Harifidy O. Ralison
Harifidy Ralison holds a BSc on forestry from the Antananarivo University (Madagascar) and a MSc in ecological marine management from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium). He started working for WWF in Madagascar in 2006 as its Marine Programme Officer. In 2009, he changed role to lead the WWF Western Indian Ocean Islands Programme. In 2014, he was assigned a new responsibility to lead the development of a trans-national seascape strategy (for the Northern Mozambique Channel transfrontier area, called NMC)...
His current main focus is to promote integrated ocean management through spatial planning in the countries bordering the NMC in partnership with relevant key actors, and mainstream such concept into SDG14 implementation and sustainable blue economy efforts.
Helen Ågren is the Ambassador for the Ocean at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Ms Ågren has been working at the Swedish Government Offices since 2000 in various positions on issues such as sustainable development strategies, green economy, consumption and production, climate mitigation and adaptation, research, innovation and local investment programs...
She chaired the Swedish Governments Council for Sustainable Development between 2005-2007 and has held advisory positions to Statistics Sweden on the National Environmental Accounts.
Ms Ågren studied chemistry at Stockholm University.
Ms. Thiam is working as the Deputy Director of Maritime Safety and Marine Pollution Prevention in the Senegalese Maritime Administration, the National Agency for Maritime Affairs (ANAM)...
Elected Vice- Chair of the INTERPOL Fisheries Crime Working Group since 2017 and chairing currently the Network called Law Enforcement Femmes, a Network for Women in the combat against fisheries criminality, her daily work is dedicated to the ships administration, to prevent insecurity at sea, marine pollution, maritime risks and threats in order to contribute to the development of Senegalese viable blue economy.
Dr. Lindén is a Professor Emeritus and Special Advisor at the World Maritime University in Sweden. During the period 1989-2006 he coordinated several multi-national scientific projects and has worked extensively for the World Bank and several UN-agencies on projects related to marine environmental management. He has been working in East and West Africa with coastal management issues and with several river systems in Africa including the Niger, Pungwe and Rufiji.
Stephen B. Lavalah
Stephen B. Lavalah is a Liberian-born community organizer, planner, team leader, public speaker, a self-taught biological oceanographer, and an ocean champion. He is the Founder & Executive Director of the award-winning Youth Exploring Solutions (YES) named the “Best Grassroots Environmental Organization of 2018” by the Golden Image Award based in Liberia. YES is a leading accredited non-for-profit and voluntary grassroots youth-led development organization fueled by 100 percent volunteers’ power utilizing the energy, enthusiasm, and innovation of young people to engender realistic and holistic changes...
For nearly over two decades, Stephen has been involved with educational, environmental, social and humanitarian work. He started volunteering at the age of 9, in the dense slum of Buzzy Quarter near the Atlantic Ocean, where he grew affection for the ocean. Since then, Stephen has been at the forefront of oceans-related initiatives ranging from organizing Oceans Engagement Dialogue, Clean Oceans Summit, Youth Oceans Summit, Coastal Cleanup Initiative, Sustainable Blue Economy Forum, and World Oceans Day events as part of the Liberian Ocean Matters Initiative project. This project continues to nurture more “Oceans Champions”, initiate anti-plastic bag campaign, foster pollution-free oceans, intensify coastal cleanup, multiply coastal tree planting, and increase oceans advocacy. Together with his colleagues, Stephen continues to advocate for the development of Liberia’s first National Ocean Policy that would provide a roadmap for the country’s fishing industries, offshore drilling activities, marine research, maritime operations, pleasure craft users, shipping companies and improve decision making grounded on science and available statistics leading to marine spatial planning and marine protected areas. The success stories of these impactful and life-changing initiatives led to his selection in 2016 by the U.S. Department of State to participate in the third Oceans Conference convened by the Honorable John F. Kerry, former Secretary of State of the United States. Two years later, he was selected by UNDP-Liberia to represent civil society organizations working on oceans and environmental issues in the first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference hosted by the Government of Kenya and other partners. Stephen engages, educates and empowers people to make informed decisions and engender changes in the areas of environmental conservation and sustainable development through 37 solution-driven programs and projects. His initiatives have impacted more than 50,000 women, children, and youth. Stephen is a distinguished alumnus of the prestigious Cuttington University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, Certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution, and a Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH). Currently, Stephen is a 2019 candidate for a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) from the University of Liberia. He is a 2013 Community Solutions Fellow, a four-month professional development program for the world’s best and brightest community leaders stemming from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board). Stephen is also a trained professional on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325: Women, Peace, and Security through the Swedish International Development Agency’s funded International Training Programme jointly organized by Indevelop (now NIRAS Sweden AB) and Kvinna till Kvinna. He has received many accolades from several outstanding institutions. Stephen has published over 550 newspaper and magazine articles including news stories and delivered 150 plus keynote addresses as well as participated in more than 350-panel discussions and presentations.
