Workshop sessions

Keynote Speech: Mr. Ivan Zavadsky – Executive Secretary ICPDR

Mr. Zavadsky has started his career working for the Bratislava’s Water Utility Company, and then he worked for the Slovak Government in different senior management positions in the fields of environment and water management for more than 15 years. Since 2001, he managed two UNDP/GEF regional projects in the Danube River Basin and Black Sea region assisting 17 countries in the implementation of a regional convention such as the DRPC, addressing the nutrient pollution and ecological rehabilitation of the Black Sea from eutrophication, which in the late 80s led to the development of one of the largest “dead zones” in the world. From 2007 until mid-2013, he worked for the GEF Secretariat, where he was responsible for the technical and financial review of complex regional programmes and projects in the GEF International Waters focal area. In this capacity he cooperated extensively with GEF project beneficiary countries, GEF agencies (e.g. WB, EBRD, UNDP, etc.), multi- and bi-lateral donor organisations and regional water conventions and commissions. Lately, as the Coordinator for the GEF IW Focal Area, he has led the development of the GEF IW Strategy for the next, the 6th GEF cycle. Since August 2013 he works in the Permanent Secretariat of the International Commission for Protection of the Danube River as Executive Secretary to this Commission.


Water workshop

confirmed speakers:

Mr. Adam Kovacs- Technical Expert Pollution Control (ICPDR)

Adam Kovacs is a civil engineer with specialization in water quality management. He graduated from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He received a PhD in water resources management from the Vienna University of Technology. He worked in the academic sector as professor and research assistant for 12 years focusing on water quality modelling and management. Since 2013 he has been working as the Technical Expert on Pollution Control at the Permanent Secretariat of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River. He coordinates the technical work of the Pressures and Measures Expert Group, Accident Prevention and Control Expert Group and Nutrients Task Group.


Mr. Magnus Andresen – Consultant UN Environment

Magnus is working for UN Environment on regional cooperation in mountain areas around the world, in particular on intergovernmental climate change adaptation strategies in the Hindu Kush Himalayas, Andes and the Carpathians. He previously worked for GRID-Arendal on technical reports on mountain environment. Originally he is from Norway, and studied MA International Relations with MSc in Global Environmental Politics at the University of Edinburgh.


Mr. Prof. Karsten Schulz – head of IWHW

Mr. Schulz is Professor for Hydrology and Integrated Water Resources Management,and the head of the Institute of Water Management, Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering (IWHW) at BOKU University Vienna, Austria. He is an expert in water and energy fluxes within the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum and Alpine Hydrology. He studied in variious universities in Germany Physics and Geology and his the head of IWHW department since 2014.




Ms. Lee Heng Section Head- IAEA Soil and Water Management

Ms Lee Heng is the Head of Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition (SWMCN) Subprogramme of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture. She obtained her M.Sc. in soil Science from the University of Wisconsin, USA and PhD from Massey University, New Zealand. She worked at the University of Melbourne, Australia before joining the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Her work in the Joint FAO/IAEA involved the applications of nuclear and isotopic techniques in agricultural water management. In the SWMCN Subprogramme, the team manages more than 50 technical cooperation projects from Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe and Latin America, as well as 6 coordinated research projects, covering topics such as soil, water, nutrient management as well as response to nuclear emergency affecting food and agriculture.


Degradation of soils and food security

confirmed speakers:

Mr. Gernot Bodner – Associate Professor University of Natural resources and Life Sciences (BOKU)

Gernot Bodner is Senior Scientist at the Department of Crop Sciences of the University of Natural resources and Life Sciences BOKU Vienna. He leads the working group for Crop Ecology with a main research focus on resource use efficiency, interactions of roots with soil and improvement of stress resistance of crops and cropping systems.

