Participants

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Haila Amin,
Youth and Environment Europe

Haila Amin is a Mongol-Chinese biodiversity advocate currently residing in France. She engages in biodiversity dialogues on behalf of Youth and Environment Europe (YEE). She is pursuing a dual bachelor's degree between Sciences Po Paris and Columbia University in the City of New York. In the domain of sustainable development, she carries unique perspective on the empowerment of Indigenous Peoples, promotion of informal education, intersection of environmental science and economics, and the influence of genetic studies on social policy.

Deborah Fakeye,
Youth Work Ireland

Deborah Fakeye is a 20 year old Law student from Ireland. She has been involved in activism and youth representation with Youth Work Ireland since she was 15, becoming President of the organisation in 2019. When she’s not campaigning on topics such as racial equality, sex education and LGBT+ rights , she loves all things beauty, baking, books and reality tv.

Félix Feider
Biodiversity Action Europe

Félix Feider is the Umbrella Coordinator at Biodiversity Action Europe, a network weaving closer connections between European youth-led organisations working on biodiversity. He is also a member of the the IUCN WCPA Freshwater Specialist Group, the IUCN #NatureForAll Working Group, and the Cambridge Conservation Forum, as well as a Programme Officer at Synchronicity Earth. Félix previously gathered extensive knowledge of conservation science and environmental policy and governance during his time at the Secretariats of the UN Convention on Migratory Species and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, and at the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Originally from Luxembourg, Félix moved abroad to complete an undergraduate degree in marine sciences in Ireland and Hong Kong and moved to London, where he is still based today, to complete a master's degree in Conservation at University College London.

Antje Gerstein,
European Economic and Social Committee

Antje Gerstein, Managing Director of the German Retail Federation (HDE), is in charge of driving sustainability for the retail sector and heads the Brussels office of HDE. Furthermore she is member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

She is supervising advocacy and public affairs on consolidated positions on behalf of the German retail sector vis-à-vis European Institutions as well as the German Federal Government. She puts emphasis on developing jointly with HDE’s membership appropriate answers to a society that pays more and more attention to all dimensions of sustainability, environment and climate impact. Even when views with stakeholders are opposed, she is determined to secure constant dialogue and a fair balance of interests, a skill she acquired in her previous positions in numerous negotiations with trade unions.

Before joining HDE in 2017 she was for eight years Managing Director with the Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA) and Permanent Delegate of BDA within BUSINESSEUROPE. Previously, she has supervised International Social Policy as Deputy Director of the "European Union and International Affairs" department of BDA and was the delegate of the German employers at the International Labour Conference of the ILO in Geneva.

After her studies of Geography, Regional Planning and Rural Development at the universities of Tübingen and Stuttgart, she graduated with a master degree in Geography. Always internationally interested, she held positions at the Carl Duisberg Society, the European Commission and a consulting firm for European funded projects in Cologne and Brussels.

She is married, has two grown up children and a dog and travels between Berlin and Brussels

Anne Huth,
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Anne Huth is a German national who currently works as a JPO for the FAO Secretariat of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is an intergovernmental body that addresses issues specifically related to the management of biodiversity of relevance to food and agriculture.  Anne's academic background is in Environmental Management (M.Sc.).

Cillian Lohan,
European Economic and Social Committee

Cillian Lohan graduated from University College Cork and University of Ulster with Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees. He has worked extensively in the corporate sector and in the environmental sector. He is a leader in the field of Circular Economy. He was the inaugural Chair of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform which he helped to establish. He is an experienced delegate at United Nations initiatives such as the Climate COP negotiations, and the High Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals.

As CEO of Green Economy Foundation, Cillian has overseen ambitious projects including the planting of over 1 million trees in Ireland, and the establishment of a Wildlife Reserve in Tobago.

Jan Mayrhofer,
European Youth Forum

Jan Mayrhofer is leading the European Youth Forum’s work on economic transition and the climate crisis, coordinating the actions of over 100 member organisations across Europe. His work involves organising and conducting capacity-building workshops as well as policy writing and advocacy towards the EU institutions and the UN on sustainability- and climate-related topics. He previously held positions in both the private sector and environmental think tanks and NGOs in Brussels, Berlin and Delhi as well as consulting for Oxfam International on inequality and environmental policy. Jan has published articles on climate policy in various outlets and peer-reviewed academic journals. He holds an honours degree in International Development Studies Research from University of Amsterdam.

