Robert Costanza

RTEmagicC_robert_costanza_03.jpgDr. Robert Costanza is currently a chair in Public Policy at the Crawford School of Public Policy at Australia National University. Dr. Costanza has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering Sciences (Systems Ecology with an Economics minor), and a M.A. and B.A. in Architecture. He has a strong academic background in environmental economics and sustainability with numerous published articles, chapters, and books, as well as being founder, past president, chief editor, editor, and board member for numerous journals. Dr. Costanza has over 3 decades of academic experience in: trans-disciplinary integration; systems ecology; ecological economics; landscape ecology; ecological modeling; ecological design; energy analysis; environmental policy; social traps; incentive structures; and institutions. This trandisciplinary research integrating the study of humans and nature to address research, policy, and management issues at multiple temporal and spatial scales is an adept match to his role as leader of the Data and Methodology Working Group of the ELD Initiative. He is supported by Dr. Ida Kubiszweski.

Hannes Etter


Hannes Etter is the Science Desk Officer at the ELD Initiative’s Secretariat responsible for facilitation of scientific studies and activities and close cooperation with the partners of the initiative. Through previous research in Namibia and South Africa, he has gained experience in participatory land use management approaches and economic evaluation of dryland areas. Before Hannes joined the ELD-team, he was employed at the United Nations University in Bonn, working on climate change and adapted land use with a regional focus on West Africa. His further interests lie in resilience research, participatory planning approaches and food security. Hannes holds a Master degree in Geography, specializing on development and environmental research.


Thomas Falk

FalkInstitutional Economist by specialisation, Thomas Falk has done extensive research in the field of natural resource governance in southern Africa. He has studied in the frame of the project “Biodiversity Monitoring Transect Analysis in southern Africa” (BIOTA) the regulatory framework of land, water and forest resources in communal areas in Namibia, and supported the establishment of the Biosphere Reserve Nuratau-Kyzylkum in Uzbekistan by promoting sustainable community and SMI-development. As part of the scientific consortium, he contributed to the establishment of the “Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Use” (SASSCAL). Currently he coordinates the sub-project “Governing stakeholder involvement and capacity development” in the trans-disciplinary research project “The Future Okavango”. In April 2015, he joined the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad as an ecosystem services expert.

Nicola Favretto

RTEmagicC_Nicola-Favretto.jpgNicola Favretto is an Environmental Economist with extensive experience in livelihood impact assessment, policy analysis, and research in environmental sustainability across Africa and Latin America. He is fluent in Italian (mother tongue), English, Spanish, and French and has moreover a good understanding of Portuguese. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Sustainability and Development from the University of Leeds (UK) and a First-Class Honors M.Sc. in International Economic Integration from Universita’ degli Studi di Pavia (Italy). He previously undertook research for the ELD Initiative in a case study in Botswana, and was part of the ELD Initiative Scientific Coordination team at UNU-INWEH.


Tobias Gerhartsreiter


Tobias Gerhartsreiter is the Communications Officer at the ELD Initiative’s Secretariat under the GIZ. Besides all matters concerning communications he is responsible for capacity building and E-Learning activities at the ELD Initiative. He gained special experience in the fields of desertification, sustainable land management and conservation through his work for NGOs in South Africa and Germany as well as through previous research in Swaziland and Mozambique. Before he joined the ELD team, Tobias worked as a consultant for the GIZ “Convention Project to Combat Desertification (CCD)”. Tobias holds a Master’s degree in Human Geography from University of Würzburg with a special focus on conservation and tourism.


Anne Juepner


Anne Juepner is currently the Coordinator of UNDP’s Drylands Development Centre located in Nairobi, Kenya. Ms Juepner holds a MSc. in Engineering/Material Sciences and is currently working on finalizing her Ph.D. at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Nairobi. With more than 20 years of international development and management experience, Ms. Juepner’s areas of expertise include sustainable livelihoods and drylands development; and poverty reduction and micro enterprise development. She has in-depth knowledge of programme and project management and related funding arrangements, and has worked throughout her professional career in multi-disciplinary and international teams in Africa, the US and Europe with national and local government counterparts, NGOs and UN Organizations. Ms. Juepner’s broad international experience and deep understanding of practical development issues at the country level contributes greatly to the aspiration of the ELD Initiative of applying research findings to contribute to the generation of concrete, hands-on development solutions developed in close partnership with a broad array of stakeholders.

Ida  Kubiszewski


Dr. Ida Kubiszewski is a Senior Lecturer at the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. She is also a UN negotiator on climate change, following adaptation and loss & damage, for the country of the Dominican Republic at the 19th through 21st Conference of Parties (COP19 in Warsaw, Poland in 2013; COP20 in Lima, Peru in 2014; and COP21 in Paris, France in 2015). Dr. Kubiszewski is the founding managing editor and current co-editor-in-chief of a magazine/journal hybrid called SolutionsDr. Kubiszewski is a co-founder and former-Managing Editor the Encyclopedia of Earth, an electronic reference about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society. Dr. Kubiszewski is the author or co-author of dozens scientific papers and 5 books. She is a Fellow at the National Council for Science and the Environment, on the board of the Veblen institute (Institut Veblen), and sits on the steering committees or advisory boards of various organizations including the Ecosystem Service Partnership, and the Environmental Information Coalition. Dr Kubiszewski is also a full member of the Club of Rome.


