Who We Are - Meet the FAO Land & Water division
Technical Officer - Communication and Information Manager
I am a communication expert with a passion for making information accessible and appealing. I am a keen innovator. I have worked in the private sector in cutting edge technology hubs and also for international research centers and institutions. I joined the water group at the end of 2006. During 2007-2011 I was also the UN-Water Communications Manager. Since 2007 I have been the UN's World Water Day campaigns' creative director and coordinator, transforming the day into a year long event with an enthusiastic public participation. I graduated in 1993 in Multimedia Design (UK) and in 2012 I took a Masters Degree in Health Communication at the University of Sydney.
Technical Officer - Web & Print Design
After studying Typography at Staffordshire University, I began work in 1996 as a designer for one of the UK's fastest growing e-business developers. Then, after a spell as a lecturer at my old University, I moved to Rome in 2001 to become the Design Director at the Rome office of new media specialists Deepend, where I was in charge of design output on accounts such as Swatch, Adidas and Ferrari. Now, in my sixth year at FAO, I design and produce publications, animations, videos, exhibition displays and web pages for the Unit.
Senior Land Management Officer
I am a geographer (Nottingham University) specialised in Soil and water management: MSc. from National College of Agricultural Engineering, Silsoe, UK, and DAA from ENSAM, France. I worked for ten years in Malawi, Ethiopia, Benin and Guinea Bissau, with DFID (ODA), University of Malawi, ILCA-CGIAR, EuroAction Accord and FAO. I joined FAO in 1989 and after 5 years in Benin, Guinea Bissau and Rome was seconded for 2 years to the Secretariat, Convention on Biological Diversity to develop the CBD programme of work on agricultural biodiversity. As Land Management Officer I support field projects and development of guidelines/manuals: Farmer field schools on land and water management and agro-biodiversity in Africa; sustainable land management and local level assessment of land degradation/SLM, in collaboration with WOCAT and other partners, and other watershed/agroecosystem management projects.
Technical Officer - Land Management and Tenure Officer (Near East Regional Office)
I am a graduate of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India, with MSc in Agricultural Engineering (Soil and Water Conservation Engineering). I have worked for the NR Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopia, for 25 years at various positions (expert, team leader) and then a Project Coordinator for the multi-donor financed Sustainable Land Management Project for 4 years. Throughout, my work has been intimately associated with watershed management, land use planning, soil and water conservation, and water harvesting and land tenure. I have joined FAO in February 2012 and I am responsible for land management and tenure activities in the region.
Maryjane De La Cruz
Technical Officer - Water Quality and Environment
Jane is a graduate from Central Luzon State University, Philippines specialised in soil and water management and holds Ph.D. in Environmental Science with focus on land productivity and agroecology from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan. Since 2005, Jane is working on Conservation and Adaptive Management of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems or GIAHS Initiative, providing technical support to pilot and participating countries and in the overall management of the global initiative. Prior to FAO, she worked more than 12 years in the Philippines at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) under the Department of Agriculture (DA) on various programmes and projects nationwide such as sustainable agriculture and rural development, sustainable farming systems in various agroecological domains, and integrated watershed development for sustainable soil and water resources management.
Meshack O. Malo
Graduate of Biodiversity with undergraduate in Environment Studies. Worked as an extension officer then regional scientific officer before joining FAO as an Associate Professional Officer in the Eastern Africa Sub Regional Office, Ethiopia. On completion of APO re-joined the office as a Natural Resources / Forestry Officer before transferring to Rome. I have experience in Sustainable Land Management with focus on soils, water, forestry and impact assessment. Lately, I am devoted to climate change adaptation programmes.
Yuji Niino (in Bangkok)
Land Management Officer
I hold degrees in Soil Science from Texas A&M University (M.S. and Ph.D.). I have worked for more than 16 years in Africa, South America and Asia, mainly with JICA, in different areas including soil fertility improvement and conservation agriculture in Brazilian Cerrados, integrated soil and plant nutrient management in Sub-Saharan countries, capacity development for irrigation and water management in Myanmar. My main areas of current work focus on promotion of sustainable land use, management and conservation through dissemination of LADA methodologies and tools, Conservation Agriculture, and IPNS in Asia and the Pacific region.
Innocent Shayamano (in Harare)
Junior Technical Officer
I graduated in Agronomy from Midlands State University, Zimbabwe with specialisations in Irrigation Agronomy, Horticulture and Natural Resources Management. I have 6years experience in providing extension services to both irrigated and rain-fed agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development of Zimbabwe. Since August 2010 I have been seconded as a Junior Technical Officer to work on land and water resources issues in the FAO Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa.
