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Biosafety Commitments for the Action Agenda
for Nature and People
Meet the panelists
Mr. Helmut Gaugitsch graduated from a PhD at the technical University of Vienna, specializing in technical chemistry and food chemistry. After some years working on applied research, he joined the Environment Agency in Austria in 1991. During this time, he has worked on biodiversity and sustainability topics, impact of land-use activities, as well as environmental risk assessment and monitoring issues, including genetically modified organisms (GMO). Presently he is the Head of Scientific Management Biodiversity at the Environment Agency Austria, coordinating the Agency`s work on sustainability and biodiversity topics.
His scientific and management responsibilities involve the coordination and preparation of studies on sustainability measurement and assessment, environmental effects of different economic activities, capacity-building projects concerning development and implementation of national, regional and international regulatory frameworks for sustainability, land-use, agriculture and food as well as biosafety. Mr. Gaugitsch is an experienced international expert and has been working in many different countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.
Dr. Angela T. Alleyne is a senior lecturer in biochemistry at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), in Barbados.  She is also the programme coordinator of the M.Sc./Diploma in biosafety at the UWI.  Dr. Alleyne completed undergraduate studies in biochemistry with microbiology at the UWI Mona Campus, Jamaica, and graduate studies in 2000 at the UWI Cave Hill campus where she studied the molecular biology of Yam anthracnose disease; a fungal disease in Dioscorea (yam) species, in Barbados.

This was followed by postdoctoral research at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, as a postdoctoral research fellow and a period as an assistant professor in biology at the Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2008, Dr. Alleyne returned to Cave Hill where her current research involves the use of molecular markers in plant disease diagnosis, focusing on crops that are important food security to the Caribbean region; primarily root crops such as yam (Dioscorea alata L.), sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.)  and cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz.). 
Mr. Kamal Kumar Rai has completed a master degree in biodiversity from Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Uppsala, Sweden on CBD Article 8(j). He represents to the Wetland Biodiversity Conservation Society of Nepal to promote human rights approach, lobby, research, traditional knowledge, communicating biodiversity, conservation, customary sustainable use, the Nagoya Protocol Access and Benefit-sharing, the draft Global Biodiversity Framework and the Implementation Plan for the Cartagena Protocol on risk assessments related to living modified organisms, socio-economic considerations related to safe handling, transfer and use of living modified organisms, legal mechanism, indigenous peoples and local communities, recognition,  respects, participation, Free Prior and Informed Consent. 
Sarah Lukie currently serves as the Vice President for Trade Policy and International Affairs, Plant Biotechnology, based at CropLife International (CLI) in Washington, DC. In this role, Sarah works on the development of CLI’s positions and activities on trade and multilateral policy issues impacting the global agricultural biotechnology sector.  She has particular expertise representing the biotechnology industry in negotiation and implementation of various multilateral environmental agreements, such as the Cartagena Protocol on Biotechnology, the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress, and the Convention on Biological Diversity. 
Pr. Mohamed Elyes Kchouk holds a Doctorate of Biological Science at the University of Tunis El Manar. He is the deputy president of the Association for the Safeguarding of the City of Hammam-Lif (ASVHL), member of the City Council of Hammam-Lif, the Scientific Committee of the National Genebank and the National Technical Committee on Biosafety and Regional Specialist for francophone Africa for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH) Project (phase 3). He is also the co-founder of several non-governmental organizations, including the North African Network of Taxonomy (NAFRINET), the Tunisian Association of Taxonomy (ATUTAX). Previously, he worked for the Center of Biotechnology of Borj Cedria in 1982 on various research programs related to living modified organisms (LMOs), held courses on population genetics and conservation of genetic resources at the Faculty of Science of Sfax and worked as consultant for the Ministry of Environment on Genetic Resources and Biosafety in Tunisia. He is author of a number of publications. 
Ms. J. Catalina Santamaria is a Senior Program Officer and a Special Advisor to the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). She brings over 20 years of experience working in the international policy arena, advising and implementing conservation, restoration and sustainable use portfolios, with multiple partners and teams across various sectors. Before joining the CBD Secretariat, she was responsible for inter-agency coordination at the Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), based in New York, USA. She has also served as Vice-Chair of the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration and as secretary for working groups of intergovernmental meetings. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in natural resource management and biological sciences, from the University of Miami and a master's degree in sustainable international development, with an emphasis on social and public policies, from Brandeis University. She has received awards from the University of Oxford, Harvard University and Universidad Javeriana.
Ms. Yixuan Wang is working on the IT development and interoperability possibilities for the Action Agenda for Nature and People at Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD). She received her bachelor's degree in management information systems from Beijing University, including as an exchange student at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. She has work experience also in promoting public awareness of climate change and co-organizing the 13th International Youth Summit on Energy and Climate Change for the China Youth Climate Action Network.
Mr. Hassan Malik works with IT development and production support for the Action Agenda for Nature and People at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.  He graduated from Brock University with a bachelor of science degree in computer science. His major achievements are in developing a web-based COVID-19 tracker to design efficient user interfaces for optimal human computer interaction.
Meet the facilitator
Ms. Ulrika Nilsson is an Associate Public Information Officer at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). For 14 years, she has mainly worked to support Parties and non-state actors in implementing the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, a supplementary protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity. She develop a 10-year-program on promoting national public awareness, education and participation regarding living modified organisms. In recent years, she has mainly worked for the Action Agenda for Nature and People at the SCBD to coordinate the revamping of the website and building partnerships with non-state actors. Before working at the SCBD, she worked 7 years at the UN Headquarters in New York with public information for government officials, non-state actors and inter-agency cooperation. She completed a master's degree in social science with a focus on political science and the United Nations System from Long Island University and in 2022 she will complete an executive master’s degree in business administration from Mcgill University / HEC Montreal. She can be contacted at

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