Cesar Morales

CM_PhotoCesar Morales worked for many years at ECLAC, (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean). He was Director of the regional project ECLAC/GTZ on Indicator Systems of Economic and Social Impacts of Degradation and Desertification in Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru). He was in charge of the agricultural innovation area focused on the economics and social impacts in Latin America & Caribbean, and participated in several missions as part of the ECLAC team to evaluate the impacts of natural disasters in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Brazil. Currently he is working as a consultant for ECLAC as a coordinator of a regional project on the costs of inaction for land degradation, desertification, and drought impacts in LAC countries.

Cesar Morales has a PhD in the Study of Latin American Societies, with a specialty in Economics (U. ARCIS/U.  La Sorbonne), Visiting Scholar University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural Economics and Natural Resources, and  Agronomist engineer specialized in Agricultural Economics ( U. of Chile.)


Claudia Musekamp

Claudia-Musekamp-300x312Claudia Musekamp was the online tutor for this MOOC and had been the tutor for the ELD MOOC 2014. She is the head and owner of the E-Learning-Company Infoport in Berlin, Germany. She has more than 15 years of experience in developing, producing and tutoring online-courses for universities, enterprises and organizations. While her academic background is in international relations, her interest lies in emerging technologies and their use for learning.



Stacey Noel


Ms. Stacey Noel is currently the Centre Director for the Stockholm Environment Institute – Africa. Ms. Noel holds a M.Sc. in Development Management, a B.A. in Government and Plan II Honours Programme, and is currently working towards her Ph.D. at the University of Twente. With over 20 years of professional experience in development management and international relations, Ms. Noel’s areas of expertise include water and livelihoods; water, poverty, and ecosystem services; water and climate change; and water’s role in economic growth. She is experienced in programme, project, and team supervision in multi-disciplinary and international teams, having worked in Africa, Asia, and Central America with NGO’s, international research institutes, and government-policy organisations. Ms. Noel’s broad international involvement in the nexus of environment and economics is invaluable in her role as the leader of the Options and Pathways to Action Working Group of the ELD Initiative. She is supported by Prof Lindsay Stringer and Anne Juepner of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Emmanuelle Quillérou

EMMADr. Emmanuelle Quillérou is a scientific consultant to the ELD Initiative. She holds a MSc in Applied Environmental Economics (Imperial College London, UK) and a PhD in Agri-Environmental Economics (University of Kent, UK). She has worked in the UK, France, Mexico, and Canada in a range of disciplines. She has experience in environmental valuation, policy assessment and natural resource management. She has also worked as a consultant tutor for the University of London’s distance learning programme.


Mark  Reed

Mark ReedMark  Reed  is  an  interdisciplinary  environmental  researcher  specialising  in  knowledge   exchange, stakeholder  participation  and  the  value  of  nature.  He  is  a  Professor  in   Interdisciplinary Environmental  Research  at  Birmingham  City  University  and  Research   Manager  for  the  International Union  for  the  Conservation  of  Nature’s  (IUCN)  UK  Peatland   Programme.  He  helps  people  adapt to environmental  change  in  mountains  and  deserts   around  the  world.  He  runs  training  on knowledge  exchange  for  research  Impact.


Ali Salha

Ali_InfoportAli Salha was the online tutor for this MOOC. He  is a water and infrastructure engineer with solid procurement and contracts management experience. Mr. Salha’s 15 years of professional experience was a combination of international /national involvements and academic/practical applications in water and infrastructure fields. This combination tackled his engineering, management, and learning skills. Successfully, Mr. Salha administered a multitude of projects and assignments countered various stakeholders: (NGOs, ministries, and municipalities) and recognized international organizations (World Bank, USAID, SIDA, UNICEF, UNRWA, GIZ, KfW, UNDP, Oxfam and others).



Mark Schauer


Mark Schauer is the Coordinator for the ELD Initiative’s Secretariat at GIZ, responsible for the overall coordination of the ELD project. Before Mark joined GIZ, he worked for the United Nations Environment Programme as the Head of the Central Office of TEEB and the Division for International Nature Conservation of the German Federal Ministry for Environment (BMU) as a coordinator for projects which linked economic and ecologic issues. He holds a Master Degree in Forestry Management. After his graduation, he worked in Europe, southern Africa and southern Asia on natural resource management and nature conservation, focusing on this issue’s interconnectedness with economics, poverty alleviation and institutional support programmes.


Naomi Stewart

RTEmagicC_Naomi_Stewart.jpgNaomi Stewart is currently a Project Associate at UNU-INWEH, in the Water and Ecosystems Programme. She previously worked as a hydrometric controller for the Water Survey of Canada, a freshwater research assistant at Environment Canada, and was the Managing Editor for the Water Quality Research Journal of Canada. Naomi attained her H.B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in English, Biology, and Physical Geography, with additional GIS training. She is focused on science liaison and communications, particularly in water issues. Naomi brings her scientific background and editorial skills to the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative.


Richard J. Thomas 

RTEmagicC_Richard-Thomas.bmp_02.jpgRichard is the Director of ICARDA’s Drylands Programme in Amman, Jordan. He has over 20 years of experience in managing and implementing research projects and directing research teams on natural resources management including soils, water and biodiversity. A significant portion of his work has been on strengthening managerial and institutional capacity through the development of networks of scientists from developed and developing countries – this includes projects in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Richard has previously worked at UNU-INWEH and CIAT.