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Abisha Mapendembe

Programme Officer | Ecosystem Assessment

Abisha’s work for the Centre focuses on: mainstreaming biodiversity and development in national plans (e.g. National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and National Development Plans (NDPs)); exploring the links between biodiversity conservation and poor people’s livelihoods; strengthening the evidence base for poverty - biodiversity linkages, agriculture – biodiversity/ecosystem services – commodities linkages; and informing policy in these fields. Abisha continues to contribute to UNEP-WCMC’s work on drylands; ecosystem assessments; biodiversity and ecosystem service indicators; national reporting on biodiversity; and capacity building thereof.

Previous experience & expertise

Abisha has previously worked at Fauna and Flora International, BirdLife International, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and the Centre for International Forestry Research, focusing on synthesizing, analyzing, communicating and applying information and data, and informing policy, particularly in the fields of international biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction/human wellbeing/livelihoods and development. He obtained an MSc in International Development from the University of Bath. He also holds an MA in Environmental Policy and Planning and a BA Honours degree in Geography and Environmental Science both from the University of Zimbabwe.

Recent work by Abisha Mapendembe

The NBSAPs 2.0: Mainstreaming Biodiversity and Development Project |

As this is a joint project with the International Institute for Environment and Development, Abisha is leading on UNEP-WCMC components of the project including: developing tools to support biodiversity mainstreaming in national plans; organizing and facilitating capacity building workshops; contributing to projects communications and administration; acting as secretariat for the African Leadership Group of the project; and representing and presenting the project at regional and international events and meetings.

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Helpdesk Project |

As project leader, Abisha, in collaboration with UNEP and GEF, is leading on a helpdesk providing technical and administrative support to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Parties on alignment of their National Action Programmes to the 10-Year Strategy of the UNCCD and other national sectoral plans as well as providing support relating to reporting to the UNCCD.

MacArthur Commodities Project |

Abisha carried out a detailed literature review of the impacts of commodity developments on biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being in the Great Lakes Region of East and Central Africa region, with a particular focus on four countries – Burundi, Rwanda, Malawi and Uganda.