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The presentation relates the findings of the study, African Diaspora in the US and its interaction with Biodiversity Conservation in Africa to personal experiences in the formulation, design and implementation of nature conservation programs. It discusses the growing significance of the Diaspora in all sectors, its unique and diverse resources for making a conservation difference, opportunities for engagement and also constraints in making things happen. It concludes by highlighting such measures as: investing in minimizing the biodiversity knowledge and communications gap, bringing biodiversity conservation to the forefront of the Diasporas investment agenda, creating mechanisms for greater collaboration between the Diaspora and the big conservation organizations (NGOs), developing effective partnerships, and supporting a more responsive development aid delivery mechanism.

About the Speaker:Mersie Ejigu headshot

Mersie Ejigu
Founder and Executive Director, Partnership for African Environmental Sustainability
Regional Vice President, IUCN Commission on Environmental Economics and Social Policy

Mersie Ejigu is Founder and Executive Director of Partnership for African Environmental Sustainability (PAES). He has over thirty five years experience in sustainable development policy and strategic planning, natural resource conservation and management, and capacity building. Recently his focus has been on environmental security, climate change and sustainable renewable energy.

Currently Regional Vice President for the IUCN Commission on Environmental Economics and Social Policy (CEESP), his background includes: Senior Vice President and General Manager for Africa and Latin America at the Sun-Earth-Wind-Water (SEWW) Energy; Senior Fellow, the Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability (FESS); Visiting Professor, UN University for Peace, Department of Environmental Security and Peace; Assistant Director General for Programmes and Policy of IUCN- the World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland; Regional Director, IUCN-Eastern Africa; Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, Department of Economics and Minister of Planning and Development of Ethiopia.