The global BIOFIN team works with national teams in each of the core countries around the world. These teams work in close collaboration with the respective government agencies, UNDP country offices and other relevant organizations and initiatives.


onno van den Heuvel
Onno van den Heuvel

Global Manager

Onno is the Global Manager for BIOFIN – based at UNDP’s Istanbul Regional Hub. He leads the BIOFIN team, responsible for all global and national activities, programme development, resource mobilisation and partnerships. His prior work includes a 4 year tenure as UNDP’s Biodiversity Programme Officer/Environment Team leader in Mongolia, responsible for protected area finance, community based conservation and environmental governance. He also worked in Mongolia as a policy expert for the establishment of a Clean Air Fund and for 4 years in Kenya at UN-HABITAT’s Regional Office for Africa and Arab States. Onno holds a Masters Degree in Economic Geography from the University of Utrecht.

Marco Arlaud

Environmental Finance Expert

Marco is a member of the BIOFIN management and the technical team, working on the programme’s resource mobilization and communication, supporting the development of the BIOFIN Methodology and leading the BIOFIN Webinar series. Before joining the UNDP, Marco worked in the banking sector and changed his specialization to work on Environmental Finance. He holds three Masters degrees in Finance, Quantitative Economics and Environmental, Energy and Sustainable Development Economics.

Annabelle Trinidad

Technical Advisor

MS. ANNABELLE “Abbie” TRINIDAD is Senior Technical Advisor for BIOFIN handling the Philippines, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Zambia. She has more than two decades of work experience in environment economics, sustainable financing, and policy and institutional analysis, mainly in the fisheries and coastal sectors. Abbie has written a number of papers on fisheries policy and economics, including peer-reviewed materials and co-authored a book entitled “Values of Philippine Coastal Resources: Why Protection and Management are Critical”. She has worked with major donor agencies Abbie has an undergraduate degree in Statistics and a masteral degree in Applied Business Economics.

Andrew Seidl

Technical Advisor

Andy’s role in BIOFIN includes national technical support to Belize, Brazil, Fiji, Indonesia and Malaysia, and global technical support in economic valuation, finance and policy analysis. He has been Professor & Public Policy Specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University since 1997.  From 2009-12, he was Head, Global Economics Programme, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), based in Switzerland.  Dr. Seidl holds a B.A. in Economics and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida, USA.

Blerina Gjeka

Project Management Associate and Gender Focal Point

Blerina is providing support to financial management of the project as well as the gender mainstreaming. She brings more than 10 years of experience in programme management involving multi-donor, multi-country and multi-agency initiatives at national, regional and global levels. She joined UNDP in 2007 and before worked as Project Coordinator for several NGOs and Foundations in Albania including projects funded by the EU, Council of Europe, CEI, CORDAID, etc. Before joining UNDP-GEF New York in 2011 she worked with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Albania at the position of Coordination Analyst for Non-Resident UN Agencies. She is co/author of three national publications of UNDP, UNV, and with the Albanian Ministry of Tourism, Youth and Sports. Blerina holds a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development from the University of London.

Semiray Emeksiz

Project Management Associate

She is providing support to monitoring and reporting as required for the successful management and achievement of the outcomes of the Initiative, and support to the core management, human resources, sourcing consultants, and procurement management. Semiray previously worked as Travel and Logistics Associate in the Istanbul Regional Hub ensuring high quality and accuracy of work in order to obtain the optimum travel and logistics services. Prior to joining the IRH, Semiray worked as an Adviser at the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations in New York for 4 years. During her tenure with the Permanent Mission, she was mostly focusing on the topics of the Economic and Social Committee. She holds a Master's degree in Global Trade Management from the State University of New York.

Tracey Cumming

Technical Advisor

Tracey focusses on the African Region as Technical Advisor for BIOFIN. Hailing from South Africa, she was the BIOFIN Project Leader for South Africa for over two years before joining the global team.  Tracey has over fifteen years’ experience in biodiversity policy and biodiversity finance, with particular experience in mainstreaming biodiversity into national development agendas, privately protected areas and fiscal incentives. Tracey has an undergraduate degree in Economics and Environmental Science, and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science.

