Scientific and Technical Review Panel 2019-2021

The Scientific and Technical Review Panel for the 2019-2021 triennium

Resolution XII.5, New framework for delivery of scientific and technical advice and guidance on the Convention, modified the composition of the STRP, outlining its modus operandi, responsibilities and appointment process. For the 2019-2021 triennium, the Panel is composed of 18 members, including a Chair and Vice-chair, as follows:  six regional technical experts, six additional technical experts and six scientific experts.

The work of the Panel is supported by representatives of the six International Organization Partners (IOPs) and Observer Organizations (listed in Annex 2 of the Resolution), as well as a network of STRP National Focal Points, who advise them directly on STRP matters and provide a liaison with the networks of experts in their countries.

STRP members are appointed by the Management Working Group of the Standing Committee, which has overall responsibility for the work of the Panel, based on nominations from Contracting Parties, IOPs and Observer Organizations. They serve on a voluntary basis in their own right, not as representatives of their countries or institutions. 

The Panel meets face-to-face once a year, and it works and communicates intersessionally primarily through the STRP Workspace, an electronic password-protected space.

For matters relating to the STRP, please contact the Scientific and Technical Support Officer at:

Regional Technical Experts

David Stroud (U.K.) - Regional Technical Expert, Europe Region


David Stroud

David is an ornithologist with longstanding experience in waterbird conservation. He has played a major role in many national and international bodies involved in wetland and waterbird conservation, including the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), the EU’s Birds Directive committee, Wetlands International and the International Wader Study Group. David has been involved in the UK’s implementation of the Convention on Wetlands since the late 1980s. He has been a member of UK delegations to COPs since 1996 (COP6) and has been an STRP expert since 2003. He is the STRP National Focal Point for the UK.

Reda Fishar (Egypt) - Regional Technical Expert, Africa Region


Reda Fishar

Reda teaches hydrobiology and has 30 years of professional experience in the field of aquatic ecology and biology. His work involves biodiversity of aquatic habitats, invasive species, as well as policies and strategies for biodiversity and wetlands in Egypt and the Arab region. He was an STRP expert during the 2013-2015 Triennium. He is also member of IUCN’s Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) and the Egyptian National Committee for conservation of nature and natural resources. He has supervised over 20 MSc and PhD theses and published numerous scientific articles, book chapters and reports on aquatic ecology in the Nile River, wetlands and marine habitats. 

Hari Bhadra Acharya (Nepal) - Regional Technical Expert, Asia Region


Hari Bhadra Acharya

Hari is an Ecologist (Under Secretary) under the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Nepal. He leads the technical team that develops endangered wildlife species conservation action plans and Wetlands of International Importance ("Ramsar Site") management plans in Nepal.  He has more than 20 years’ experience in the field of watershed management, wetland restoration, and protected areas management. He also contributed to the development of the World Protected Areas Database and served as National Focal Point for the Program of Work on Protected Areas (POWPA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Edson Junqueira (Brazil) - Regional Technical Expert, Latin America and the Caribbean Region


Edson Junqueira

Edson is a researcher at Embrapa (the Brazilian Agriculture Research Organization), and as an adviser to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil, where he works in the coordination team of Plan ABC (a national public policy on sustainable agricultural production). He has experience in forest resources and forestry, including forest genetic resources conservation, management and conservation of the Cerrado (savanna-like biome in Brazil) and Pantanal (Brazilian richest wetlands) ecosystems, threatened forest species and seeds. He also has expertise on social forestry, and on potential species for biofuels.

Dulce María Infante Mata (Mexico) - Regional Technical Expert, North America Region 

Dulce is a biologist with experience in Ecology, Restoration of coastal ecosystems, Community Management and Environmental Education. She works as researcher in El Colegio de la Frontera Sur. Dulce is also scientific advisor to the National Program of Water Reserves for Environment in Mexico, which supports Resolution XII.12. Currently, she is participating in a project to measure greenhouse gas emissions in mangroves in the Biosphere Reserve La Encrucijada (also a Ramsar Site), as part of CONAFOR’s REDD+ strengthening and south-south cooperation project. Dulce has been an STRP member since 2016.



