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Cristiana Paşca Palmer

Executive Secretary

UN Convention on Biological Diversity


Executive Secretary


UN Convention on Biological Diversity




56 years







What makes Cristiana Paşca Palmer a Global Shaker?

Cristiana Pasca Palmer is a Romanian politician who, in 2017, was appointed as the United Nations’ Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Convention has three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity); the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development.

This ministerial role sees Paşca Palmer focus on green economy and environmental sustainability, in addition to business management, international negotiations and environmental diplomacy.

Prior to the UN appointment, Pasca Palmer served as Romania’s Minister for Environment, Waters and Forests.

She has extensive experience in global policymaking and in coordinating the implementation of environment and sustainable development policies, programmes and projects at the national and international levels.

With sound knowledge of intergovernmental processes and advocacy work, she has a strong science base and hands-on experience in programmatic and management challenges related to the Biodiversity Convention.

In a blog post for the World Economic Forum, Paşca Palmer outlined three actions for a healthy planet and economy:

1) Developing more holistic indicators that better account for economic growth along with broader metrics of human and environmental well-being.

2) Incentivising all actors in the economy to change current innovation pathways and mainstream the necessary environmental transitions for their core business models.

3) Wise leadership that can both chart a new vision for living in harmony with nature and inspire shared commitment in achieving it.

Commenting on the recent devastating fires in the Amazon rainforest, Paşca Palmer told the Guardian, “but it is not just the Amazon. We’re also concerned with what’s happening in other forests and ecosystems, and with the broader and rapid degradation of nature.”

“We need to address the root causes,” she said. “Even if the amount involved in extinguishing fires in rainforests was a billion or 500 million dollars, we won’t see any improvement unless more profound structural changes are taking place. We need a transformation in the way we consume and produce.”

Paşca Palmer is a former Head of the Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resources Unit within the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development between the years of 2011 and 2015.

She was also a Policy Analyst on International Relations and the Western Balkans in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action, from 2010-2011.

Paşca Palmer will be a key voice to look out for at the upcoming biodiversity summit in Kunming, China next year.

Tags: Amazon Rainforest, biodiversity, environment, sustainability, sustainable development

Last updated: September 5, 2019