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

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Marieke Sassen

Senior Programme Officer | Ecosystem Assessment

Marieke’s work focuses on understanding the trade-offs and synergies between agriculture and biodiversity, and how this understanding can inform land-use planning and agricultural (development) policy. Her work includes reviewing and synthesizing knowledge and the development of tools to support mainstreaming of biodiversity concerns into agricultural policy and decision-making. She currently leads a project exploring the potential impacts of commodity developments on biodiversity and ecosystem services in three regions of Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America.

Previous experience & expertise

Marieke obtained an MSc in Tropical Natural Resource Management at Wageningen University, the Netherlands in 1999. She then worked for the Centre for International Forestry Research in Cameroon and Gabon, heading multidisciplinary teams in ecological field surveys and assessments of local perspectives on biodiversity and forest conservation. She recently finalized her PhD at Wageningen University, the Netherlands on the drivers of forest cover change and balancing forest conservation and local livelihoods on Mt Elgon, Uganda. Marieke has experience in interdisciplinary research on conservation and development, including vegetation surveys; participatory mapping and socioeconomic data collection; Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing.

Recent work by Marieke Sassen

Commodities and Biodiversity, MacArthur Foundation | Project Manager

Marieke is responsible for the project budget and the coordination of activities which involve reviews of status and trends of biodiversity and commodities; socioeconomic scenario-building workshops; and the development of a spatial mapping tool to assess potential impacts of commodity developments on biodiversity in three regions. The project has produced a number of technical reviews for example on mapping biodiversity and agricultural potential.

TEEB for Agriculture and Food | Project Team

Supporting the development of a study on TEEB (The Economics of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) for Agriculture and Food, in collaboration with the TEEB office in Geneva.