AF: New Adaptation Fund Board Chair: ‘Fund’s Effective Work Changing Lives of Vulnerable Populations at Local Level’



New Adaptation Fund Board Chair: ‘Fund’s Effective Work Changing Lives of Vulnerable Populations at Local Level’

Hopes to Help Fund Reach New Heights in Building Resilience to Climate Change



Bonn, Germany (March 22, 2018) — The opening of the 31st  Adaptation Fund Board meeting this week on the UN Campus in Bonn, Germany featured a changing of the guard in the Board’s leadership.



Victor Viñas, of the Dominican Republic, officially began his one-year term as the Board’s newly elected Chair. Viñas has served as the Board’s member representing the Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries since March 2017, and as Vice-Chair of the Board for the last year. He assumed the Chair seat from Michael Kracht, of Germany, who completed his one-year term as the previous Chair. The position rotates between developing and developed country Board member representatives each year.



In an intersessional decision, the Board also elected Sylviane Bilgischer as its new Vice-Chair. Ms. Bilgischer is from Belgium and is a climate policy advisor for the Walloon Regional Government’s climate ministry. She represents Annex I Parties (developed countries) on the Board and has been a Board member for a year.



Mr. Viñas brings a wealth of experience to the Chair position, having worked in the public and private sectors developing environmental, climate change, agricultural and economic projects and initiatives, as well as holding several climate change leadership positions. His posts in the Dominican Republic have included climate change director for the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, policy analysis division chief for the National Agricultural Council, environmental economics advisor for UNDP and GEF, technical director for Hispano Dominicana Consulting International and since 2016 Advisor and Vice-Presidency Cabinet Coordinator of the National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism. He also served as executive director of the Pro-Nature Fund, and sectoral specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank office in Guyana, among other posts. He has published several scientific papers, was a Watson International Scholar of the Environment, and has been closely involved in the UNFCCC negotiation process as a delegate of the Dominican Republic since the Bali COP13 climate change conference in 2007. He previously served as a Board member of the Green Climate Fund.



He holds both an MS (North Carolina State University) and PhD (Texas A&M University) in agricultural economics, and has been a professor, director and Dean of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriques Ureña in the Dominican Republic.



The Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat interviewed Mr. Viñas earlier this month to ask his thoughts, hopes and vision for the Fund, as well as its challenges over the next year.



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