The Source, Annual Review 2020

Staff profile

Staff profile

What is the nicest thing about working at Wetlands International? It’s the open-door policy, inclusive and non-bureaucratic organisation which encourages quick decision making, open communication, mutual respect among staff and feedback on matters requiring urgent attention. This offers learning opportunities in the form of knowledge, best practices and experience exchange that comes with working across sectors, and in multi-disciplinary teams at all levels as well as North-South collaboration. We are also empowered to be fully in charge of all aspects project-wise; hence taking credit and recognition for, and ownership of the achievements made toward organisational mission and vision. What do you want to achieve in 2021? In 2021, my eyes and energies will be on increasing the visibility and publicity of Wetlands International in the project area through promoting an Information, Education and Communication campaign. As the EcoDRR project ends in December, my target is to support the project’s beneficiaries prepare sustainability plans as an exit strategy. What is your favourite species and why? My favourite species is the shoebill stork, a rare bird surviving in the wetlands fringing Lake Victoria in the in the Kampala metropole. These wetlands are under immense pressure, and the shoebill stork, a charismatic and iconic species, attracts technical and financial support from the private sector and NGOs that are invested in the protection and sustenance of the critical wetland ecosystems.

What is the nicest thing about working at Wetlands International? It’s not just that I truly believe in the mission and values of Wetlands International – the nicest thing about working at Wetlands International is how inspired I feel to work with committed and engaged colleagues towards a common goal. What do you want to achieve in 2021? My goal for 2021 is to strengthen the partnership linked to integrated river management that I am facilitating through Wetlands International Europe. Bringing partners together and enabling them to achieve their goals, building their resilience towards the future, and helping them secure new funding. What is your favourite species and why? My favourite species is the hawksbill sea turtle. I always found sea turtles to be amazing, but it was only when I participated in a volunteer programme in Nusa Penida, Indonesia that I fell in love with them. One of my favourite hobbies is scuba diving and I encountered hawksbill turtles several times in my dives; watching them gracefully glide over the coral reefs is an unforgettable experience.

Teresa Zuna Project Manager Office: European Association

Simon Akwetaireho Project Officer Office: Uganda

Who is Simon Akwetaireho? I was born in Hoima District close to Budongo Central Forest Reserve, the largest tropical high forest in Uganda. Lumbering was lucrative then and we revered and respected those involved in the trade. This endeared me to study forestry at Makerere University. I later discovered that forests have immense socio-economic and environmental benefits besides timber. I had a seven-year community conservation stint at four wildlife national parks before moving to work on projects in the northern Albertine Rift forest and Lake Victoria. At Wetlands International, I am the Technical Officer working on a three-year project on Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (EcoDRR) in Aswa River Catchment. I have a MSc. degree in Protected Area Management from the University of Klagenfurt, Austria; a PGD in Endangered Species Management from University of Kent at Canterbury, UK; and a BSc in Forestry from Makerere University, Uganda. What was your biggest personal work achievement in 2020? This would be supporting and empowering 33 farmers through our bio-rights approach in developing viable, market-oriented and profitable small-scale honey value chains. Commercial beekeeping is one of the ventures expected to increase household incomes and food security in addition to conserving the dwindling wetlands associated with Upper Agago sub-catchment in Abim District.

Who is Teresa Zuna? I am Portuguese but have lived in The Netherlands since 2012 when I began as a volunteer at Wetlands International by supporting the Ramsar Information System. I hold a Geography degree and a Master’s degree in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Land Modelling. At Wetlands International I’ve had different positions over the years, but since March 2021 I have worked as the Project Manager for a partnership focused on strengthening integrated river management in the Mediterranean Region. What was your biggest personal work achievement in 2020? In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic posed unprecedented challenges and we had to be more flexible and adaptive than ever. I feel my biggest achievement in 2020 was a team effort, with Lammert Hilarides, Ildiko Nagy, Maria Stolk, Gulnar Bayramova, Nazakat Azimli, Marij Kleinschiphorst, Willemijn Podt, Joost van Dantzig and Ron van Leeuwen, when we started the implementation of the new financial and IT system that was launched in January 2021. This system is a great improvement, with increased information sharing between the different teams.



Wetlands International Annual Review 2020

Wetlands International Annual Review 2020

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