Dr Atiq Rahman is a prominent environmentalist, scientist, development expert and a visionary thinker in South Asia. He is well-known worldwide for his pioneering role and contribution to environment and nature conservation, climate change, poverty alleviation and sustainable development. He was honored with the highest UN environmental award, the Champion of the Earth, for the year 2008 in recognition of his outstanding and inspirational leadership and contribution globally, regionally, nationally and locally, to the protection and sustainable management of the Earth’s environment and natural resources.
He is a long standing lead author and convening lead author of IPCC. He is the Executive Director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS), which is a leading think-tank on environment, resource management and sustainable development issues. Dr Atiq Rahman holds a PhD in Industrial and Applied Chemistry from Brunel University of West London.
Zeenat Niazi Co-Chair
Zeenat Niazi, vice-president of Development Alternatives Group, has over 26 years’ experience in the social and environment development sector. She is an architect and a planner by training, with a specialization in housing and habitat development issues and additional training in policy analysis and advocacy. She has over two decades of experience in design and strategic action in the area of sustainable rural development. This has included design of affordable eco-housing delivery models, post natural disaster housing reconstruction interventions, habitat policy development at the national level and sustainability assessments of construction technology and housing projects. In the last decade, her work has extended to design and coordination of low carbon development strategies for the central Indian region of Bundelkhand and coordination of climate change adaptation, action and communication, knowledge management and knowledge dissemination for promoting national and global sustainable development strategies.
Her current work involves guiding regional planning and institutional strengthening processes focused on local and national action for sustainable development. She represents Development Alternatives in the core team of the Independent Research Forum, a group of International Research Organisations developing frameworks and methodologies for Sustainable Development Goals providing inputs to the United Nations processes for the Global Sustainable Development Agenda, 2030. She also represents the organisation at the National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Government of India as a member in the Technology Committee for rural housing and is a member of the Multi Stakeholder Advisory Committee of the UNEP for Sustainable Buildings in their 10 year Framework programme. She is also a founder coordinator of the basin-South Asia – a regional knowledge platform for housing and habitat and represents Development Alternatives at the Climate Action Network South Asia of which she was the co-chair of the Board from 2013 to 2015.
Her key interests lie in the area of resource efficient and people-nature centric development planning. She is a trained moderator and facilitator.
She leads the sustainable futures research, policy studies and communication programme; and, knowledge management and development action units at the Development Alternatives Group.
Rezaul Karim ChowdhuryBoard Member
Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury is the Executive Director, Coastal Association for Social Transformation (COAST Trust) and Convener of Equity & Justice Working Group. He has expertise over many disciplines such as promoting appropriate technology in coastal belt, sustainable micro finance, advocacy and policy influencing, policy research and disaster management. He has studied for his Masters in Sociology in Department of Sociology, University of Chittagong.
Srinivas Krishnaswamy, an economist by training, has over a decade of experience working on the issue of economic reforms, sustainable development and environment issues. He set up Vasudha Foundation in January 2010, with an aim to promote environment -friendly, socially just and sustainable models of development by focusing on alternative technologies and lifestyle solutions. The foundation is currently working on a wide range of projects around renewable energy, energy efficiency and policy related campaign and lobby both at the national and international level, while promoting green and alternative technologies at the grassroots level creating the crucial link between energy and poverty alleviation.
Dilip Surkar has been working on the issues of environment and development for 28 years. As Director of the Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC) in India, he is leading several national-level Science popularization programmes. He has been coordinating the major flagship project of Govt. of India – ‘Science Express Climate Action Special’- one of the largest outreach campaigns on climate change and science education, reaching out to over 17 million people across India. Under his leadership, VASCSC received the ‘National Award for Science & Technology Communication’ from the Govt. of India, as well as the prestigious ‘Times of India Social Impact Award’. He is currently the Officiating National Coordinator of the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) India. As the Director of VIKSAT, India he worked on areas including sustainable livelihoods, climate change mitigation and adaptation action through drought proofing, watershed management and sustainable agriculture in arid, semiarid and tribal areas of Gujarat, India. He has studied Civil Engineering, Financial Management, Water & Sanitation and Environment Education. He has been Co-chair of the End Water Poverty (EWP) Steering Committee for two years. He is a member of several national Committees and Boards of organizations working on issues of Climate Change.
Geeta Pandey is associated with Karnali Integrated Rural Development and Research Centre (KIRDARC) Nepal. She holds Masters’ Degree in Environmental Science with specialisation on mountain environment. As a development professional, she has more than six years of experience of working with different National and Regional level Networks and provided her professional support for advocating on people’s rights over natural resources. She has worked on Policy advocacy on different issues such as Environment, Gender, Climate Change and Natural Resources.