Ronald Vargas Rojas
Soils and Land Management Officer
I'm a Bolivian Agronomy Engineer graduated from San Simon University with major in soils. I hold two Master courses from IAO, Italy and ITC, The Netherlands in Soils Geo-information for Natural Resources Management. I have 13 years of working experience (research, academic and development), in land resources mapping (with emphasis in soils), land suitability and degradation assessment, land use/territorial planning, soil erosion modeling, and natural resources management using GIS and remote sensing tools in Latin America and Africa. I have been the Land Coordinator at the FAO-SWALIM project in Kenya/Somalia for three years. I've joined FAO on March 2011 and I work in the different aspects of soils and land management with special focus on the establishment of the Global Soil Partnership.
Natural Resources and Land Tenure Officer
I have a degree in Environmental Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, with postgraduate studies in development policy at the German Development Institute. I joined FAO in 1999, working in Latin America and Africa, with a focus on agricultural water management, rural development, water quality issues and land-use impacts on water resources. Since 2010 I have been serving as Natural Resources Officer in the Regional Office in Santiago de Chile, providing support to water-related projects from Argentina to Venezuela with a particular focus on adaptation of farming systems in the region to climate change.
Martin Ager (in Harare)
Water Resources Officer
Since completing an M.Sc. in engineering hydrology I have worked for over 20 years in water resources and flood defence in the UK and in development and emergency water and sanitation projects mostly in Africa. I spent 6 years working on dam construction for small scale irrigation and livestock watering. I joined FAO in 2004 as the water resources officer for southern (and initially also for east) Africa, based in the Zimbabwe Office. Working in a decentralised office you need to be a generalist, able to answer, or find the answer, to queries on anything related to agricultural water management. Much of my work is providing support to projects throughout the sub-region. I have also run several intensive training courses for government irrigation officers.
Senior Officer (Irrigation Management)
M.S. and Ph.D. in Land and Water Sciences and M.S. in Statistics from the University of California Davis, USA. Over 30 years of experience in water resources planning and management, with a focus on agriculture water management under water scarcity conditions, irrigation management and climate change. Served as University Professor and Researcher and provided consulting services to UN Organizations, financing institutions and public and private sectors. Joined FAO in 1998 and served as Chief Technical Advisor in Yemen (2 years) and Senior Water Resources and Irrigation Officer in FAO Regional Office for the Near East (11 years). Currently leading FAO's work related to irrigation water management, with focus on technical and institutional aspects of irrigation systems management, as well as coordinating and servicing FAO Water Platform. Working experience in a large number of countries, reviewer for several scientific journals and author of over 150 papers and communications.
Ines Beernaerts (in Ankara)
Land and Water Resources Officer for Central Asia (Sub-regional Office)
I am an agricultural engineer with a specialization in water resources management and have over 13 years experience within the United Nations in the water sector. Since August 2006, I am the Land and Water Resources Officer at the newly established FAO Subregional Office for West Africa, based in Ghana, where I focus on providing direct support to member countries in the subregion with the design and monitoring of sustainable projects on small-scale agricultural water development while contributing to advanced knowledge on water harvesting, small-scale irrigation and safe use of wastewater in agriculture especially in urban and peri-urban areas.
Ruiza (Jean) Boroto (in Accra)
Senior Water Resources Officer - Regional Office for Africa
Mr Boroto joined the FAO in July 2011 after working as an independent consultant for several development agencies and international organizations on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), water policy and strategy, climate change and on different stages and aspects of water projects, mostly in Africa. He holds a Master’s degree in water engineering and is a registered Professional Engineer in South Africa, where he has worked in various capacities, including as a senior civil servant responsible for the operational management of State dams and for project planning. He has contributed to various regional and international processes. At RAF, he works on land, water and climate change and since recently, he is the FAO’s focal point for energy in Africa.
Thierry Facon (in Bangkok)
Senior Regional Water Management Officer for Asia and the Pacific
I joined FAO in 1985 after graduating from France's Ecole Polytechnique and ENGREF. I moved to FAO's regional Office for Asia ad the Pacific in 1999 after several years at Headquarters and development projects in the Pacific and the Caribbean. My present priorities are: the modernization of irrigation systems in Asia through capacity building, tools for appraising and improving the system's performance and management, analysis of impacts of projects and institutional reforms, and support to country strategies and investment programmes; the multifunctionality of irrigation systems; improving rice water management; and integrated water resources manageent and strategic planning in the water sector.
Senior Officer - Water Policy
I am an agricultural engineer with specialization in water resources management, I spent most of my career dealing with issues related to improved productivity of water in agriculture, with emphasis on the Mediterranean region. In close collaboration with national governments, I work on the analysis and policy implications of agricultural water use and water demand management. I also participate in global perspective studies related to the impact of irrigated agriculture on water scarcity and inter-sectoral competition for water.
Senior Officer - Water Resources Management
As an agricultural engineer I worked for 15 years in different countries in South Asia, the Near East and mostly Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly on irrigation and water management for agricultural purposes, in particular dealing with fragile ecosystems and paying special attention to women and irrigated agriculture. After that, I was for 5 years FAO's water resources management officer for Southern and Eastern Africa, based in Zimbabwe, before joining FAO Headquarters in Rome in 2003. One of my responsibilities at present is managing the AQUASTAT Programme, FAO's global information system on water and agriculture.
