Mr. Nik Sekhran
Head, Environment and Energy Group, BDP/UNDP
Nik Sekhran joined UNDP in 1997 and is currently the Officer in Charge - Environment and Energy Group, Bureau for Development Policy. He has also held the position of Head of the UNDP Biodiversity Programme and Principal Technical Adviser of the UNDP-GEF Ecosystems and Biodiversity Programme in the Environment and Energy Group of UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy. Recently, he played an instrumental role in the development of UNDP’s Biodiversity and Ecosystems Global Framework 2012 – 2020.
As an environmental economist with over 20 years of applied experience in the field of biodiversity management, Mr. Sekhran has worked in a range of natural environments, including tropical forest, dry land, mountain and wetland ecosystems, and large marine ecosystems. His expertise covers protected area management and finance, mainstreaming biodiversity management into land and water use planning and markets, climate change mitigation and ecosystem-based adaptation. He has technical experience working on land and water ecosystem management initiatives in 35 countries in southern and eastern Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Mr. Sekhran manages and provides strategic, policy and technical guidance to a team of passionate and dedicated Regional Technical Advisers. The portfolio managed by this team includes over 500 projects located in 146 countries around the world, with a value of US$1.5 billion in funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other sources, and a co-financing of $3.5 billion. From 2001 to 2010, he served as Regional Technical Adviser for biodiversity and international waters, covering 21 countries in Southern and Eastern Africa.
Prior to joining UNDP, Mr. Sekhran was a resource economist with the Department of Environment and Conservation in Papua New Guinea (PNG). In that position, he helped redesign the social engagement strategy of the PNG Biodiversity Programme by documenting lessons learned and actively advocating new approaches. He also co-authored the PNG Country Study on Forest Management, published by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and PNG National Research Institute as part of an international comparative policy study involving Ghana, Pakistan, PNG and Zimbabwe.
Mr. Sekhran is a British and Indian national and holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Bath (England) and an M Phil in Economics of Development from the University of Cambridge. His work has taken him to over 90 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe North America and Oceania.