Dipak Gyawali is a hydroelectric power engineer (Moscow Energy Institute), political economist (Energy and Resources Group, U of California at Berkeley), and academician of the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology as well as chair of Nepal Water Conservation Foundation (an NGO) and Interdisciplinary Analysts (a private research firm specializing in quantitative and qualitative social science). He was Nepal’s Minister of Water Resources (responsible for hydropower, irrigation and flood control) in 2002/2003 when he introduced community electricity giving control over distribution to the rural consumers. He conducts interdisciplinary research at the interface of technology and society, primarily on water, energy, natural resources as well as ethics and philosophy, from the perspectives of Cultural Theory (of Plural Rationalities). He has been a visiting professor/research scholar as well as member of advisory board in various universities and international organizations, including UN University as visiting professor of water and cultural diversity, Pacific Northwest National Lab for its seminal 4-volume effort Human Choice and Climate Change published in 1998 (which was a US Department of Energy funded effort where, for the first time, social sciences were taking a hard look at climate change) and New York’s Social Science Research Council’s South Asia Regional Advisory Panel. He chaired the EU’s review of its water research funding between FP4 to FP6 as well as the review of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Program IHP-6. He has also reviewed UNESCO IHE-Delft in 2007 as well as 2012 and 2016 for both institutional aspects and course standards. He was on the steering committee of Mekong’s MPower. Currently he is on the advisory committee of UNESCO’s World Water Assessment Program, IDS Sussex STEPs Centre, and in Nepal he was the founding chairman of of a grassroots voluntary NGO dedicated to the task of poverty alleviation, the Rural Self-Reliance Development Center (Swabalamban). He also serves on the advisory board of several civic organisations such as Biogas Support Program, National Association of Community Electricity Users Nepal, National Federation of Irrigation Water Users Association Nepal, etc.
Arif Rahman is a Senior Program Manager at Hashoo Foundation (Pakistan) looking after the Environment, Climate Change and DRR portfolio. An Environmental Economist by training, Arif is interested in quantifying various aspects of Climate Change including Vulnerability and Loss and Damage. He remains an avid and passionate teacher, speaking and teaching at various universities in Pakistan.
Dr Abid SuleriPakistan
Arjuna SeneviratneSri Lanka
Arjuna Seneviratne is a Director and Development and Strategy Planning Consultant at the Strategic Enterprise Management Agency. He is also a Board Member at Sri Lanka Foundation and also a development consultant Energy Forum in Sri Lanka where he was the chief consultant on behalf of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) to establish a consumer network in CEB area IV (Colombo, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Hambantota).
Ranga PallawalaSri Lanka
Ranga Pallawala is currently working as the Chief Executive Officer of Janathakshan GTE based in Sri Lanka, which is a reputed organisation working in the sectors of resilience building, low carbon development pathways and circular economies. Ranga processes over 15 years of global working experience in the sectors of climate change, low carbon development, waste management and governance.
Ranga obtained his basic degree in Agriculture from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
He has been working within the Climate Change Sector in South Asia in various capacities. He is serving as a member of the National Expert Committee on Climate Change Adaptation (NECCCA), established under the Ministry of Environment of Sri Lanka since 2010. Ranga actively engages in UNFCCC processes internationally since 2008 as an observer and as a negotiator. He is a regular member of official government delegation for UNFCCC negotiations since 2013 as a Climate Finance expert
He also involved in accrediting a National Implementing Entity for Sri Lanka to ensure direct access for Adaptation Fund and was one of the members of the expert panel established by UNEP for Asia Pacific to support accrediting NIEs under the Adaptation Fund. He was the member of Organising Committee of the 5th Asia Pacific Adaptation Forum and engaged actively on Green Climate Fund related advocacy work at global level. He has engaged in large number of projects and research programmes related to Climate Change and Sustainable Development.
Gehendra Bahadur GurungRegional
Gehendra Gurung is the Head of Programme: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change at Practical Action South Asia where he develops, manages and executes a diverse range of environmental and socio-economic development programmes, projects and activities under the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction at national and regional scale; and contribute towards global goal of the organisation. He studied for his Masters in Crops and Horticultural Science at Wye College, University of London.
Dipankar Chyau Patnaik currently works with Christian Aid in Nepal. Having worked with Christian Aid and Oxfam in past, he brings together experience of designing and implementing complex programmes across dispersed locations successfully. He strongly believes in raising the voice of the affected & ‘at risk’ communities against Climate induced disasters by developing low cost resilience programming solutions across South Asia. He has a Ph.D. in Cyclone Risk Analysis and foundation degrees in GIS & Remote sensing, Geology, Geography and Statistics. He is a highly adaptive humanitarian who easily adapts to new work environments and cultures.
Monisha Biswas based in Dhaka with Oxfam in Bangladesh as WorldWide Influencing Network and Communications Manager. Her role includes leading national and global level influencing, advocacy, campaign, communication, networking and alliance building work focusing on economic and climate justice issues. She is the Assistant Secretary General of the national Right to Food Bangladesh platform with 1000 members. She also serves as a national committee member of Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods with 250 member organisations. She holds a Masters degree in Anthropology from the Department of Anthropology from the University of Dhaka.