Technical Officer - Water Resources
I graduated in 1991 as an agricultural engineer, and I have been working for the FAO's water service since 1997. I am involved in projects that deal with water resources assessment on the river basin scale. I am experienced in making use of Geographical Information Systems and hydrological models as tools to provide better insight in the influence of agricultural water use on available fresh water resources.
I am an Agricultural engineer, MSc in Water Resources management. I joined FAO in 2003 and I have been a Programme Officer (Water resources) in the Land and Water Division since 2006. My work focuses on the development of programs and tools for the improvement of water productivity in agriculture, such as yield gap assessments and crop modeling. I also support field projects related to water management and irrigation in close cooperation with national governments. My working experience includes Europe, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin-American countries. Before joining FAO, I participated in several projects dealing with economic analysis of the impact of agricultural and water policies, through biophysical and economic models.
I am a geographer with specialization in spatial analysis and natural resources management.
I have been using GIS and Remote Sensing tools for several years on different subjects (food security and vulnerability analysis at UN-WFP, forest monitoring at FAO and IAO) before joining FAO NRL department, where I mainly focus on water resources.
In particular, the projects I'm currently involved in deal with smallholders' agricultural water management and basin scale water accounting.
I am an Irrigation Water Management Specialist with extensive experience in the Middle East and Africa. My career has included research studies in Syria and the UK on water management. Prior to my research activities, I served as a water engineer at the Ministry of Irrigation in Syria. I joined NRL in 2001, which involved working for IPTRID Programme on developing activities in the Middle East region until 2008. Since 2008 and up to date, my work has directly been linked with the Water Service of NRL with more focus on the theme of investment in water for agriculture.
Technical Officer - Agricultural Water Management
I am an agronomist with specialization in agricultural socio-economics, natural resources management and spatial information management. I have international experience in project identification and management, participatory surveying and planning, and institutional support with FAO (Kenya and Uganda), UNDP (Albania) and the research institutions (Mozambique and Italy). I am mainly responsible for projects on agricultural water management investments options to improve rural livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. I also provide backstopping support regarding water-related matters on projects dealing with food security and emergency in Africa.
Chung-te “Dick” Tzou
Water Resources Development and Conservation Officer (in Bangkok)
Before coming to the FAO Regional Office in Bangkok in 2013, I have been working primarily in the western United States as a water resources and irrigation engineer for the last 18 years on water conservation and resources development and management issues.
I have a diverse professional background with experiences in on-farm irrigation design, irrigation project development, water rights, and water resources allocation and management.
I am interested in water resources planning and management issues in general and currently working specifically on smallholder farming related to water interventions and livelihood improvements and resilience building for coping with disasters.
Technical Officer - Irrigation
Robina Wahaj holds a PhD degree in Irrigation management. She started her professional career as water management officer in 1992. Since then she has worked on wide range of issues related to Integrated Water Resources Management; Irrigation Modernization; Performance Evaluation of the Irrigation Systems; Conjunctive use of surface and ground water for irrigation; and Gender issues in water management. She has been working as a consultant with FAO since 2001 on projects related to Irrigtion System Management,Canal Operation and Irrigation Modernization.
Jan Van Wambeke (in Santiago)
I am an a soil scientist who has been working with FAO since 1978 in Africa and Latin America in particular with consultancies in the Near East and Asia. My field of work relates to Land and Water Management, Land Evaluation and Participatory Planning of Natural Resources in microcatchments. As a Senior Officer in FAO's in Land and Water Development in the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (RLC), I am involved in FAO's field programme technical backstopping, monitoring and evaluation in the region and in normative work related to Integrated Water Resources Management in particular.
I am an environment officer with FAO. Over the last two decades, I led and supervised geo-spatial information management units related to application of GIS and Remote Sensing technologies to natural resources management, environmental monitoring, sustainable agricultural and rural development, decision support, and ecosystem services. I worked with a number of organizations and institutions from various countries including IGN-France International, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canadaprior to joining FAO in mid-2008. The main focus of my work at FAO is geospatial management and utilization of earth observation products combined with tabular data to support natural resources management and environment, and sustainable use of land, water and genetic resources.
Information Systems Officer
I graduated in agronomic sciences at the University of Bari, Italy with major in rural planning. My main expertise, which was developed over the years through a Master in Florence, Italy, on GIS and Remote Sensing for environmental studies, 6 years in the USA (USGS in Louisiana) as GIS analyst, and since 2003 in FAO, is in geospatial information and technologies for natural resources monitoring and assessment. I have field experience in Myanmar, Libya, Tunisia, Eritrea, and Burkina Faso. Lately, I have been managing activities related to the development and maintenance of desktop and WEB applications for information sharing and dissemination, as well as data management and analysis in geo-enabled systems.