Agata Meysner,
Generation Climate Europe

Agata Meysner is the Director at Generation Climate Europe, the largest coalition of youth-led networks on climate and environmental issues at the European level. She is an activist and an environmentalist driven by empowering young people to become changemakers in their communities. Agata has experience in youth engagement and representation in decision-making processes, multi-stakeholder collaborations as well as EU advocacy and campaigning on climate and environmental issues. Agata is from Poland and is currently based in the UK. 

Jessica Micklem,
Global Youth Biodiversity Network Europe

Jessica Micklem is a dedicated youth activist who is passionate about biodiversity and reshaping our society to one that can live in harmony with-in nature. She grew up in South Africa and has studied biodiversity with special focus on the marine environment. Jessica is active from a local level to an international level and also co-founded and co-coordinates GYBN Europe, the European chapter of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network, the youth constituency of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Anna Norvele,
National Youth Council of Latvia

Anna Norvele is a board member of Latvian National Youth Council and youth organization "Protests". As an activist she is concerned with youth involvement and empowerment. She wants to create opportunities for young people to truly impact climate policies and processes.

Adam Nowak,
European Council of Young Farmers 

Adam Nowak is a dairy and arable young farmer from Marzęcice in central Poland. He graduated from The Main School of Fire Service with a degree of fire safety engineering. He also studied farm management at Warsaw University of Life Sciences.  Adam is an active member of advisory and monitoring bodies of rural policy at the national level. In 2017, he took part in an internship programme for young farmers organised by Texas A&M University in the USA. Adam has experience working in companies in the agri-food sector and for the Polish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Since 2018, Adam has been the President of Związek Młodzieży Wiejskiej (ZMW), the Polish rural youth association.

Peter Schmidt,
European Economic and Social Committee

Peter Schmidt – EESC member – President of NAT Section

Born in 1962, Peter Schmidt's first occupation was cheesemaker. Later on he was a regional officer of the NGG trade union (Food and Catering Union, affiliated to the DGB) for 27 years, in charge of dairy industries and bakeries. Since 2014 he has been a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)'s Group II (Workers). From 2015 to March 2018, he was the president of the EESC's Permanent Study Group on Sustainable Food Systems. From April 2018 to September 2020, he was the president of the EESC's Sustainable Development Observatory and one of the three EESC members steering the work of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, a joint initiative by the EESC and the European Commission. Since October 2020, Peter is the President of the NAT Section of the EESC, responsible for Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment.
 

Virginijus Sinkevičius,
European Commission

Virginijus Sinkevičius is the present Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, at the European Commission. Mr Sinkevičius was from 2017 to 2019 Minister of Economy, and before he was leading the Committee of Economy at the Parliament of Lithuania. Mr. Sinkevičius was elected to the Parliament in October 2016. Prior, he was a Team Lead for Regulatory Affairs at Invest Lithuania. Mr. Sinkevičius holds BA in International Relations and Affairs from Aberystwyth University and Master‘s degree in European International Affairs from Maastricht University.

Biliana Sirakova,
European Commission

Biliana Sirakova is the EU Youth Coordinator since June 1st, 2021. She is a European Commission civil servant since 2010. Her educational background is in Economics and Management, with a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in the US. She has eighteen years of professional experience across the public, private and non-profit sectors. Biliana’s work has revolved around building and managing relationships with diverse stakeholders, and communicating for impact and learning. 

Giulia Testa,
Generation Climate Europe

Giulia Testa is an Italian environmental activist. She is the Biodiversity Coordinator at Generation Climate Europe. Besides her volunteering activities, Giulia is currently pursuing her master’s in Environmental Law and Policy.

Timea Tutto,
Visegrad for Sustainability

Timea Tutto is part of the International Affairs team of V4SDG – Visegrad for Sustainability. She holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from the Corvinus University of Budapest. She has six years of experience working with the senior management and project teams in the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, where she started her new assignment this year on the Regional Initiative – Natural resources, biodiversity and climate change.