First Steering Committee for Implementation

Below are the members of the first steering committee of implementation to the Montevideo Programme V:

Information about meetings of the Steering Committee for Implementation including meeting documents, can be accessed here

Bangladesh, Mr. Mohammad Abdul Wadud Chowdhury

Mr. Mohammad Abdul Wadud Chowdhury has been serving as Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of Bangladesh since 2020. He works on international conventions relating to biodiversity, ecosystems, wetlands and chemicals. He is the official contact point for the Stockholm Convention on POPs. He holds a Master in Chemistry and a Master in Development Studies.

As the new national focal point of Bangladesh since 13 March 2022, Mr. Mohammad Abdul Wadud Chowdhury has been designated to replace Mr. Ashfaqul Islam Babool on the Steering Committee.


Bhutan, Mrs. Nima Om

 Nima Om

Mrs. Nima Om is currently serving as the Chief Legal Officer for the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources in Bhutan. She has also worked as a prosecutor with the Office of the Attorney General, Bhutan. She holds a master’s degree in International Law and is currently serving as a Commission Member for the Electricity Authority of Bhutan. In her role, she advises on and handles all legal matters, including litigation, related to the Department of Environment and Climate Change, the Department of Forests and Park Services, Department of Energy, Department of Water, and Department of Geology and Mines.

Mrs. Om has extensive experience in drafting and reviewing legislation and agreements related to biosafety, biodiversity, forest and nature conservation, food safety, livestock, cooperatives, mining, energy, and agricultural laws.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Azra Rogović-Grubić


Ms. Azra Rogović-Grubić has been a Senior Adviser for International Cooperation at the Department of Environmental Protection at Bosnia and Herzegovina's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations since 2004. She is also a National Ozone Officer under the purview of the Montreal Protocol. Ms. Rogović-Grubić holds two Masters, one in Civil Engineering and one in State Management and Humanitarian Affairs.


Burkina Faso, Mr. Gontran Yanbèfar Some


Mr. Gontran Yanbèfar Some is the Director of Legal and Judiciaries Affairs at the Ministry of Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change of Burkina Faso. He is also a Member of the Scientific and Technical Council of the Bangr Weogo urban park in Ouagadougou.


Cambodia, Mr. Vann Monyneath

Van Monyneath

Mr. Vann Monyneath is the Deputy Secretary General of the National Council for Sustainable Development in Cambodia. He is in charge of leading the development, integration, implementation and monitoring of policies and strategies related to sustainable development. Mr. Monyneath holds a PhD in Environmental Management from Preston University.


Finland, Ms. Charlotta von Troil

Von Troil

Ms. Charlotta von Troil is a Senior Ministerial Adviser of Legislative Affairs at the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, where she works in matters related to international environmental law. She is the national focal point for the Aarhus Convention. Ms. von Troil holds a Master of Laws and a Master of Political Sciences.


Peru, Mr. Hector Daniel Benitez Castro 

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Mr. Héctor Daniel Benítez Castro is the Acting Director of Environmental Management Policies and Instruments, as well as the Acting Director of Environmental Impact Assessment Management. With extensive experience in environmental law and policy, Mr. Benítez Castro has a wealth of expertise to his current roles. His leadership is instrumental in guiding the development and implementation of environmental regulations and initiatives aimed at fostering sustainable practices and protecting natural resources.


Saint Lucia, Ms. Kate Wilson

Ms. Kate Wilson is a Legal Officer at the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development in Saint Lucia. She is an advocate for the environment, gender issues and the rights of women and children. Ms. Wilson has served on several committees and worked with many NGOs locally. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and Arts and a Master of Laws


Slovenia, Ms. Tanja Pucelj Vidović


Ms. Tanja Pucelj Vidović, M.Sc., is a Legal Expert at the Slovenian Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning. She holds a Law degree and has previously worked at the Department of Administrative Law at the University of Ljubljana, and she has experience working with civil society organizations.


