/ Nairobi, 30 July 2009 - Elizabeth
Maruma Mrema has been appointed Officer in
Charge of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) by Achim
Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director
of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) as of 27 July 2009.
In addition, Mr. Steiner has appointed Bert
Lenten, the current Executive Secretary of
the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA)
Secretariat as Acting Deputy Executive Secretary of CMS,
effective since 2 July 2009.
Ms. Mrema succeeds
Rob Hepworth, who had served as Executive
Secretary of CMS for over 4 years, while Mr. Lenten has
taken over from Lahcen El Kabiri who was recently transferred
to Abu Dhabi to be the head of the new CMS Office dealing
with the Agreements on birds of prey and dugongs.
The new management arrangements for the CMS Secretariat
have been put in place by the Executive Director of UNEP
to ensure a smooth transition until the recruitment process
for the new Executive Secretary and the Deputy Executive
Secretary position are completed.
The CMS Secretariat staff is looking forward to working
with both Ms. Mrema and Mr. Lenten as they lead the CMS
Secretariat in the coming months.
Mrema, Officer in Charge of CMS
Maruma Mrema, a national of the United Republic of Tanzania,
has many years of experience as a career diplomat and senior
environmental lawyer at the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) with a particular focus on international environmental
law, compliance and enforcement of environmental conventions
as well as international environmental negotiations.
She is currently a Principal Legal Officer in UNEP and
since 2007, she had been the Chief of the Biodiversity and
Land Law and Governance Unit in the UNEP-Division of Environmental
Law and Conventions (DELC) as well as the overall Coordinator
of € 21.45 million Project on Capacity Building for
the Implementation of MEAs in the African, Caribbean and
Pacific Countries (ACP).
In 2007, Ms Mrema was the recipient of the first ever UNEP-wide
Best Manager of the Year Award, which she received in the
context of the UNEP Baobab Staff Awards programme initiated
by the Executive Director of UNEP. The "Baobab Awards"
were established in 2007 to recognize and reward exceptional
performance and dedication to achieving the goals of UNEP
and gives UNEP staff members the opportunity to express
their appreciation for the achievements of their colleagues.
It takes its name after the Baobab Tree, which symbolizes
strength, power and resilience.
From 2005 - 2007 she was Senior Legal Officer and Chief
of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) Support
and Cooperation at UNEP- DELC, where she was also responsible
for the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and its related
Agreements. As the head of the UNEP-DELC Biodiversity related
MEAs, Ms. Mrema has been dealing with a number of day-to-day
activities and issues of CMS and its agreements from the
UNEP headquarters perspective. Over the past two years she
represented UNEP at many of the major CMS conferences and
meetings of the parties of CMS-related agreements, including
AEWA MOP4 (September 2008) and CMS COP9 (December 2009).
Until end of August 2005, she was the Task Manager and
Coordinator of a US$ 6.5 million Project on Capacity Building
for the Development and Implementation of Environmental
Laws and Institutions in Africa as well as Acting Chief
of the Implementation of Environmental Law Branch in the
UNEP-Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI).
For the four years between 2003 and 2005, she was also simultaneously
responsible for the coordination and implementation of a
US$ 2.5 million Project on Compliance with and Enforcement
of MEAs. Between 1995 to 1999, she served as the UNEP interim
secretariat for the regional 1994 Lusaka Agreement on Cooperative
Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild
Fauna and Flora and continued to serve as the UNEP focal
point for the implementation of the Agreement.
Before joining UNEP, she worked as a lawyer and career
diplomat with the Tanzanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and International Cooperation as the Legal Advisor for over
thirteen years (1981-1994). She was a part-time Lecturer
in Public International Law and Conference Diplomacy Courses
at the Centre for Foreign Relations and Diplomacy in Tanzania
(1986-1990). Until recently, she was also a visiting lecturer
at the Faculty of Law, University of Nairobi and a tutor
for different environmental law topics at the International
Development Law Organization (IDLO), Italy. Currently, she
is one of the key organizers and lecturers at the annual
UNEP-University of Geneva Certificate of Advanced Studies
in Environmental Diplomacy as well as UNEP-University of
Joensuu Diploma Course in International Environmental Law-Making
Ms Mrema holds an LLB (Upper Second Honors) from the University
of Dar-es-Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania; LLM from
the Law School at the Dalhousie University, Canada and Postgraduate
Diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy (Sumna
Cum Laude) from the Centre of Foreign Relations and Diplomacy
in Dar-es-Salaam. She has published several articles related
to international environmental law, compliance and enforcement
of conventions and developed a number of environmental law
and negotiation tools, handbooks and guidelines currently
being used in a number of UNEP organised and other training
Bert Lenten, Acting CMS Deputy Executive
Lenten, a Dutch national, is the Executive Secretary of
the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory
Waterbirds (AEWA). The Agreement was developed by the Government
of the Netherlands in the early nineties under the auspices
of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). Bert Lenten
entered on duty as Executive Secretary of AEWA in January
1996 and has made a significant contribution to the successful
development of the Agreement since then.
AEWA is the largest Agreement developed under the auspices
of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and has rapidly
grown and developed into a successful and internationally
recognised instrument for trans-boundary, multilateral waterbird
conservation in the African-Eurasian region. Under Bert
Lenten’s leadership, over half of the 119 Range States
covered by the Agreement area have now joined AEWA as Contracting
Parties. Furthermore, AEWA is increasingly recognised as
one of the most effective instruments for flyway-scale cooperation
on the conservation of migratory waterbirds across Africa
In 2006, Bert Lenten also took the lead in organising the
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) initiative in close cooperation
with the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). The global
campaign devoted to celebrating migratory birds and for
promoting their conservation worldwide is one of the most
ambitious awareness-raising campaigns ever conducted by
the AEWA Secretariat and has managed to stimulate an increasing
number of events celebrated around the world each year.
Mr. Lenten has also played a leading role in the development
of the UNEP-GEF African-Eurasian Flyways Project; also known
as the Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) Project. This US $ 12 million
project is currently in the implementation phase (for more
information please see: www.wingsoverwetlands.org).
As a Dutch civil servant specialising in forestry and nature
conservation, Bert worked for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture,
Nature and Food Quality from 1981-2000. During this period
he was responsible for providing advice to private landowners
on the management of forests and nature areas, for the establishment
of a National Park, for the afforestation of several areas
around Amsterdam, and for the development of nature and
forest policies at regional level.
Bert holds a Bachelor Degree in Forestry and Nature Management.