How will we re -establish a modern water-recycling society? The answer to this question may be realized by two key This keynote address will first illustrate how the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), serves as a mechanism to strengthen national measures and international cooperation for the ecologically sound management and protection of transboundary surface waters, including lakes, and groundwaters. It will be followed by a presentation from the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) International Waters Focal Area which will provide a general overview of investment strategies, including examples from investments in transboundary lake basins. A final component of this keynote address is from the International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network (IW:LEARN), which will share experiences in strengthening transboundary water management efforts around the globe by collecting and sharing best practices, lessons learned, and innovative solutions to common problems.
About the plenary keynote speakers:
Secretary of Water Convention, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Sonja Koeppel, originally from Germany, has been working for more than 10 years in the secretariat of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), serviced by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva. She is currently secretary to the Convention and was previously coordinating the activities on climate change adaptation under the Convention and servicing different Convention bodies. She also leads the activities on the global opening of the Convention to all United Nations Member States. Before joining UNECE, she worked for UNEP in Nairobi for a short while and studied environmental sciences, policy and management in Budapest and Manchester as well as social sciences in Bordeaux and Stuttgart.
Sonja Koeppel currently leads the water team at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and serves as secretary to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) and co-secretary to the UNECE/ WHO-Europe Protocol on Water and Health. She has worked for more than 10 years in the secretariat, for example coordinating the activities on climate change adaptation. Before joining UNECE, she worked for UNEP in Nairobi and studied environmental sciences, policy and management as well as social sciences.
Lead, International Waters focal area, Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Christian is the lead for the International Waters focal area and coordinates the focal area’s engagement across regions as well as globally. He has been working for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since 2005 as a program manager. Before joining the GEF, Christian worked as Project Manager in a private sector company promoting mobile units for drinking water production primarily for emergency applications. Prior to this he worked in a Nordic/European university consortium facilitating cooperation within Biosystems Engineering and held a position in a private sector company working with constructed wetlands and other alternative wastewater solutions. He is also a Senior Environmental Specialist at The World Bank.
Area of Expertise: International Waters Coordinator, Latin America regional team, SIDS regional team.
Manager, International Waters Learning Exchange Network (IW:LEARN), Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Mish Hamid serves as project manager for the U.N. Development Programme (and UN Environment Programme) implemented and Global Environment Facility funded, International Waters LEARN project since 2011. On and off for several years, he has performed many roles and fulfilled many responsibilities for GEF IW:LEARN, ranging from project management & development, to partnership building, training services, and the development of information management solutions for the GEF IW portfolio.
He has assisted or led the management of more than 3 phases of the project and oversees its various activities ranging from face-to-face events such as the International Waters Conference, regional targeted training, regional dialogue processes and project twinning, to online activities including the iwlearn.net website (together with UNEP), portfolio visualization and related activities.
Previously, Mish has also worked for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Serbia/Kosovo, Russia, Ukraine and Albania on election supervision and post-conflict peace implementation. He holds a master’s degree in conflict management and international economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a bachelor’s degree from the George Washington University. Aside from English, Mish speaks conversational Dutch & German.