Abdallah Mohamed Hatimy
Abdallah is currently a Member of the Secretariat of the Blue Economy Implementation Standing Committee, under the Office of the President in Kenya and has played a key role in providing technical and policy support to the recently concluded Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, November 2018. Since January 2017, Abdallah has been and continues to provide Specialist Technical Advisory services to the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing & Urban Development in Kenya...
He has over 12 years experience in the maritime sector ranging from maritime transport, maritime administration, maritime and marine spatial planning, maritime education & training, maritime security, as well as public policy work in the marine, mari-culture and fisheries management areas. Abdallah has previously provided consultancy services to Government Agencies, NGOs, and Commercial enterprises within the scope of shipping and logistics. Abdallah has held various capacities in work experience in various maritime and marine related sectors in Africa. He has also travelled extensively as a technical advisor to the Government of Kenya, attending meetings and recently, an Indian Ocean Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Abdallah is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (UK), undergone various maritime / marine / public policy training programmes in Europe a well as Africa and holds a Masters Degree in Maritime Affairs from the World Maritime University, in Malmo, Sweden.
Sheck Abdul Sherif
Sheck Sherif is a Ph.D. Candidate at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), UK – in the School of Natural and Built Environment. He holds a masters degree in Maritime Affairs specializing in Marine Environmental and Ocean Management (MEOM) from the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmo, Sweden, BSc. (Hons.) in Oceanography and Fisheries (combined major) from the University of Ghana, and Associate (AA) Degree in Electronics Engineering from Don Bosco Polytechnic (Stella Maris) in Monrovia, Liberia. Before commencing his Ph.D. Research, Sheck has been involved in several environmental and capacity building projects in Liberia...
His professional career has developed in Liberia and the West African sub-region. Working across a wide range of governance, conservation, development and management issues, he has been pivotal to the reform and revitalization of the fisheries sector of Liberia. He led the process leading to the draft of the Fisheries Regulations of 2010, the establishment of the Fisheries Monitoring Center (FMC) in 2011, the establishment of Liberia Scientific Fisheries Observer Program in 2011, and the formation of the Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) unit under the Bureau of National Fisheries (BNF). Sheck is the Focal Person of the Abidjan Convention (UN Environment) in Liberia – and serves as an Advisor to the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Liberia on marine and coastal issues, Member of Working Group (WG-40) of the Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), and Co-Chair of the Ocean Acidification Africa (OA-Africa) Network. His professional history includes positions at the Bureau of National Fisheries (BNF), Liberia Maritime Training Institute (LMTI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia, West Africa Regional Fisheries Project (WARFP) in Liberia, as well as the Port Sector Reform.
Levi Z. Piah
Levi Z. Piah is an Environmentalist and a veteran administrator. He has been at the Liberia Environmental Protection Agency since 2015 as the Chief Technical Advisor. He is involved in a number of programs notably; he is working on the environment component of the multilateral OneHealth Platform, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Unit of the Agency and serves as the National Focal Point of the Ramsar Convention among other things. The Ramsar Convention is the international convention for the protection of wetlands...