Switzerland, Mr. Vincent Bohnenblust


Mr. Vincent Bohnenblust is a Legal Officer at the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, where he focuses mainly on issues related to International Biodiversity Protection. He has studied Law as well as International Relations and has several professional experiences in public administration at both the national and international levels.


Uganda, Ms. Sarah Naigaga

Sarah Naigaga

Ms. Sarah Naigaga is a Senior Legal Officer at the Ugandan National Environment Management Authority. She acted as the Africa Coordinator for the Biodiversity Understanding in Infrastructure and Landscape Development program and has previously worked with Greenwatch, a leading environmental NGO in Uganda.


United States of America, Ms. Rachel  Westrate 



Ms. Rachel Westrate is an International Environmental Specialist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she focuses on international environmental negotiations. Ms. Westrate previously held positions at various international NGOs as an expert on climate change and human rights. She holds a law degree from Harvard Law School.


Uruguay, Mr. Marcelo J. Cousillas (Co-chair)


Mr. Marcelo J. Cousillas is the Director of Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Environment in Uruguay. He has many years of broad experience within the field of environmental law and played a key role in the negotiations leading up to the adoption of the Escazú Agreement.


Zambia, Ms. Karen Banda


Ms. Karen Banda is the Director of Legal Services as well as the Board Secretary at Zambia's Environmental Management Agency. She has previously worked as a legal and prosecutions officer at Zambia's Anti-Corruption Commission. 


Previous members of the First Steering Committee for Implementation:

Bhutan, Ms. Kunzang (Rapporteur)


Ms. Kunzang has been a Legal Adviser at the National Environment Commission in Bhutan since 2007. Her achievements include Bhutan's first Water Act (2001) as well as the Waste Prevention and Management Act (2009). Under the UNFCCC, Ms. Kunzang leads the Least Developed Countries group on capacity-building. She is also a National Ozone Officer under the purview of the Montreal Protocol.

United States of America, Mr. Timothy Epp

 Timothy R. Epp - Associate General ...

Mr. Epp is an experienced Associate General Counsel and Senior Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the government legal and administration fields. He is  skilled in International Relations, International Law, Policy Analysis, Administrative Law, and Environmental Law and Policy. 

Bangladesh, Mr. Ashfaqul Islam Babool


Mr. Ashfaqul Islam Babool has been serving as Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in Bangladesh since 2019. He has 25 years of professional experience in policy-making and government administration. He earned his PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky in 2007.

​​Peru, Mr. Jimpson Dávila Ordoñez


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Mr. Jimpson Dávila Ordoñez is an advisor to the Ministerial Office of the Ministry of the Environment of Peru, Director of Environmental Management Policies and Instruments of the Ministry of the Environment, coordinator of the Functional Unit of Environmental Crimes – UNIDA, technical secretary of the High Level Commission for the prevention and reduction of environmental crimes, and representative of the Ministry of the Environment at the Intersectoral Mechanism for the protection of Human Rights Defenders. Mr. Jimpson Dávila Ordoñez is graduated from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and has a master's degree in Constitutional Law from the University of Castilla - La Mancha, Spain and master's degree studies in Economics of Natural Resources and Environment at the Universidad Agraria La Molina, Peru.

Peru, Mr. Mariano Castro Sánchez-Moreno



Mr. Mariano Castro Sánchez-Moreno is the Vice Minister of Environmental Management at Peru's Ministry of Environment. He is an expert in environmental law and has over 25 years of experience in developing and managing environmental governance in Latin America. Among other previous experiences, he held the position of Vice President of the first United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-1).

Slovenia, Ms. Helena Kramar

Ms. Helena Kramar is a Legal Officer at the Slovenian Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning. She holds a Law degree and has many years experiences in preparation of national environmental legislation.

Slovenia, Ms.Nataša Petrovčič

Ms. Nataša Petrovčič is a Legal Officer at the Slovenian Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning. She holds a Master of Law and has previously worked at the Slovenian Environment Agency. As the national focal point of Slovenia from January 2022 to May 2022, Ms. Nataša Petrovčič replaced Ms. Tanja Pucelj Vidović on the Steering Committee during this period.