#CITES gets new Secretary General


(Posted 18th October 2018)

Ivonne Higuero has been assigned by the UN as Secretary General of the CITES Secretariat. She will take office in December 2018.

Ms. Ivonne Higuero is an environmental economist with a career spanning 26 years in international organizations in the area of sustainable development. Ivonne has experience working at the global, regional and national levels, and engaging with stakeholders across the public and private sectors.
During her 24 years with the UN, Ivonne has held varied roles managing financial and human resources, overseeing the implementation of programmes of work and the provision of secretariat services to intergovernmental bodies. With the adoption of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, Ivonne was responsible for ensuring the alignment of programmes of work to support countries in meeting their international commitments also through cross-sectoral cooperation.
Between 2014 and 2018, Ivonne served in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, most recently as the Director of the Economic Cooperation and Trade Division where she led and supervised programmes on trade facilitation, access to markets, innovation and competitiveness policies and public-private partnerships. Prior to this latest assignment, she was Director of the organization’s Forests, Land and Housing Division and Chief of the Operational Activities and Review Section of the Environment Division.

Ivonne served at the UN Environment headquarters in Nairobi and the Regional Office for Europe as the Coordinator of the Pan European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy, as the focal point for biodiversity related and regional sea conventions, amongst other natural resource management roles between 1994 and 2014.

She is a national of Panama and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Missouri (United States of America) and a Masters’ of Environmental Management Degree in Natural Resource Economics and Policy from Duke University (United States of America).

The African conservation fraternity hopes that the new regime will be able to clear up the mess left by the outgoing one, which has made too many questionable decisions over the past years and was generally seen as way too soft on issues of wildlife trafficking and naming and shaming those involved.

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