Hugh Robertson

Hugh Robertson (New Zealand)  - Regional Technical Expert, Oceania Region

Hugh is a Principal Freshwater Scientist for the New Zealand Department of Conservation. He has been New Zealand’s STRP National Focal Point since 2008 and a member of the New Zealand delegation to the Convention COPs. His expertise includes the science-policy-management interface with specialists, systematic conservation assessments for biodiversity protection, development of restoration strategies for wetlands, defining limits of acceptable change for aquatic ecosystems, plant community ecology, ecohydrological functioning of wetlands, protected area establishment and monitoring, agricultural development pressures on wetlands and policy mechanisms to improve wetland management. He is the scientific lead of a national wetland restoration programme (Arawai Kākāriki) in New Zealand. 

Technical Experts

Kassim Kulindwa (Tanzania), Technical Expert 


Kassim Kulindwa

Kassim is an Associate Professor of economics and a researcher at the Department of Economics at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He has conducted research on wetland evaluation in Lake Victoria basin’s countries such as Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda since 2002. He served as a Convention STRP invited expert from 2009 to 2012 and as an appointed technical member since 2016. He participated in a Convention workshop for African STRP National Focal Points and other wetland experts in Johannesburg in 2010 and was involved in the review of the Convention STRP draft guidelines for Inland Valleys Development in Nairobi in 2012.

Guangchun Lei (China), STRP Chair and Technical Expert


Guangchun Lei

Guangchun is Dean of the School of Nature Conservation at Beijing Forestry University, professor in wetland ecology and vice Chair of the National Wetland Science Committee of China. He is a specialist in wetland science, ecosystem services, nature reserve management and metapopulation ecology, with numerous publications in international peer reviewed journals. Previously, He served as Senior Regional Advisor for the Asia-Oceania Region at the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands. His awards include the China National TV documentary Award (Golden Prize), the WWF International Global Conservation Innovation Award and the China National Forestry Science and Technology Prize. He has been an STRP member since 2016.

Ritesh Kumar (India), Technical Expert


Ritesh Kumar

Ritesh heads Wetlands International South Asia. A natural resources economist by training, he has nearly two decades of work experience on the integrated management, planning, ecosystem services assessment and valuation and mainstreaming of wetlands in development, particularly in South Asia. He has led multidisciplinary projects on the formulation of management action plans, environmental flows assessment, wetlands and climate change adaptation and ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction. Ritesh has contributed to the work of the STRP over the past decade and has been a technical member since 2016. He is an IPBES coordinating lead author.

Lars Dinesen (Denmark), Technical Expert


Lars Dinesen

Lars is a biologist with 25 years of experience on biodiversity conservation. He is the IPBES coordinator in Denmark. Lars has worked on the implementation of EU Bird and Habitat Directives (Natura 2000), including species and habitat assessments, and EU reporting in the Danish Ministry of Environment. Lars worked on Ramsar ratification and implementation in Tanzania. He has participated in many Convention on Wetlands COPs and in Ramsar Site designations in Denmark, the Faroe Islands and in high arctic Greenland. He has actively promoted peatlands and climate change within the convention. He is Chair of NorBalWet, a Ramsar regional initiative and has been an STRP member since 2013. He is the STRP National Focal Point for Denmark.

Laura Martínez Ríos (Mexico), Technical Expert

Laura is a Biologist and the Executive Director of a grassroots organization, Pro Esteros, A.C., devoted to wetland conservation. She has been working on wetland conservation for more than 25 years. For the last 20 years, she has been responsible for conducting various research and planning projects, promoting environmental education, creating several environmental and coastal wetlands networks and promoting management actions at all government levels. She has been in charge of the designation of two Ramsar Sites, and the elaboration of a management plan for one of them. She has been an STRP member since 2016.

Georgina Ivonne Mariona Castillo (El Salvador), Technical Expert


Georgina Ivonne Mariona Castillo

Georgina is a wetland technician in the government sector, contributing to the analysis and management of wetlands in El Salvador. She works with national initiatives for the restoration and conservation of wetlands with an emphasis on Ramsar Sites, particularly the analysis of wetland ecological character and fragile ecosystems such as mangroves and coral reefs. She has contributed to local governance processes, highlighting the importance of empowering local communities and wetland users. Georgina has also conducted research on harmful algal blooms and marine bio toxins in the Salvadoran coast, and studied and managed sea turtle populations in the Salvadoran coast. She has been the National Focal Point for El Salvador since 2016.

