Meet the Major Groups Organizing Partners
Business & Industry
Birgit Engelhardt

Birgit Engelhardt has been one of the Organizing Partners of the Major Groups Business and Industry since 2010. She is engaged for many years internationally in the field of chemicals management and has been working on various related IGO processes. In 1998 Birgit Engelhardt was appointed Main Representative to the United Nations of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA). In the same time she is the ICCA Focal Point for UNEP and for the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). She also represents the industry sector in the Bureau established under SAICM. Birgit Engelhardt speaks German and fluent English and French and has basic knowledge in Spanish.

Louise Kantrow

Louise Kantrow was appointed the International Chamber of Commerce?s permanent representative to the United Nations in March 2007. Her career has included posts within the United Nations and senior positions at nonprofit, governmental and intergovernmental organizations closely associated with UN activities. Ms. Kantrow holds doctoral and master?s degrees in demography and economics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor?s degree in sociology from the University of Michigan.

Children and Youth
Sabá Loftus

Sabá Loftus is an Organizing Partner for the Major Group of Children and Youth (MGCY) for Rio+twenties. Until recently, she was the Policy Advocacy Coordinator for the MGCY during the 19th UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Alongside her work within the MGCY, she has represented YOUNGO at AGF Climate Finance discussions, was a thematic Core Group member for the 6th World Water Forum (Optimisation of Water in Agriculture) and actively works to empower youth to achieve the MDGs through the International Youth Council. Sabá holds a Master's degree in Business with a focus in Government. Sabá speaks fluent Swahili and English.

Ivana Savic

Ivana Savic has been one of the Organising Partners for the Major Group for Children and Youth since 2009. She holds LLM in the Rights of the Child and she is Doctoral candidate in Law at the UNION University, Faculty of Law in Belgrade, Serbia. Ivana has been involved with numerous organisations, groups and initiatives worldwide and extensive work experience in the youth and human rights field. Ivana has expertise in the rights of the child and youth, women?s rights, environmental human rights, international public law and international organisations, democratic governance and sustainable development. She speaks Serbo-Croatian and English fluently. She can be contacted at and +552182349720.

Kiara Worth

Kiara Worth is one of the Organising Partners for the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY). The MGCY is the official youth constituency for sustainable development negotiations, including the upcoming Rio+20 Earth Summit, and through her role as Organising Partner, she helps facilitate and advance the participation of young people within these processes, including policy amendments and youth activism. Kiara has engaged with thousands of youth across the globe fostering dialogue, collaboration, participation and unity and diversity amongst young people, and mobilising them to act ? confident that youth hold the key to building a better world. Kiara also works as an independent consultant for sustainable development, focusing on rural resource management and communications. She applies alternative forms of social development that use the creative arts and theatre as a means of enabling social transformation. Her publications, dramatic performances and community theatre have focused on environmental integrity and sustainable living, and encouraging people to act. Her work has been featured at numerous panel events at the UNCSD and related events. Kiara specialises in working with people with diverse backgrounds; she currently working in Papua New Guinea as a photo-journalist and communications specialist.

Robynne Anderson

Robynne Anderson works internationally in the agri-food sector as the Main Representative for the World Farmers Organisation to the United Nations. She has also been working on several IGO processes related to food security, women in farming, and development. Her volunteer work also includes a program in Zambia to teach orphans agricultural skills through schools. She has been a media commentator on the crop inputs, farming, and manure management sectors. She lives on a family farm in Dugald, Manitoba, Canada which grows oats, canola, wheat, barley and other crops.

Carlos Marentes

Part of the Technical Team for La Vía Campesina for the North America Region Secretariat and is also a doctoral candidate in the Economics Department of The University of Massachusetts at Amherst where his focus is Development and Political Economy.

Jessica Roe

Part of the Technical Team for La Vía Campesina International and North America Region Secretariat.

Indigenous Peoples
Grace Balawag

Grace Balawag is the Assistant Project Coordinator of the Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change and Forests Project Partnership under Tebtebba, the Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education. The project is being implemented in partnership with Indigenous Peoples Organizations (IPOs) and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in ten countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. She has been actively participating, as part of the Organizing Partner of Indigenous Peoples' Major Group in the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)/Rio+20; and in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She will be participating in the official meetings of the UNCSD/Rio+20 from 11-23 June 2012 at Rio de Janiero, Brazil with the Indigenous Peoples Major Group. For further information on her work and organization, please go to the following websites: and Tebtebba is accredited as an "NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations".

Jocelyn Carino

Ms. Jocelyn Carino, Ibaloi -Igorot from the Cordillera, Philippines. Active campaigner and advocate, over the past 30 years on indigenous peoples human rights, at community, national and international levels. Experienced environment and development educator, researcher, journalist and writer on human rights and sustainable development. Extensive work on cultural and biological diversity, traditional knowledge and Indigenous Peoples Rights, and international standards on water and energy, large dams and alternatives, forestry, extractive industries and corporate accountability. 1999-Present - Policy Advisor and European Desk Coordinator, Tebtebba (Indigenous People's International Centre for Policy, Research and Education) Team Leader, Indigenous Peoples’ and Biodiversity Programme 1998-2000 - Commissioner, World Commission on Dams 1994 - 1999 - Executive Secretary, International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz is the Executive Director of Tebtebba, which is the Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education. Tebtebba envisions ?a world where indigenous peoples? rights, embedded in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and other Human Rights Conventions and instruments, are respected, protected and fulfilled; where there are unified yet diverse and vibrant indigenous peoples? movements, formations and communities at various levels, which persist in asserting indigenous peoples? human rights and achieving sustainable, self-determined development; where respect for diversity, human rights, solidarity and reciprocity with nature and all creation is the basis of coexistence between peoples and between human beings and the natural world.? Vicky is an indigenous Kankanaey-Igorot from the Philippines. She also serves as the Convenor of the Asian Indigenous Women's Network (AIWN). She was the former Chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). Presently, she is a member of the Global Indigenous Peoples' Steering Committee for International Indigenous Peoples Global Conference on Sustainable Development and Self-Determination to be held on 17-19 June 2012 at the Museo da Republica in Rio de Janiero, Brasil. For further information, her contact details are as follows: email: phone: 63-74-4447703 mobile: 63-9175317811

Local Authorities
Maruxa Cardama

Maruxa currently runs the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development, nrg4SD, a global organisation of subnational governments committed to sustainable development. Before joining nrg4SD, Maruxa was Deputy Director of the representation of the South West of England to the European Union (EU) for over 6 years, where she lead on sustainable development policy analysis and international project planning for a partnership of regional authorities, academia and the private sector. Earlier she was sustainable development officer and institutional affairs advisor in the EU representation of the Spanish region of Galicia and worked in the legal affairs department of the EU Committee of the Regions. Besides, Maruxa has worked as an expert on governance and public administration reform for the EU, the Government of Romania and the British Council. She has also been a lecturer in several capacity building programmes run by the Assembly of European Regions AER, the College of Europe of Bruges, the Institute of Political Studies of Paris Sciences Po and the French Presidency of the EU. In all, Maruxa has 10 years experience on strategic policy-making, governance, partnerships and capacity building in the field of sustainable development at the international, national and subnational levels. Maruxa holds a LL.B from the University of La Corunna in Spain, a LL.M. in European Law from the Université Libre de Bruxelles U.L.B. in Belgium, a Masters in Management of Decentralised Cooperation Projects by the Organisation of Ibero American States and has undertaken international relations courses at the School of Oriental and African Studies S.O.A.S of the University of London. Maruxa is a UN and Red Cross volunteer and a passionate of World music, hiking, travelling, dogs and Flemish painting.

Natalène Poisson

Natalène Poisson is Policy Officer at United Cities and Local Governments since 2009. She is in charge of climate change negotiation and Rio+20 and of following the international agenda. She holds a Master in International Law and Politics and has lived in France, Canada, Cameroon, Netherlands and currently in Spain. She speaks French, English and Spanish.

Susanne Salz

"Susanne Salz is Head of the Secretary General's Office at ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. ICLEI is the largest network of local governments dedicated to sustainability. On behalf of ICLEI Susanne has been fully engaged in the Rio+20 process since May 2010. Previously Susanne worked at the OECD and completed her MSc in International Relations at the London School of Economics. Susanne speaks English, German and French. She looks forward to helping you make the most of Rio+20!"

Natalie Akstein

Natalie is a Brazilian and American citizen working for CIVICUS as a Junior Convening Officer, and since the end of 2011 has become actively involved in assisting the work of CIVICUS as an NGO Major Group Organising Partner. She holds a Masters degree in Political Economy of Development, academic focus which was fueled by her particular interest in development issues, though now more specifically, sustainable development. At Rio+20 she looks forward to working together with the other NGO Major Group Organising Partners, based in Rio Centro, to facilitate and coordinate NGOs engagement before and throughout the Conference. Apart from English, she is also fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and French.

Luis Flores Mimica

Luis is Chilean and works for Consumers International´s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean. He is Policy and Campaign Officer and the person responsible for organizing CI?s work for Rio+20. He is a psychiatrist and holds a Masters degree in philosophy and organizational behaviour. Since 2003 he is been actively working on Sustainable Consumption and Production and participating in a number of related forums, such as the Marrakech Process, UNEP´s international and regional work on this subject area; CSD 18-19 and the Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living. He speaks Spanish and English and understands and speaks basic Portuguese and French.

Jeffery Huffines

Jeffery Huffines is Main Representative of CIVICUS since 2009 and Rio+20 NGO Major Group Organizing Partner at UN Headquarters in New York. From 2007-2011 he was elected Chair of the NGO/DPI Executive Committee that represents some 1,300 Non-Governmental Organizations associated with the UN Department of Public Information, where he served on the planning committee of the Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference, most recently held in Bonn, Germany in September 2011 that produced a civil society declaration on the themes of sustainable development and volunteerism in preparation for Rio+20. He had previously served as Main UN Representative for the U.S. Baha'i Community and has taught as an adjunct professor at the Center for Global Affairs, New York University.

Leida Rijnhout

Leida Rijnhout has a background in cultural anthropology with many years of experience in international development cooperation, including field work in Bolivia. She has been the coordinator of the Flemish Platform on Sustainable Development (VODO). As head of this platform, she worked on several issues within the framework of Sustainable Development: Agriculture, Climate, Local Agenda 21, SCP, ecological footprint, etc. Since 2009, she is the executive director of ANPED (Northern Alliance for Sustainability), an international network on sustainable development that is integrating the so-called ?strong sustainability? approach in its activities on the different policy levels (UN, OECD, EC). For many years, she coordinated the activities of an international working group, which was part of an international think tank (ALOE) on ?ecological debt and environmental justice?. Her current activities relate to the themes of ecological economics, sustainable economy, sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and resource justice.

Leonardo Rocha

Leonardo Rocha is a Brazilian and Portuguese citizen working for ANPED ? The Northern Alliance for Sustainability- as Communication and Project officer. With an academic background in Journalism and European Studies, Leonardo has been currently working in the UN CSD /Rio+20 and EU SDS processes, with a special interest in Sustainable Development and Regional Integration.Apart from English, he also speaks Portuguese, Spanish, French and Dutch.

Henri Valot

Henri Valot is CIVICUS Outreach Director since June 2011. His portfolio includes Network Engagement/Convening, Communications and Resource Mobilisation. Mr. Valot works in the field of International Development, governance and capacity development since 1992, notably in Cambodia, Mozambique, Angola, Mali, South-Africa and Burundi. Henri Valot?s previous experience includes several posts at UN Secretariat (DPI), UNDP, UN Volunteers Programme HQs and in United Nations peacekeeping missions. French national, he holds a Master?s degree in philosophy and theory of law from the University of Nanterre - Paris and began his career as a Refugees Protection Officer at the Refugees Division of the French Foreign Affairs Ministry. He speaks French, English and Portuguese.

Scientific and Technological Community
Gisbert Glaser

Gisbert is trained as a geographer (doctorate in geography from the University of Heidelberg, 1965). In January 2002, he became a Senior Advisor on science for sustainable development and UN system cooperation to the ICSU Executive Director. He was a member of ICSU?s Advisory Committee on the Environment (ACE) from 1992 to 1996. After having started a university career (1965 to 1971 at Heidelberg University, including altogether one year of postdoctoral field research in Brazil), Dr. Glaser joined UNESCO in Paris in 1972. He has worked in different assignments at UNESCO up to 2001 when he retired with the rank of Assistant Director-General, responsible for UNESCO?s programmes in the natural and engineering sciences. The scope of his assignments at UNESCO ranged from directing specific components within the Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme in the 1970s and 1980s to strategic assignments later-on (e.g. coordinating UNESCO?s follow-up to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development -Rio, 1992).

