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Our dedicated team combines scientific excellence, outstanding technical ability and a passion for nature

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Abisha Mapendembe

Programme Officer | Ecosystem Assessment and Policy Support

Abisha’s work in the Centre focuses on mainstreaming nature, biodiversity and development objectives into decision-making and implementation processes within local and national governments and other sectors to accelerate delivery of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. Much of this work is done through engagement with national governments to shape their policies, plans, regulations and investments, improving existing institutional capacity, developing and implementing high-quality tools and guidelines, peer-to-peer learning, and generating and communicating evidence of the economic contribution of nature to in-country development, and associated risks. He is also supporting revision and implementation of NBSAPs and reporting, as well as capacity-building work across West Africa in support of the IPBES Work Programme. Abisha is member of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Extended Consultative Network on Mainstreaming of Biodiversity.

Previous experience & expertise

Abisha has a strong policy research and development background focussing on international sustainable development processes and the linkages between poverty, development and nature conservation at a global level with a regional focus in Africa. Prior to joining WCMC, he was International Projects Officer at Birdlife International, International Development Policy Officer at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Researcher/Consultant at Fauna and Flora International and the Center for International Forestry Research. Abisha has an MSc in International Development from the University of Bath and MA in Environmental Policy and Planning and a BA Honours degree in Geography from the University of Zimbabwe.

Recent work by Abisha Mapendembe

Supporting IPBES capacity building in West Africa (WABES) | WABES Project Focal Point for UNEP-WCMC

Abisha is responsible for managing UNEP-WCMC components of the WABES project. As part of the project, he coordinates the development and delivery UNEP-WCMC led modules of a regional Master of Science in Managing the Science-Policy Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Sustainable Development in West Africa at the University Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, as well as teaching an MSc module on using national biodiversity and ecosystem assessments to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in West Africa. WABES is an initiative to facilitate networking and capacity-building across West Africa to support the Work Programme of IPBES, and in particular the assessments.

Mapping biodiversity priorities | Core Project Team Member

Abisha is co-leading delivery of biodiversity mainstreaming components of the Mapping Biodiversity Priorities project and, in particular, the design and execution of capacity building interventions around using both the process and outputs of national biodiversity assessments to integrate nature and biodiversity into wider national and sector planning and implementation processes in Botswana, Ethiopia and Malawi. The project is supported by the Japan Biodiversity Fund.

Connect Biodiversity | Core Project Team Member

Abisha provides technical support to the GEF Connect project to make sure that policy-relevant biodiversity data and information are at the heart of government decision making and implementation processes in Ghana, Mozambique and Uganda. He contributes to the design and delivery of national stakeholders capacity building workshops in the three project countries including development and implementation of mainstreaming guidelines and tools for policy makers and practitioners, as well as carrying out reviews of biodiversity mainstreaming literature to draw out common themes and lessons to inform the Connect project and mainstreaming initiatives elsewhere now and in the future.