Science, Technology and Innovation


Technologies and innovations for multi-hazard resilient agrifood systems

When: 19 October 2023 | 11:00 – 12:30 hrs (CEST)
Where: Red Room
Modality: Hybrid

This event will present examples of disaster and climate solutions for agrifood systems and people depending on them (e.g. geospatial risk mapping; early warning systems; shock responsive and risk informed social protection; integrated fire management). Panels of scientists and practicians will discuss how such tools can be made accessible, combined and used for multiple risk and impact management to increase the resilience of agrifood systems to multiple shocks and stresses.


Regina Asariotis
Emmastella Gakuo
Nicolas Gholam
Sebastian Grey

Regina Asariotis serves as Chief of the Policy and Legislation Section at UNCTAD, overseeing transport law and policy. Her role involves extensive research, technical cooperation, and intergovernmental efforts focusing on climate change implications, particularly for seaports and critical transport infrastructure, including in SIDS. Regina also serves as UNCTAD's focal point for UN-DRR and UN-OCEANS. Prior to joining UNCTAD in 2001, she was a Senior Lecturer in Maritime Law at the University of Southampton. Regina holds a Dr. jur (Hamburg) and an LLM (Soton), is qualified as a Barrister in England & Wales, an Attorney at Law in Greece, and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb).

Emmastella Gakuo, an Innovations management practitioner and entrepreneur, co-founded and directs operations at Savanna Circuit Tech, a Kenyan-based manufacturing and distribution firm. Specializing in climate-smart post-harvest management, they employ IoT-enabled mobile solar coolers and dehydrators with seamless software integration to reduce post-harvest losses. Emmastella is a Royal Academy of Engineering Leaders in Innovations Fellow. She advocates for frugal solutions to enhance accessibility, adoption, and sustainability in agri-value chains. Additionally, she serves on the board of JuzaAdapt, an initiative educating rural communities about climate change.

Nicolas Gholam is a Rural Development Practitioner and researcher, with a passion for social innovation in times of crises, and local small-holders' access to market. He is the founder of Mawsam Beirut SARL, a distribution company for local small-scale producers. He has previously managed the Souk El Tayeb Farmers' Market, led the outreach and operation of the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit at the American University of Beirut, and served as a coordinator for the Strong Cities Network's PVE Program in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. He is currently a fellow with the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT Food) and is working as an Economic Growth Consultant with several entities.

Sebastian Grey is a Scientific Officer for Agrometeorology in the Applied Climate Services Division (ACS) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). His work focuses on enhancing the application of climate services in the agriculture sector. Over his career he has worked in various organizations supporting climate resilience in agriculture, including the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), where he coordinated agricultural climate risk profiling activities; The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) where he provided technical support to the implementation of climate-smart agriculture programmes and projects; and Oxfam GB in Zimbabwe, where he coordinated agricultural adaptation projects.

Rein Paulsen
Angelo Riccaboni
Jesus San-Miquel-Ayanz

Rein Andre Paulsen assumed the role of Director, Office of Emergencies and Resilience (OER) at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in June 2021. Before FAO, he acted as Director ad interim of the Coordination Division at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva, overseeing key branches. He previously headed OCHA's Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and served as Head of Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mr. Paulsen began his career in NGOs in Haiti and Central America, later responding to global crises and holding positions with NGOs and the UN. He holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Warwick, UK.

Angelo Riccaboni serves as Co-Chair of the PRIMA Foundation, backed by 19 countries and the EC, supporting agrifood research in Barcelona. He chairs the Santa Chiara Lab, an innovation center at the University of Siena. A former Rector of the University of Siena (2010-2016), he contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network, chairs the SDSN Regional Centre for the Mediterranean, and co-chairs SDSN Europe. As a full Professor in Business Administration at the University of Siena and Senior Research Fellow at LUISS Business School, his research focuses on the private sector's role in sustainability and agrifood innovation. He also represents Italy's Ministry for University and Research in the Mission Soil Health and Food under the Horizon Europe EC Programme.

J. San-Miguel-Ayanz is responsible for the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) and Global Wildfire Information System (GWIS) at the European Commission Joint Research Centre. He holds a PhD and MSc in Wildland Information Science from the University of California-Berkeley, and a Forest Engineering Degree from Polytechnic University, Madrid. He co-chairs the Expert Group on Forest Fires for 43 European countries and Latin America/Caribbean. Additionally, he co-chairs the Global Observation of Forest Cover Fire Implementation Team (GOFC Fire IT) and leads GEO GWIS activities. More details can be found in his publication list, available upon request.