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UN-REDD Programme Announces new Head of its Geneva based Secretariat


Yemi Katerere The UN-REDD Programme is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Yemi Katerere as the new Head of its Geneva-based Secretariat.  A forest scientist by training, Dr. Katerere has 20 years experience in forest management, research and commercial forestry, including seven years as the Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Forestry Commission and three years as Chair of the ICRAF Board of Trustees. Since 2003 he has been the Deputy Director-General of the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Prior to joining CIFOR, Dr. Katerere headed the IUCN regional office for Southern Africa.

As a leader in development forestry, Dr. Katerere specialises in strengthening the links between social and commercial objectives, particularly in poverty alleviation, biodiversity and conservation. His commercial forestry work includes business leadership in expanding plantation forests, processing plants and retail outlets, safaris and assisting with the Zimbabwean Forestry Commission's privatization. Dr. Katerere holds a PhD in Forest Resources from the University of Idaho and has published extensively. He was awarded the Commonwealth Queen’s Award in 1993 in recognition of his contribution to forestry and development.  

In his role as CIFOR’s Deputy Director General, Dr. Katerere has been closely involved in guiding programme integration, managing research, facilitating interdisciplinary approaches to research and in identifying impacts.

Dr. Katerere’s experience extends from southern, West and Central Africa to South East Asia and Latin America. Over the last 12 years he has worked closely with governments, communities and the private sector strengthening synergies.

Dr. Katerere, as Head of the UN-REDD Programme secretariat will lead a team of FAO, UNDP and UNEP to guide the implementation of the Programme.  Based in the International Environment House in Geneva, the small but dedicated secretariat will coordinate with three UN agencies and multiple country programmes to move the REDD agenda forward.  The UN-REDD Programme has just funded over USD18 million worth of national programmes with a few more to go.  

Dr. Katerere, comes into this new role well equipped to support the planning and implementation of the quick action projects in the 9 pilot countries as well as the joint global programmes. These projects are a critical and necessary step towards the success of COP 15 in December 2009. Dr. Katerere will focus much attention on the collaboration between the three UN Agencies, supporting the Policy Board discharge its mandate, ensuring that the UN-REDD Programme is complimentary to the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Forest Partnership Fund and maintains close liaison with the UNFCCC and SBSTA. Dr. Katerere believes that synthesizing and disseminating lessons learnt from the UN-REDD Programme will be central to confidence building and supporting the negotiation process for a post Kyoto agreement.