Nature-Based Solutions (NBS)

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Join us for an immersive plenary centered on Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and their pivotal role in addressing contemporary environmental challenges. This conference session will delve into the transformative potential of harnessing nature to generate sustainable solutions to meet development needs, while emphasizing the importance of robust and fit-for-purpose evaluation methods to measure their effectiveness and impacts. During this plenary, expert panelists will share cutting-edge research and case studies, showcasing the diverse applications of Nature-Based Solutions across different contexts. Participants will gain insights into how these solutions contribute to environmental conservation and social and economic resilience.


Sunday Leonard
Sunday Leonard
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Scientific Technical Advisory Panel (STAP)

Sunday, a Nigerian, has more than 18 years of experience in environmental science and policy, with the last 15 focused on bridging the science-policy gap, identifying strategic issues, opportunities, and risks to inform organizational direction, and providing policy advice to decision-makers. He was appointed as the new Secretary of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the GEF as of 1 October 2023. Since 2017, Sunday has served as a Program Officer within the STAP Secretariat, covering climate change and chemicals and waste and supporting GEF Integrated Programs. During that time, he has effectively mobilized external expertise to support the GEF, including working with leading organizations on various cross-cutting topics. He is STAP lead on circular economy, plastics, and novel entities and technologies. Before joining STAP, Sunday worked with UNEP’s Climate & Clean Air Coalition, where he managed and coordinated its Scientific Advisory Panel, including its interaction with partners (countries, IGOs, NGOs, CSOs, & private sector actors). He also represented the Coalition at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is a reviewer of IPCC reports and Ozone Assessments. He also worked at UNEP’s Chief Scientist Office from 2011 to 2015, where he was responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the office and coordination of its strategic engagement with UNEP's Executive Office, divisions, and external experts/organizations. In this role, he co-led the UNEP Foresight Process on Emerging Environmental Issues and the UNEP/UN DESA Foresight Process on Emerging Issues for Small Island Developing States. He also served as a leading member of the UNEP Emissions Gap Report team and a co-author and editor of UNEP reports on topics such as food security, short-lived climate pollutants, near-term climate change, and the integration of the environment into the SDGs.


Ali Raza Rizvi
Ali Raza Rizvi
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Head, Climate Change

Ali Raza Rizvi has over 30 years of leadership and management experience in the environment and development sectors. His work has given him the opportunity to work in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas with international and national development partners, private sector, media, and academia. In his current position as Head Climate Change at IUCN, he provides vision, strategic direction and the operational guidance for the development and implementation of IUCN’s global work on climate change that includes climate-nature nexus.

Martin Noltze
Martin Noltze
German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval)
Senior Evaluator, Team Management

Martin Noltze is senior evaluator and team manager at the Competence Center for Evaluation Methodologies at the German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval). He has over 15 years of experience in development evaluation with a focus of evaluations in the context of climate change, environment and sustainability. At the Competence Center, Martin works on the advancement of evaluation standards and methods, including evaluation quality assessments, different forms of evidence syntheses, rigorous impact evaluations and theory-based evaluation designs.

Paul Hartman
Paul Hartman
Climate Investment Funds (CIF)
Nature, People and Climate Investment Program

Paul brings more than two decades of experience in natural resource management to his role as Team Lead of all the CIF's nature solutions programs. They include Nature, People and Climate Investment Program (NPC), and the Forest Investment Program (FIP). Previously, in his work at the Global Environment Facility, Paul led the strategic design and rollout of its USD346-million Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration Impact Program. Its aims are to reduce deforestation, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and diminish biodiversity loss in 27 countries. He also spent 15 years in Southeast Asia, leading field projects that were focused on forestry, biodiversity conservation, and climate change. Paul holds a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Conference Co-Sponsors