UEBT Secretariat



Rik Kutsch Lojenga

Rik Kutsch Lojenga is the Executive Director of the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) since its creation in 2008. Prior, he worked for over a decade with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), where he was involved in the creation of the BioTrade Initiative and helped to conceptualize the idea of UEBT. Rik grew up in the Netherlands, where he earned a Master’s degree in business and environmental economics.


Maria Julia Oliva

Maria Julia Oliva is Senior Coordinator for Policy and Technical Support. Julia provides training and technical support on legal and policy issues linked to innovation and sourcing of biodiversity. She collaborates with international organisations, governments, and companies, particularly on access and benefit sharing (ABS). Julia is a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, IUCN Synthetic Biology Technical Subgroup, and Board of Directors of IP-Watch. She has law and LL.M degrees.


Bertjan Bouman

Bertjan Bouman is Finance Manager since March 2012. He is responsible for the finance, administration and back office support. Prior he spent some years in Nepal advising and managing community health & development projects. After his return to the Netherlands he started studying finance focussing on improved synergy between financial reporting and project management. He earned a Master's degree in Development Studies at Wageningen University.

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Rodrigo de Próspero

Rodrigo de Próspero is Standards and Certification Expert since March 2012. He is a Forestry Engineer in charge of technical and membership issues for Latin American UEBT members. Previously, Rodrigo was sustainable coordinator at Natura Cosmetics in Brazil. He also worked at the Secretariat for the Environment of Sao Paulo and as an Organic Auditor for Ecocert Brazil.

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Simona D'Amico

Simona D'Amico is Monitoring and Evaluation Project Officer since October 2017.  Beside managing the UEBT M&E program she supports UEBT’s work on biodiversity conservation and restoration. Simona holds a PhD in Rural Sociology from Wageningen University. After that, she has been involved in European research projects concerning the assessment of policies for organic farming and sustainable food systems as well as the valorisation of agrobiodiversity through sustainable agrifood chains. 


Nelly Debril

Nelly Debril is Project Assistant in charge of communications and UEBT annual conference coordination since January 2017. Prior, she had worked for 4 years as media monitoring specialist for the French Ministry of Environment, and 2 years at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Nelly holds a Master's degree in International Relations from the Institute of the Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) in Paris.


Jerida Sinange

Jerida Sinange is Standards and Certification Expert since August 2017. She brings close to 8 years of experience working in the certification and sustainability standards sector. Previously Jerida was Field Liaison for the Rainforest Alliance for Eastern and Southern Africa. Jerida holds a Master's degree from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

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Rina Razanakolona

Rina Razanakolona is the UEBT Representative in Madagascar. Prior, she worked for 4 years as consultant for GIZ, UEBT, Label CBD on value chain development, ABS, bio-cultural community protocols, certification etc. Rina holds an Engineer's Degree in Agronomy from the Higher School of Agronomic Sciences, University of Antananarivo, Madagascar and a Master's degree in Food Sciences and Technologies from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of Gembloux and Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.

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Xiaoou Zheng

Xiaoou Zheng joined the UEBT team in February 2018 as a part-time research assistant on access and benefit sharing (ABS). She is a lawyer with a Master's Degree in Environmental Law, and currently a PhD candidate in the University of Edinburgh.

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Karène Volpato

Karène Volpato is Standards and Certification Expert since UEBT April 2018 on a part-time basis. Previously, she worked in a Fair Trade and Social Responsibility certification body in Chile and Argentina, and audits for Ecocert and the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). Karène holds a Master degree in International Trade and Strategic Information, with a special mention in Fair Trade.


Ronaldo Santos de Freitas

Ronaldo is UEBT Brazil and Latin America representative since April 2018. Prior, he worked 11 years for Natura Cosmetics on development of supply chain of biodiversity, ABS, traceability of the production chain, territorial development in the Brazilian Amazon etc. He also was responsible for developing the strategy of education on sustainability in Natura Mexico. Ronaldo graduated in Agronomic Engineering and post-graduated in cooperativism and environmental analysis.