (Environmental Social Governance), and training companies on Modern Slavery Act responses and Human Rights Due Diligence. Kate founded SupplyESChange initiative and advisory to advocate better policy whilst supporting businesses improving supply chain worker conditions. Kate holds an MSc in Environmental Management from Imperial College.


Dr Kiran Mohanan

Enterprise Development Manager, Conservation Finance and Enterprise, Flora and Fauna International

Kiran is a  trained veterinary doctor with field experience in rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife in India. After management studies, started working for farmer cooperatives and rural banking looking at financial inclusion and innovative financing models. Currently he leads FFI’s sustainable sourcing project across its global portfolio, working closely with companies interested in developing ethical supply chains that benefit forest and its people.


Lorena Jaramillo, Economic Affairs Officer


Lorena has been involved with BioTrade since 2001 at the international level with UNCTAD and also in her home country Ecuador as the Director of the national BioTrade Programme. She has worked on developing and implementing sustainable development projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America regarding biodiversity, sustainable trade and business development. During her career of over 20 years, Lorena has written several papers related to sustainable development, value chain development, sustainable sourcing and post-conflict recovery. She is an Economist, specialized in Sustainable Development, of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador and holds an MBA from the HEC, Geneva University, Switzerland. 


Sebastien Tissot

VP Sustainable Sourcing Strategy, Natural Ingredients, Firmenich


Simona D’Amico

M&E and Biodiversity Expert

Simona manages UEBT’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) program and supports UEBT members’ efforts on biodiversity conservation and restoration. Simona holds a PhD in Rural Sociology from Wageningen University. She has worked on European research projects on policies for organic farming and sustainable food systems, as well as the valorisation of agrobiodiversity through sustainable agrifood chains.

The 2019 Beauty of Sourcing with Respect Conference Exchange is made possible with the support of: