Danish Inger Andersen appointed new UNEP Executive Director

Inger Andersen of Denmark has been appointed as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme for a four-year term. /COURTESY
Inger Andersen of Denmark has been appointed as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme for a four-year term. /COURTESY

Inger Andersen of Denmark has been appointed as

Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme for a four-year term.

In a press release on Thursday, Unep said, "Andersen brings a passion for conservation and sustainable development with more than 30 years of experience in international development economics, environmental sustainability and policymaking, as well as in designing and implementing projects."

She has been serving as Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature since 2015.

She succeeds

Erik Solheim, who resigned in November last year.

Solheim’s resignation followed audit queries on his huge travel expenses amounting to Sh50 million.

The money is believed to have been splurged on travel and hotel accommodation.

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"Deeply honoured

to have been nominated by the UN

Secretary General for the position of Executive Director

UN Environment. At this critical time for the planet and for humankind, environmental stewardship has never been more important," she said upon her appointment.

Joyce Msuya, from Tanzania, has been the acting

executive director.

"Congratulations

on your appointment as Executive Director of

. We look forward to working with you on our critical mission for people and planet!" Msuya tweeted.

"Andersen has held various leadership positions at the World Bank and United Nations, most recently as Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa Region at the World Bank (2011-2015) and Vice President for Sustainable Development and Head of the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research Fund Council (2010-2011)," Unep said in the statement.

Among those, she beat to the position is

Jochen Flashbarth,

State Secretary, Federal Ministry for the Environment, who was also

a Germany nominee for the job.

"Congrats dear

for being appointed as the next Executive Director of

! The UN will have with you a strong leader and advocate for the global environment! Our one planet deserves your strong leadership!" Flashbarth tweeted.

Andersen

graduated with a BA from London Metropolitan University North and an MA degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London with specialisation in development economics.

"The Secretary General [Antonio Guterres] wishes to extend his appreciation and gratitude to the Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, Joyce Msuya of Tanzania, for her service as Acting Executive Director," the statement said.

Andersen's in-tray includes the

fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4), which will take place from March 11-15 in Nairobi.

The conference will address

environmental challenges related to poverty and natural resources management, including sustainable food systems, food security and halting biodiversity loss, life-cycle approaches to resource efficiency, energy, chemicals and waste management; and innovative sustainable business development at a time of rapid technological change.

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