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The Wings Over Wetlands - African-Eurasian Flyways Project

Wings over Wetlands: Steering Committee Members

The project Steering Committee included all main project partners who were involved with the technical and administrative delivery of the Wings Over Wetlands Project. The main role of the  Steering Committee was to guide and oversee the project’s technical progress and performance, as well as to enhance and optimise the contributions of partner organisations. Steering Committee members were also acting as ambassadors of the project goals, and helped in promoting project initiatives through relevant international networks and communication channels available to them. The WOW Steering Committee met annually, to discuss the projects results and to agree upon the project work plan and to schedule planned activities. 





Gerard Boere





 GERARD BOERE graduated in 1971 with a Drs. Degree in zoogeography and palaeontology from the Free University of Amsterdam, subsequently he completed his PhD studies on the international significance of the Dutch Wadden Sea as a molting area for arctic and sub-arctic waders. From 1977-1987 Gerard headed a team for Flora and Fauna Conservation and Research of the National Forest Service. Through his PhD and National Forest Service activities he developed a great interest and network in international conservation issues focusing on migratory birds and wetlands. Thus From 1987 onwards Gerard joined, as a Senior Officer, the Division for International Nature Conservation in addition to starting with a part time secondment to the Bonn Convention to support its general development and in particular the development of what is now the African Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA).

On a International level, Gerard headed the Dutch delegations to the Ramsar, Bern conventions and coordinated the Dutch-Russian cooperation. On the national level Gerard was responsible for many Dutch funded programs to support wetlands and migratory bird conservation worldwide. Furthermore, he facilitated the establishment of the Wetlands International and BirdLife Europe Offices in The Netherlands


 Edoardo Zandri - Task Manager, Biodiversity & Natural Resources (UNEP/DGEF)












EDOARDO ZANDRI, before joining the UNEP Division of Global Environment Facility Coordination (DGEF) as Task Manager for Biodiversity & Natural Resources, Edoardo was the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) of the Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) Project. 

Edoardo spent most of his career in developing countries contributing to large GEF biodiversity conservation  projects with World Bank, UNDP, UNEP and UNOPS in Yemen, Jordan, Cape Verde, Uganda, Armenia, Romania, China and several other countries.  

As part of his position at DGEF he contributes to the development and implementation of ongoing and new UNEP/GEF biodiversity conservation initiatives at the global level. His positive experience with WOW has also been instrumental for the future development of other innovative flyway-level conservation projects.

Edoardo remained involved with the WOW Project both in his capacity as Task Manager for the project at UNEP/DGEF and via his role as the Steering Committee representative for UNEP/GEF.


             Andrea Pauly (BfN)

  BfN Logo






The BfN is the German federal scientific authority, responsbile  for national and international nature conservation and landscape management, based in Bonn. Among other tasks, the BfN advises the Federal Government, conducts research and provides regular feedback to the Federal Government. With the results of these activities, the BfN provides aid to decision making in the legislative process and supports the practical work of administrative authorities and nature conservation associations.

The German Government supported the WOW Project with a generous financial contribution of 1 Million Euro. ANDREA PAULY at the BfN has been charged with the task of overseeing German support for the WOW project that is channelled through Wetlands International.


Ward Hagemijer







 WARD HAGEMEIJER has worked at Wetlands International for seven years. For most of this time Ward was Programme Head of Biodiversity and Ecological Networks, responsible for the development and delivery of Wetlands International's work on wetland species, habitats and site networks or, more generally, flyways.

Later he has been heavily involved in establishing and maintaining Wetlands International's global role in risk assessment for Avian Influenza. Also promoting and developing flyway conservation around the world was an important part of his work. As a global team leader Ward engaged with all the offices involved in biodiversity projects.

Before joining Wetlands International, he gained his degree at the University of Nijmegen and worked for SOVON, the Dutch bird monitoring foundation, where a major achievement was editorship of the EBCC Atlas of European Breeding Birds.


Leon Bennun








LEON BENNUN is Director of Science, Policy and Information at BirdLife International. A tropical ornithologist by training, Leon was born and grew up in Africa, later taking degrees at Cambridge and Oxford Universities in the UK. After returning to Kenya, Leon was for over a decade Chair of Nature Kenya (the BirdLife Partner NGO) and Head of the Ornithology Department at the National Museums of Kenya. 
Leon joined BirdLife in 2002 and co-ordinates the global work in science, policy and information for this Partnership of national conservation NGOs in over 100 countries around the world.



Bert Lenten








BERT LENTEN holds a Bachelor Degree in Forestry and Nature Management. Currently Bert Lenten is the Executive Secretary of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA). He 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. Before taking position as Executive Secretary of AEWA Bert worked as civil servant specialised in forestry and nature conservation, for the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality from 1981-2000.

In 2006, Bert Lenten took the lead in organising the World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) initiative in close cooperation with the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).  He is also one of the founding fathers of the CMS-led Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and the Environment. Bert has played a leading role in the development of the Wings Over Wetlands project.


 Julie Klassen














JULIE WATSON KLASSEN is from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and is Portfolio Manager for the UNEP/GEF African-Eurasian Flyways Project.

In 1990 Julie joined the United Nations Regional Programme Division for the Asia and Pacific Regional Office, at UNDP New York.  She has worked as  a Logistics/Administrative Officer in both Somalia and Kenya between 1993 and 1999 and then as Human Resources Associate for the UN Capital Development Fund in New York from 1999 to 2000.

Before returning to Nairobi in 2004 she gained her Masters in Business Administration and International Relations.  
In November 2005 she started working for UNOPS in Nairobi, Kenya.  Julie’s portfolio includes many of UNEP/GEF and UNDP regional projects in the region. 








NICK DAVIDSON has over 30 years experience in the research and conservation of wetlands and wetland-dependent species. As Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Dr Nick Davidson has had for the last seven years overall responsibility for the global scientific and technical delivery of Convention implementation. Prior to joining the Ramsar Convention Secretariat in February 2000, he was based for three years in the Netherlands as Wetlands International’s International Science Coordinator.

Nick Davidson holds a BSc (Honours) degree in Zoology from the University of Aberdeen (1975) and a PhD from the University of Durham (1981) in waterbird ecology and physiology. Following post-doctoral research at the University of Durham, Nick worked from 1986 to 1998 for the UK nature conservation agencies Nature Conservancy Council, English Nature and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, as Development Officer for Industry and Planning, Senior Ornithologist and Head of the Estuaries Review Unit.

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