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

Programme Officer

Marco is a member of the BIOFIN global management and the technical team, working on the project management, the programme’s resource mobilization, knowledge management, communication and supporting the development of the BIOFIN Methodology. Before joining the UNDP, Marco worked in the banking sector in the research department focusing on risk diversification in portfolios. He later changed his specialization to work on Environmental Finance and project management. 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, India, Indonesia. She has more than two decades of work experience in environmental 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, Malaysia and Ecuador, 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

Programme Analyst 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 is a Technical Advisor with BIOFIN, working specifically with countries in Africa and Asia. She is also a member of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Panel of Experts on Resource Mobilisation, tasked with developing a draft framework for resource mobilisation for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Tracey holds a BSc in Economics and Environmental Science, and an MSc in Environmental Science. Tracey has extensive experience in biodiversity finance and policy at a national and international level, and led BIOFIN in South Africa before joining the global BIOFIN team in 2017. She has led and collaborated on numerous publications, including on biodiversity finance, ecological infrastructure, protected area finance, mainstreaming biodiversity and biodiversity offsets.

Mariana bellot
Mariana Bellot

Technical Advisor

Mariana is a BIOFIN Technical Adviser providing support to Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, Peru 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.

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 and acts as a technical advisor for Vietnam, Cambodia and Nepal. 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 covering Zambia, Madagascar, Seychelles, Uganda, Kygyzstan, Malawi and Tanzania. He is a senior consultant in environmental finance with more than 20 years of  professional experience in the Eastern Southern African, Indian Ocean and Southeast 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 has joined the team as an Environmental Finance Associate and the focal point for integrating biodiversity in climate and renewable energy investments. Her role includes the development and coordination of knowledge management functions. Prior to joining BIOFIN, Gamze worked in GIZ Malawi and GIZ Brussels, focusing on environmental policy, biodiversity and agricultural practices. Gamze holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering in Bahcesehir University (Turkey)  and a double Master’s degree in Management and Engineering of Environment and Energy, from Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain) and Mechanical Modelling Engineering, from Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary) with a focus on Renewable Energy and Environmental Policy.

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.

Ekin Celikyay

Project Management Associate

Ekin handles the organization of international events, procurement and travel. Before joining to BIOFIN team, Ekin worked in UNHCR Sudan in the Protection team and at UNDP in various teams such as Country Support team and Operations team. Prior to UNDP, she worked in UNHCR Turkey Branch and Field Office in the protection field, International Catholic Migration Commission as a Case Worker and Euro Health Group as a Project Assistant. Ekin has a BA degree in Business Administration and a MA degree in Human Rights Law. She also studied European Legal Studies at Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium.