James Walsh – Project Director
Puri Canals – Technical Director and Networks Twinning Coordinator
Jean-Jacques Goussard – Coastal Resilience Twinning Coordinator, Scoping Study Coordinator
Francis Staub – Marine Mammals Twinning Coordinator
Veda Santiaji – South East Asia Expert
Charles Besancon – Conflict Resolution
As a staff member of the Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and head of the LifeWeb Initiative, he facilitated negotiations among delegates to the Convention and between donors and recipient countries in the context of resource mobilisation. He is a co-author of the book, “Transboundary Conservation: A new Paradigm for Protected Areas” and has published numerous other professional publications on the topic of peace parks.
He is the former Co-Chair of the IUCN Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group (2003-2008) and now serves as Senior Advisor to this group. Charles has worked throughout South East Asia. These countries include Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia. Most of his work in this region was related to official Convention on Biological Diversity meetings including capacity building workshops, field visits to protected areas related to finance assistance, and conference participation.
Katharine Mill – Communication
Klaas Jan Teule – South East Asia
Klaas has supervised the development of WWF Indonesia’s marine program to become one of the largest marine teams in the WWF network. He has led numerous successful fundraising efforts that linked on-the-ground conservation efforts with foreign donor agendas. In his most recent functions as senior advisor to WWF Indonesia, he has continued in a strategic fundraising and partnership development role as well as coaching and mentoring senior staff in WWF Indonesia to become effective and confident leaders in their respective fields
Bárbara Casado – Communication and Events
Hoai-Huong Doan – Financial Manager
She is well-acquainted with EU procedures and regulations. She has gained broad international experience in the administration of a large number of complex EC-funded and other donor-funded programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Arnaud Gotanegre – Senior Project Manager
Arnaud is an internal member of GOPA staff, and acts as senior project manager for the headquarter. Graduated from the Faculté Universitaire des sciences agronomiques de Gembloux in Belgium, he is an experienced leader with a demonstrated history of working for biodiversity protection, creation and conservation of protected areas as well as rural development, governance, program monitoring and evaluation, research and environmental awareness-education. Mainly in tropical regions, he is a key player for positive changes in the blue and green economy.
Sarah-Marie Thomas – Communication and Outreach Expert
Sarah joined the team as an intern during her Master’s degree in Law and Economics of the Sea at NOVA School of Law in Lisbon. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Sarah is a junior communication expert and has gained experience at the foreign, security and development policy press office of the German government and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. She is also passionate about marine conservation and acts as a European Youth Ambassador for the NGO Surfrider Foundation Europe.