Prior to joining the EPA family, Mr. Piah worked as school administrator and teacher for many years, teaching Physics at secondary schools and Mathematics at the State run University of Liberia. He was also privileged to have served in the government of President Ellen Johnson as Superintendent of Margibi County; the county hosting the country’s only international airport and home to some of the world’s largest rubber plantations. He diligently served in this position for six years (2006-2012). His passion is in the conservation of protected areas especially Liberia’s wetlands in general and Ramsar sites in particular. He has to his credit a bachelor degree in Mathematics/Physics from the University of Liberia and Master Degree in Environmental Engineering from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in the Peoples Republic of China.
Patrizia Ziveri is ICREA Research Professor and Scientific Director of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) Unit of Excellence ‘María de Maeztu’, Univ. Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). She started to work on marine global change in the 1990’s during her PhD dissertation at the Univ. of Padua (Italy), and Univ. of South Carolina (USA), focusing on the impacts of El Niño climate oscillations on calcareous phytoplankton in the Eastern Pacific...
After a postdoc at USC, she moved to the Vrije Univ. Amsterdam, The
Netherlands, first as a researcher then as professor/senior scientist. She was awarded with a
Spanish ‘Ramón y Cajal fellowship at the UAB before joining ICREA in 2014. She coordinates the
Marine and Environmental Biogeosciences Research Group (MERS) that catalyzes research on
the natural and human-driven marine processes addressing major marine global change and
Mathieu Ducrocq is a geographer and an agroeconomist, specialized in marine conservation and coastal management. He has worked during the twenty past years on coastal and marine conservation issues in Western Africa. After coordinating various field projects on sharks and marine turtles conservation, fisheries and MPAs management...
Mathieu has contributed to the set up the PRCM (Regional Partnership for Marine and Coastal Conservation in West Africa) and the RAMPAO (Regional MPAS Network in West Africa). As the coordinator of the IUCN regional marine program, he led the development of the West African Coastal Management Scheme for WAEMU and of the Regional Strategy for MPAs in Central Africa. Today, Mathieu is co-chairing the Coastal Specialist Group of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystems Management.
Keith Lawrence applies his 15 years of experience in marine conservation, MSc in Environmental Economics, and four years in the financial sector to design economic and financing solutions for the ocean. He helps to lead Conservation International (CI)’s Center for Oceans, and has guided large-scale integrated marine conservation initiatives in Indonesia, the Philippines, the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape, Brazil, and globally.
His work has helped to establish and manage MPAs; conserve mangroves and coral reefs for climate adaptation and mitigation; manage coastal fisheries; establish new trust funds for MPA...
management effectiveness in Indonesia, Colombia, and Ecuador; and demonstrated
how sustainable coastal ecosystem management can act as development hubs to improve
local livelihoods and well-being.
He also has a strong track record in environmental economic and business engagement
initiatives, including the Natural Capital Protocol for the Ocean – a coalition to help private
sector companies assess how their businesses depend on healthy oceans; assessing the costs
and benefits of pursuing a Low Carbon Economy in Liberia; developing a ‘Green Economies’
approach in Brazil and Indonesia; payments for ecosystem services schemes; and valuing
hydrological ecosystem services in Indonesia.
Ibrahima leads Wetlands International programs in Africa since 2008. He has expanded the program in new areas in Western and Eastern Africa. He has also forged new partnerships with major actors in public and private sector.
Prior to joining Wetlands International Ibrahima who is a rural economist and an MIT graduate has implemented microenterprise development programs and managed Oxfam America program in West Africa.
Harry T. Conway
Mr. Conway currently serves as the Alternate Permanent Representative of Liberia to International Maritime Organization (IMO). London, United Kingdom. He is a former Chief of Staff to the Commissioner & CEO, Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA); and Secretary to the Board of Directors, LiMA.
At the IMO, Mr. Conway holds the position of Vice - Chair, Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). He also served as Coordinator of the Steering Committee for the Review of fuel oil availability as required by Regulation 14.8 of MARPOL Annex VI. He actively participates in all Committees and Subcommittees meetings, including Working, Correspondence, Drafting and Intersessional Groups.