Scientific Experts

Siobhan Fennessy (USA); Scientific Expert

Siobhan is the Philip and Sheila Jordan Professor of Environmental Science and Biology at Kenyon College in Ohio. She is a wetland ecosystem ecologist with expertise in biological monitoring and assessment, how wetlands respond to human disturbance, the restoration of impaired aquatic ecosystems, and evaluating ecosystem services and biogeochemical cycling. She recently completed working as a Lead Coordinating Author on the IPBES Regional Assessment of the Americas, and a liaison and Lead Author on the IPBES Global Assessment of Land Degradation and Restoration.  She served on the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Water Science and Technology Board and is currently serving her third term on the National Academies Committee on Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress. She has been an STRP scientific expert since 2016. 

Lisa-Maria Rebelo (Lao PDR), STRP Vice-Chair and Scientific Expert

Lisa is a remote sensing specialist with over 15 years of research experience in the field of natural resource management in Africa and Asia, with a focus on the provision of spatial information for improved land and water management. Her research has focused on the development of innovative approaches based on remote sensing data to understand the influence of various agricultural water management practices on wetlands and other agro-ecosystems,  and on the development of new remote sensing based methodologies to improve the understanding of interactions between basin scale hydrological and ecological functioning and water availability and allocation. Lisa is the coordinator of the Wetland Theme of the International Science Team set up to support the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA’s) Kyoto and Carbon Initiative. She has contributed to the work of the STRP over the past decade, and has been a scientific member since 2016. 

Daniel Conde Scalone (Uruguay), Scientific Expert


Daniel Conde Scalone

Daniel is a researcher and professor of limnology at the School of Sciences of the University of the Republic of Uruguay. His main areas of expertise include Aquatic Ecology and integrated coastal management. He coordinates the Interdisciplinary Centre in Integrated Coastal Management (UNESCO Chair) and teaches graduate courses on Limnology and postgraduate courses on ecosystem science and coastal management. He has led numerous national and international scientific projects and authored numerous publications in international journals and books. He has trained numerous researchers in aquatic ecology in Uruguay and abroad. He has also worked with coastal managers and developed research together with local stakeholders on coastal/wetland issues. He is the STRP National Focal Point for Uruguay.

Joseph Elizeri Mbaiwa (Botswana), Scientific Expert


Joseph Elizeri Mbaiwa

Professor Mbaiwa is the Director of the Okavango Research Institute (ORI), University of Botswana. He has about 20 years’ experience on tourism and natural resources management research and consultancy. He is widely published on issues of tourism development, rural livelihoods and biodiversity conservation with a focus on the Okavango Delta. He has numerous peer-reviewed publications on natural resource management, rural livelihoods and biodiversity conservation issues. He was involved in the designation of the Okavango Delta as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. He is a member of the Botswana Tourism Organisation Board. He holds a PhD on Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences and a M. Sc. on Environmental Science.  

Sangdon Lee (Republic of Korea), Scientific Expert


Sangdon Lee

Sangdon is an ecologist with research interests in the management and conservation of wetland ecosystems, waterfowl and mammals. He is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering at Ewha Woman’s University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.  He has experience on environmental impact assessments and wetland restoration and mitigation. He has led research projects on wetland inventory, river ecology of migratory birds, conservation of the Demilitarized Zone and climate change. He has published a number of peer-reviewed papers and is the Chair of the Korean Society of Environmental Impact Assessment. He has also worked as an editor for the Animal Cells and Systems and Open Ecology Journals. 

Andrey Sirin (Russia), Scientific Expert


Andrey Sirin

Andrey is a peatland ecohydrology and peatland forestry expert. He has been teaching wetland ecohydrology at Moscow State University for over 20 years. He has over 40 years’ experience in peatland/wetland field studies in boreal, temperate and other zones, as well as in the Arctic and high altitudes, among others.  Professor Sirin was a leading and contributing author for different IPCC reports (2006 Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, 2013 Wetlands Supplement, 2019 Special Report on Climate Change and Land). He was a leading author/editor of the Assessment on Peatlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change (adopted by Convention on Biological Diversity (2008)) and of the peatland/wetland sections of the IPBES Regional Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Europe and Central Asia (2017). He has been the STRP National Focal Point for Russia and part of the Russian delegation to COPs for many years.