Jorge Spitalnik

Mechanical Engineer (Univ. of Uruguay and Federal Univ. of Rio de Janeiro). Chartered Engineer & Member IMechE (U.K.); DIC Nuclear Power (Imperial College, London Univ.); Ingénieur en Génie Atomique (Saclay, France). Formerly, Deputy Manager of Nuclear Technology and Safety Co-ordination, ELETRONUCLEAR S.A. (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil); Executive Director of UPADI (Pan American Union of Engineering Associations); Vice-President, WFEO - World Federation of Engineering Organizations; President, WFEO Standing Committee on Energy; Director, ANS - American Nuclear Society Board; ANS Fellow; Chair INSC - International Nuclear Societies Council; Chair; INEA – International Nuclear Energy Academy. Currently, LAS Secretary; Vice-President, UPADI; Chair, WFEO-UN Relations Committee; WFEO representative at UN CSD; Member, API – Pan American Engineering Academy. 2006 INSC Global Award.

Eleanor Blomstrom

Eleanor Blomstrom is Program Coordinator for the Women?s Environment and Development Organization, a global women?s advocacy organization working toward a just world that promotes and protects human rights, gender equality and the integrity of the environment. WEDO?s mission is to ensure that women?s rights; social, economic and environmental justice; and sustainable development principles-as well as the linkages between them-are at the heart of global and national policies, programs and practices. At WEDO, Eleanor coordinates programs on sustainable development and climate change. Her work involves research, training development and facilitation, partner management and development, and global-level advocacy at the UNFCCC, CSD and other UN fora. Prior to WEDO, Eleanor worked on climate change projects ranging from green roofs to waste management to adaptation with the Earth Institute, the Clinton Foundation and the World Bank. She has community development experience in the areas of agriculture and women?s empowerment with organizations in Nicaragua and Nigeria, and she has a background in bilingual elementary education with a focus on race and gender equity in public schools. Eleanor holds a Master of International Affairs in Urban and Environmental Policy from Columbia University?s School of International and Public Affairs and a Bachelors degree in Environmental Sciences.

Nana-Fosu Randall

Mrs. Nana-Fosu Randall, was born in Kumasi, Ghana. She holds a Bachelor?s degree in accounting and an MBA in finance. For nearly 30 years, Nana worked with the United Nations, the last 18 years as the Chief Financial Officer with the Peace Keeping Forces. During that time she was one of the people responsible for the rebuilding and clean-up efforts following war and conflict situations in places such as Tanzania, Namibia, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Israel and Lebanon, and in Kuwait and Iraq during the Gulf War. She has seen much suffering during her service with the UN and has grown to believe that there is an alternative to war ? the promotion of peace, the sharing of resources and the creation of understanding among all people.

Sascha Gabizon

Sascha Gabizon took part in the Global Forum of civil society at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which inspired her to start working on the issue of sustainable development and women's empowerment, amongst others organising women's delegations to the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 and the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. She became the Director of WECF Women in Europe for a Common Future, and developed it into an international network working for sustainable development and poverty reduction in over 40 countries, feeding results into EU and United Nations policy processes. WECF/WICF operates from 3 offices in Germany, France and the Netherlands. Through its sustainable development programmes WECF/WICF works with more than 35.000 local beneficiaries in the area of safe water supply and sanitation, safe renewable energy and chemical safety, and advocating for women?s economic and political empowerment. At international level, WECF/WICF represents civil society women?s organisations world wide in the international policy processes of the EU, UNCSD Rio+20, UNEP, UNFCCC and UNECE, and contributes to activities of WHO and regional development banks. Sascha Gabizon lived and worked in Nigeria, Spain, Netherlands, France, Germany, and the USA. She has published a large number of reports and articles.

Workers and Trade Union
Laura Martin

Director of Sustainlabour, an international trade union foundation working on sustainable development and accompanying trade unions in the process of better understanding the links between labour and environment. More information on Sustainlabour and activities organised for Rio+20 can be found here : Laura is from Madrid, Spain. Contact : Twitter : lauramm_SL

Anabella Rosemberg

Policy Officer for Sustainable Development at the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), an organisation bringing together 308 trade union national centers from 153 countries and territories. More information on ITUC preparations for Rio+20 can be found here : Anabella was born in Villalonga, a small town in the Argentinean Patagonia and lives in Paris, France. Contact : Twitter : anabella_tu

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