Mr. Conway is a PhD Researcher at Cardiff University, United Kingdom. His research interest is in environmental politics, with the 2015 UNFCCC Paris Agreement as focus. He holds a Master of Arts (with Distinction) in International Maritime Policy, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom; and Master of Business Administration from the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen The Netherlands, respectively.
Mr. Conway has served as a panelist/speaker at numerous international shipping related events, including America 2018 Greenport Congress, Baltimore, USA; 2018 World Maritime Day Parallel Event, Szczecin, Poland; 2018 Propulsion and Future Fuels Conference, Hamburg, Germany; 2017 Future Ready Shipping Conference, Singapore, etc.
Yemi Oloruntuyi - Head, Global Accessibility, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Yemi’s role at the
MSC involves leading the implementation of strategy to increase the participation of fisheries from the
global south in the MSC. This involves the evaluation, development and implementation of policies and
tools to ensure that the MSC programme is applicable and accessible to developing countries.
She oversees the MSC’s engagement in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.
Prior to joining the MSC she worked at the Lagos State University, Nigeria, where she was involved in
research and training on fisheries resource management, aquaculture and environmental impact.
DION Somplehi Micheline
Je m’appelle DION Somplehi Micheline, transformatrice de produits
halieutiques depuis 20ans à Abidjan et présidente de l’USCOFEP-CI, une
organisation regroupant toutes les femmes de la pêche en Côte d’Ivoire.
Je suis aussi responsable des programmes femmes à la CAOPA (Confédération Africaine des Organisations de Pêche Artisanales) et consultante en pêche Maritime et Pêche Continentale : Femmes et Jeunes.
Je suis présente à cette conférence pour vous parler du rôle des femmes de la pêche artisanale dans le processus d’innovation pour une pêche durable en Afrique.
Kofi has over 30 years of experience working in fisheries, environmental and coastal management. He has skills in policy development, advocacy, and development of community-based initiatives. He has been key in leadership of USAID-funded coastal fisheries projects in Ghana in the last 10 years. He currently serves as Advisor to the USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project.
Within Ghana, Kofi has been providing advice on a range of small scale fisheries sector issues to USAID, the government, fisheries industry and other stakeholder institutions as well as providing scientific, technical, policy and communications support for fish stocks rebuilding efforts.
He led investigations on emerging issues in Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Ghana, particularly on fish transshipment between industrial trawlers and artisanal canoes and he was among the FAO expert group that reviewed Global Illegal Fish Transshipment in Rome in 2018. In other capacities he was among the lead trainers for over 100 African Journalists on sustainable fisheries on behalf of the World Bank and AU-IBAR, and has also supported the training of US State Department staff across Africa on the menace of IUU fishing. Kofi has been on many podiums in Africa, Europe, Asia and Central America, giving presentations and trainings on pertinent issues in fisheries management.
Kofi holds an MSc in Environmental Science and Technology (UNESCO IHE – The Netherlands) and a Certificate in GIS and Remote Sensing (Department of Space, India). He is the Director of Hen Mpoano – an NGO which supports coastal and fisheries development in Ghana.
Marco Quesada is currently the executive director of Conservation International’s Costa Rica Program. He has an undergraduate (B.Sc., 1996) and a masters (M.Sc., 2001) degree in biology from Universidad de Costa Rica and a Ph.D. from the Department of Marine Affairs of the University of Rhode Island. While his M.Sc. thesis was done on the subject of marine zooplankton ecology, his Ph.D. dissertation was developed on the subject of community participation in fisheries management.
Marco has participated in scholar exchanges in Portland State University (US) and the University of La Rochelle (Fra), and has been a professor at U. Peace, Universidad de Costa Rica and conducted research in Costa Rica and Alaska, U.S. He is a member of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Stakeholder Council, the Blue Carbon Scientific Working Group, acts as a national delegate to the InterAmerican Tropical Tuna Commission and is part of Costa Rica’s Commission against illegal fishing, as well as several other public and private advisory bodies such as the Cocos Island Conservation area council and the national wetlands council.
Ingrid Wetterqvist is the Ambassador of Sweden to Liberia. She presented her letters of credence to H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on 13th July 2017.