Mariana bellot
Mariana Bellot

Technical Advisor

Mariana is a BIOFIN Technical Adviser providing support to Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Mexico. She has over 18 years of experience working on biodiversity policy and finance issues. She was formerly National Coordinator for BIOFIN Mexico and worked for several environmental agencies in the Mexican Government. She has extensive experience on a wide range of issues related to biodiversity conservation, protected area finance, ecosystem services, ecosystem-based adaptation, and has closely worked with international organisations such as UNDP, WB, GEF, GIZ, KFW and AFD. Mariana holds a Maste´s Degree on Environmental Policy and Development Studies from the University of Sussex. She is based in Mexico City.

Massimiliano Riva

Innovation Finance Policy Specialist

Max is responsible for contributing to UNDP’s evolving work on sustainable and innovative finance through policy advice, technical expertise, advocacy, and partnership building. He works closely with UNDP-GEF, UN-REDD, the Biodiversity Finance Initiative and other programmes to identify and operationalize opportunities for leveraging financial resources in support of sustainable development. He has accumulated expertise in areas such as guarantees, inclusive finance, export credit, public finance, vertical funds, Sector Wide Approaches, and sector resource mobilization strategies. Max has a M.Sc. in Economics and International Policies from the Catholic University of Milan, and a BA/MA in Economics from the Bocconi University.

Jessica Alvsilver
Jessica Alvsilver

Technical Advisor

Jessica is responsible to provide technical support to the CBD Parties not participating in BIOFIN's core programme in Asia and the Pacific. She has more than twenty years of experience in environmental economics, in research, national policy making and in mainstreaming environment in international collaborations. She has four years of experience working at the donor agency Sida. Before joining BIOFIN she worked for seven years at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency providing policy advice to the Government. She holds a Ph.D in development and environmental economics from the University of Gothenburg, specializing in valuation and welfare distribution of international tourism. 

James Maiden

Global Communications Specialist

James is responsible for BIOFIN’s communications and advocacy. James is a passionate communicator and a keen environmentalist with a particular interest in climate change and sustainable development. Based in Tasmania, Australia, he joined BIOFIN after leadership roles with DFAT-Australian Aid on a large multi-country private sector development program called the Market Development Facility (MDF). He spent 5 years in Indonesia working with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and with AusAID on REDD+ programs. Prior to working in development communications, he was in the media producing television and documentary films with broadcasters such as Al Jazeera, ABC, SBS, France 3 among others. He has a Masters in Science Communications (Natural History Filmmaking) and a Degree in Film and Media.

Herve Barois

Technical Advisor

Hervé is a Technical Adviser for Central Asia and East Africa. He is a senior consultant in environmental finance  with more than 20 years of  professionnel experiences in the Eastern Southern African, Indian Ocean and South East Asia region in the field of sustainable resources management, biodiversity conservation and climate change (mitigation and adaptation). In Addition, he has project identification and formulation working experiences with different organisations such as Global Environment Facility, European Union, Global Mechanism, UNDP, UNCDF ,Global Climate Change Alliance, Green Climate Fund.

Gamze Akarsu

Environmental Finance Associate

Gamze is a UN Volunteer with the BIOFIN Global team.

She works closely with BIOFIN countries focusing on knowledge management and monitoring and evaluation activities. In addition, Gamze supports the implementation of the BIOFIN communication strategy.

Prior to her role in the UNDP, she was based in Malawi to support biodiversity and agricultural practices.

Gamze has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Engineering and holds double degree in Master´s of Management and Engineering in Environment and Energy.

Serhat Bozoglu

Project Support Consultant

Serhat is providing support to BIOFIN's international events and support to the project’s budget planning and management focusing on achieving successful results for the initiative. Before joining UNDP, he was working Travel & Logistics Team at UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub since 2016. He worked in the tourism and hotel industry with various hotel and travel companies, where he was responsible for event and travel management. He holds a BA degree in Tourism and Hotel Business Management.