Plenary Speakers


Radhika Murti (Switzerland)

Director, IUCN Global Ecosystem Management Programme

profile.Radhika 2A Fiji national, Radhika is IUCN’s Director of Global Ecosystem Management Programme, based at the Headquarters in Switzerland. In this position Radhika has the management and oversight of IUCN’s work on ecosystem based disaster risk reduction, ecosystem based adaptation, drylands, islands and the Red List of Ecosystems assessment tool. Her team is also responsible for promoting and leveraging the role of ecosystem management approaches in improving the effectiveness of conservation actions, across the Union and amongst IUCN members. She also serves as the secretariat focal point and collaborates on various areas of work with The Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), and at present on the co-development of IUCN’s global standard on Nature based Solutions for Societal Challenges. Radhika holds an undergraduate degree in Forestry Science from Australian National University and an MA in Land Management from University of the South Pacific. She has a background in forestry science, focusing on land conflicts and livelihoods within community based forest management in the Pacific. In May 2019, Radhika will be completing a PhD degree in climate change adaptation in rural communities of Burkina Faso, Chile and Senegal, through the University of Bern.


Robert Deal (USA)

Ecosystem Services & Products Team Leader, USDA Forest Service

Robert DealRobert Deal is a research forester and science team leader for the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station in Portland, Oregon. As ecosystem services and products team leader he directs research on ecosystem services, wood products and applied silviculture including research to enhance sustainable forest management.  He directs research for a team of scientists in Oregon and Alaska with expertise in forest products, economics, social science, and silviculture to describe, quantify and project trends for ecosystem service provision.  He conducts and synthesizes research on ecosystem services in the national and international arena and is the agency’s expert on ecosystem services and sustainable wood production. Deal has more than 30 years of professional forester and research experience working in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.  He is co-lead for the USDA Forest Service, National Ecosystem Services Strategy Team (NESST) and has leadership roles in both the Society of American Foresters (SAF) and the International Union of Forestry Research Organization (IUFRO).  Robert has a MS in silviculture from the University of Washington and a PhD in Forest Resources from Oregon State University.


Irwan Prayitno (Indonesia)

Governor, West Sumatra Province

Irwan Prayitno is an Indonesian politician currently serving as the governor of West Sumatra province (2016-2020). He was first elected in 2010 for the five-year period. Before his election as governor, he served as a member of Indonesia’s Parliament (DPR-RI) for the region of West Sumatra for three consecutive periods (1999–2004, 2004–2009, and 2009–2014). During his first term, he, on behalf of West Sumatra people, received at least 137 awards, including: Clean government award received from the Central Government Financial Auditor as a Fair Without Exception (WTP).  In 2011, he received the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) award for the implementation of the emergency response carried out by the provincial government.

He received awards almost from all ministries for good performance, including: infrastructure development, social solidarity, use of domestic production, the best compliance with public service law, the highest award in the tourism sector, award for the implementation of inclusive education, the award certificate for the participation of West Sumatra in supporting the activities of Establishing Regions of Orderly Measurement and Orderly Markets. As the governor, Irwan has the role of increasing coordination between local governments and lobbying the central government to get budget support.


Dr Liz Macpherson (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Senior Lecturer, College of Business and Law, University of Canterbury

Indigenous water rights and river management – a new transnational movement for river protection (drawing on international experience in Chile, Australia, Aotearoa, Colombia).

Dr Erin O’Donnell (Australia) 

Senior Fellow, Law School, University of Melbourne & Birrarung Council

Birrarung/Yarra River, and the new Birrarung Council, the voice for the river, and the ways in which this new approach is reframing river management to be more integrated, and to focus on the question of what we want *for* the river, rather than what we want *from* the river.

Cheri van Schravendijk-Goodman (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Whanganui Iwi and environmental consultant


Te Rangikaheke Kiripatea and Jasmin Jackson (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Food Hub Project lead and Deputy Chair, Kai Rotorua
Kai Rotorua: Te Rangikaheke Kiripatea and Jasmin Jackson. Photo by Ben Fraser (NZ ME).
Photo by Ben Fraser.

Te Rangikaheke (Ngāti Ūenukukōpako) and Jasmin will talk about their work on local, sustainable food systems, community food education, reducing food waste, building a food hub and food sovereignty.

Kai Rotorua is nonprofit, social enterprise that is working to ‘reconnect whānau (families) to their food and Papatūānuku’ (Mother Earth). It is dedicated to the growing and appreciation of food crops, especially those with cultural significance like kumara (sweet potatoe). Its vision is to “create a resilient, wellnourished and well-connected community”. Kai Rotorua began in 2016 when it established 68 backyard gardens across Rotorua, all within a week.


E Wen Wong (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Environmental advocator, innovator and founder P.S. Our Beaches 

E Wen Wong16-year-old E Wen Wong is a three-time Future Problem Solving national champion and the founder of plastic pollution organisation, P.S. Our Beaches. Earlier this year, she led the organising team of the 2019 EnviroPAST (Plastic and Sustainability Talks) Conference, P.S. Our Beaches’ flagship event. At Burnside High School, where she is a student, E Wen has taken on the role of Environment Leader and co-founder of the school’s Sustainability Council. As a recipient of a 2018 New Zealand Youth Award for her commitment to the environment, E Wen is passionate about environmental action and policy, ideas which she has conveyed as a TEDx speaker and multi-time national UN Youth Diplomacy champion.



This page is under construction and will be updated as we finalise the program.

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