She arrived to the Swedish Embassy in Monrovia from the Swedish permanent representation to the EU in Brussels, where she worked on development cooperation and migration issues until April 2017. She was seconded to the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels Sept 2011 to Aug 2016, working on democracy in the Directorate for Human Rights and Democracy.
From 2004 to 2008 she was Director for External Relations at International IDEA. During 2008 – 2010 she led a multi-lateral project in IDEA looking at how the European Union is perceived by some major partners: AU, ASEAN, SAARC, OAS and LAS. The report “Democracy in Development – Global consultations on the EU’s role in democracy building” was issued in June 2009 and used by Sweden during its Presidency of the EU. The suggestions in this report led to the adoption of EU Council Conclusions on democracy support in November 2009. See www.idea.int/eu.
Previously she worked at the Swedish embassies in Tanzania, Zambia/Malawi, Namibia and Chile. In the Ministry for Foreign Affairs she has been desk for South Africa, Namibia and Botswana; Deputy Head of Development Cooperation Policy Unit; and Head of the Aid Budget Coordinator Unit. She has represented Sweden in the OECD governance network, in the EU committee on the EIDHR (European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights) and in the Council of International IDEA.
She has a B.A. in International Business Administration (Marketing and French) from Uppsala University. With Mr. Casper Wahlund, she has two sons and one daughter, born 1991, 1994 and 1997.
DR. NATHANIEL T. BLAMA, SR
He was born unto the union of Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Massayan Borzie Blama in slum Community of Bussy Quarter, city of Monrovia, Republic of Liberia.
On March 5, 2018, He was appointed by His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia to serve as the Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia, a call to National Service he humbly accepted.
In 2017 He was awarded the “2017 Peacemaker Award” by the Global Prosperity and Peace Initiative. He also received the “Peace Ambassador Award” of the All Africa Baptist Youth Fellowship in September 2017.
The Monrovia Bible College conferred upon him an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Humane Letters in 2015. He earned a Masters degree in Public Administration with emphasis in Public Policy Process from the Graduate School of Studies at the University of Liberia in 2011. HE earned a Bachelor of Science Degree (with Honors) in Public Administration from the A. M. E. Zion University in 2007. HE earned a Certificates of Completion in Climate Change and Energy: Policy Making for Long Term and in Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies, from the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education in Boston, USA in 2018 and 2012 respectively. HE earned several other Certificates in Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Climate Finance, Weather and Climate hazards, environmental and climatological data base, Environmental Monitoring and Environmental Management from Liberia and the USA, Kenya and South Africa. He also earned several Certificates of Achievement in the Theological Education by Extension (TEE) program of the Liberian Baptist Theological Seminary.
He is the Founder of Global Construction and Mechanical Company, Inc. and served as its General Manager/CEO form 2014 – 2018. He also served as the Managing Partner & Chief Executive Officer for Planet Management Services, Inc. an Environmental Consulting Firm form 2014 – 2018. He is the composer of the Environmental song “Echo of the Environment”
In 2008 he got employed with the Environment Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA); at the EPA, at the EPA He has served in several positions, including; Deputy Executive Director, Chief Technical Advisor, Program Coordinator for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Government of Liberia (GOL), Energy and Environment Program, Administrative Assistant and Chief of Staff in the office of the Executive Director, Project Manager, Planning Officer and Media and communication Officer.
He worked with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) from 2005- 2008. At UNEP; He served in several capacities; including, Field Mobility and Logistics Officer, Administrative and Logistics Officer and Operations Assistant.
He worked with TWIN Business Group Inc. and Unit Stone Construction Company in several capacities including; Expeditor, Procurement Supervisor, Field Supervisor and Transport Manager from 2001- 2005.
He is the head of the Liberian negotiating team on Multilateral Environmental Agreements, (MEAs), participating in the development of international legal instruments; He also represented Liberia at several international conferences, including the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment,
He got married to Ms. Henrietta Carter now Rev. Henrietta M. Blama on December 23, 2000. Their union is blessed with two Loving Kids; Nathaniel T. Blama, Jr. and Nathariett Praise Blama and several foster children.