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Valerie Kapos

Head of Programme, Climate Change and Biodiversity | Senior Management Team

Valerie leads on our work on the impacts of climate change and the role of ecosystems in climate change mitigation and adaptation. In addition to overseeing and managing the work of the large Climate Change and Biodiversity team, her role includes overseeing the development of new projects and ideas, and liaising with counterparts in national governments, and with key collaborators, partners and funders.

Previous experience & expertise

Valerie holds a PhD in tropical forest ecology and for 15 years conducted field research in Latin America and the Caribbean on forest water and nutrient relations (Jamaica and Venezuela), and on the ecological effects of forest fragmentation in Amazonia.

Her recent work with UNEP-WCMC and others has focused especially on analytical and other approaches for supporting the potential of climate change mitigation policy and action to deliver multiple environmental benefits, and on development and use of biodiversity indicators to support policy and decision making at international and national scales.

Valerie has authored over 50 journal articles and many other publications.

Recent work by Valerie Kapos


Supporting countries to take account of biodiversity and ecosystem services in their land-use planning for REDD+, and to identify and address the potential risks and benefits of REDD+ in the context of the Cancun Safeguards.

Ecosystem-based adaptation |

Assessing the evidence for the effectiveness of EBA approaches, identifying good practice, and supporting decision-makers in incorporating ecosystems in planning and implementing options for adaptation to climate change.

Impacts of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services |

Review and synthesis of emerging scientific literature on climate change impacts on biodiversity.