Shaping The Planet! Meet UN biodiversity Chief Elizabeth Maruma Mrema

Amid the skyrocketing varying crisis facing humankind economically, politically, and otherwise, she also battles constant threats to her environment – nature, global warming, climate change, pollution, etc.

Renowned Tanzanian lawyer and diplomat Maruma Mrema is passionate about powering a more sustainable environment for all. She is the Executive Secretary of the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD).

Under her leadership under the umbrella of the United Nations, she ensures the indigenous peoples and local communities, NGOs, inclusive are actively engaged in the process.

Presently, measures are being put in place with the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, otherwise known as the ‘Paris Agreement for biodiversity’.

It all started during childhood when Elizabeth who grew up in Tanzania – Moshi – on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro began noticing streams of water which were at their every turn suddenly started disappearing, this, among several changes bred curiosity in the then young Elizabeth Mrema, burdened and full of questions, her inquisitiveness led her to take environmental studies and since then, her passion has seen her taking giant steps towards the preservation of world.

Her appointment as Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
was announced on 8 June 2020 by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

Well-versed in global environmental law and policymaking, implementation of environmental and sustainable development programmes, and a deep knowledge of multilateral processes, before officially taking on the role Mrema had since December 2019 been the Acting Executive Secretary of the CBD Secretariat.

Prior to that, she served as Director of the Law Division at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya.

She boasts of over two decades of experience at the United Nations, from 2009 to 2012, she served as the Executive Secretary of the UNEP/Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals as well as served as the Acting Executive Secretary of the UNEP/ASCOBANS (Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas). She also served as Interim Executive Secretary of the UNEP/Gorilla Agreement, all based in Bonn, Germany.

Before joining UNEP, Ms. Mrema worked with the United Republic of Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. While with the Ministry, she also lectured in Public International Law and Conference Diplomacy at Tanzania’s Centre for Foreign Relations and Diplomacy.

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema holds a Master of Law degree from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, a Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Centre of Foreign Relations and Diplomacy in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, and a Bachelor of Law from the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

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