He forms part of the boards of the Austrian Plant Phenotyping Network (APPN), the Alliance for Life Sciences, Food, Veterinary Expertise and Agriculture (ALVA) and the Austrian Society of Root Research (ASRR). He has participated/lead in 18 national and international projects in the field of plant abiotic stresses and sustainable agriculture. He is associate editor of Frontiers in Plant Sciences (Plant Breeding) and editorial board member of “Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica”.

Mr. Prof. Dr. Peter Paulsen – University of Veterinary Medicine

Peter Paulsen studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Veterinary Medicine and finished his doctoral thesis in 1994. Since then he has been working at the Institute of Meat Hygiene at said university. Reasearch is focused on safety and quality of meat, with particular emphasis on exotic meats and meat from wild game, with cooperations in Asia, South Africa and South America. Such meat is often produced and distributed in atypical food chains, with specific issues as regards animal health and hygienic (mal) practices. Although game meat contributes little to human nutrition in the western world, it is a sustainable source of animal protein. For rural populations worldwide, wild game presents not only a source for proteinaceous food, but also can provide substantial income and thus, secure living standards.


Mr. Joseph Adu-Gyamfi – Soil/Nutrition Specialist IAEA

Joseph Adu-Gyamfi is working for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an Integrated Soil Fertility Management Specialist providing technical advice on the use of nuclear techniques to confront and mitigate impacts of climate change on global agricultural systems, resilient and food security in developing countries. A result-oriented international development professional with over 30 years of international and national experience in soil and nutrient management for enhanced soil and crop productivity, agricultural-value chain related and agro-based projects, providing food security advisory and training services to the national agricultural research systems. Prior to joining IAEA, Joseph worked for International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to climate smart agricultural practices in the semi-arid tropics and provided expert and technical advice, monitoring and evaluation of agro-based projects for UNIDO, USAID, and Danida.


Mr. Karl Schebesta- Chief Food Systems and Nutrition Division UNIDO Agri-Business Development Department (confirmed)



confirmed speakers:

Alekz Londos – CEO Advanced Disaster Relief

Alekz Londos is the founder and CEO of Advanced Disaster Relief, which is an organization specialized in emergency management, search and rescue, body recovery, incident command system, logistics and medical first aid. He has 18 years’ experience as an international photojournalist, humanitarian and environmentalist; providing disaster relief support and immediate medical care to critical areas around the world. He has done search and rescue, body recovery, psychological debriefing, debris removal, risk mitigation and even helped rebuilt crucial infrastructures. He generally focuses his mission objectives to help people, animals and the environment and was deployed during earthquakes and tsunamis in Haiti, Nepal, Puerto Rico and other countries. He continually helps encourage our transition towards a safe, healthy and sustainable global society.

Mr. Dr. Alfredo Cueva – Industrial Development Officer – UNIDO Department for Environment

Mr. Alfredo Cueva joined the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in July 2011, and currently holds the post of Industrial Development Officer at the Stockholm Convention Division, Department of Environment.
He is a professional with 33 years of professional experience, who holds a PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Mr. Cueva has advanced knowledge of environmental policy and management; project and program design and management, and institutional capacity development. He has developed a dynamic career in academia, environmental consulting and technical assistance in developing countries. He served for five years (2006 – 2010) as an expert member of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC), which is a subsidiary body to the Stockholm Convention established for reviewing chemicals proposed for listing in Annexes A, B, or C.

Mr. Fabian Wagner- Senior Research Scholar IIASA

Fabian Wagner is a Senior Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). At IIASA he supports various international processes with modeling tools to guide the development of effective and efficient environmental policies. During the academic years 2014-16, he was the Gerhard R. Andlinger Visiting Professor for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University’s Andlinger Center and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Since 2010 he has been teaching a course on International Environmental Agreements at the Technical University Vienna.
Before joining IIASA in 2004, Dr. Wagner was a researcher at the IPCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme located at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in Japan. Prior to that, he was a postdoc with the International Energy Analysis Group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Dr. Wagner received both his PhD (theoretical physics) and two master’s degrees (mathematics, history and philosophy of science) from Cambridge University (UK).



*list is continously being updated