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Our dedicated team combines scientific excellence, outstanding technical ability and a passion for nature

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Laura Friedrich

Programme Officer | Conserving Land and Seascapes

Laura works on a range of projects related to ocean governance and marine policy. In particular, she focuses on ecosystem-based approaches, area-based management, sustainable blue economy and natural capital accounting. Laura has recently developed experimental ecosystem accounts for seagrasses and is contributing to the Centre’s work on blue economy and governance of areas beyond national jurisdiction. Previously, she worked on projects supporting the delivery of ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals. Laura is also managing UNEP-WCMC’s part of the ODYSSEA project, coordinating the project’s activities to engage potential users of an ocean observing and forecasting platform for the Mediterranean Sea.

Previous experience & expertise

Laura joined us from the Centre for Marine Conservation and Policy Research at Plymouth University. There, she worked on various projects involving marine policy, marine spatial planning and ecosystem service assessments. One of these was the VALMER Project, which investigated how ecosystem service assessments can support marine spatial planning. In conjunction with this project, Laura completed a PhD exploring the role of ecosystem service assessments in facilitating marine stakeholder engagement. She also has an MSc in Marine Policy and Planning from Plymouth University, UK, and a postgraduate degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Lüneburg, Germany.

Recent work by Laura Friedrich

ODYSSEA (Operating a Network of Integrated Observatory Systems in the Mediterranean Sea) | Project Lead

ODYSSEA is building a platform of observing and forecasting systems for the Mediterranean Sea to inform decision-making. Laura is leading the development of a business strategy, and engagement with policy makers and ocean users in the region, to ensure the long-term sustainability and policy relevance of the ODYSSEA platform.

Experimental seagrass ecosystem accounts | Task lead

Laura led the development of experimental seagrass ecosystem accounts. In close consultation with European seagrass experts, a protocol for ecosystem extent and condition accounts was developed and piloted for seagrasses in Corsica and Gran Canaria. This project was part of the Centre’s work to advance marine natural capital accounts.

Global Manual on Ocean Statistics | Project Lead

UNEP-WCMC supported the UN Environment Programme in developing guidance for national governments to help them track progress against Sustainable Development Goal 14 ‘Life below water’. Laura led the work on identifying existing indicator methodologies for pollution, ecosystem-based management and marine protected area coverage, and developed step-by-step approaches for selected indicators.