Keynote speakers

During the conference several keynote speakers were invited to present their idea regarding the conference theme 'Enhancing ecosystem services through ecological restoration for nature and people'.

The below speakers who had confirmed their contribution, and are listed in alphabetical order. 

Special guests and keynote speakers

Keynote speakers


HRH Princess Basma bint Ali
Royal Botanic Garden, Jordan

HRH Princess Basma bint Ali served for over 12 years in the Jordanian Armed Forces. She attained the rank of Major and was awarded the King Hussein Gold Medal for Excellence in 1995, as well as the Order of Merit from the Jordanian Armed Forces in 1998.

In 1995 she co-founded the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS). To this day, she continues to serve as Chairperson of the Board of Directors. In 2000 Princess Basma bint Ali retired so as to dedicate herself fully to the environment.

She founded the Royal Botanic Garden of Jordan in 2005. Princess Basma bint Ali was honored as a Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine in 1998, the first Arab woman to be featured. In 2002 she was elected as a laureate of the Global 500 Roll of Honor for Environmental Achievement (UNEP). Again she was the first Arab woman and, in fact, the only individual on the Roll of Honor, the other laureates being organizations.

In 2011 she was awarded the Henry Shaw Medal by the Missouri Botanical Garden. She serves on numerous national and international committees and organizations promoting sustainable development and biodiversity conservation.


HH Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Ali bin Rashid AL Nuaimi  

The Green Sheikh, The United Arab Emirates

A human being and sought-after speaker and one of the Arab World most upcoming and fascinating figures. Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi a member of the Ajman royal family in the United Arab Emirates has made a name for himself and is considered to be a change agent for Environmental advocate and foresight on Sustainability in the UAE and beyond.

Avid skydiver, technical deep diver and role model amongst the UAE youth and many Arab countries and part of the globe, Sheikh Abdul Aziz has over the last 30 years dedicated his life to travelling and collaborating around the world on issues related to humanity, hope, understanding, environment and the road ahead.

He spearheads by encouraging and motivating ground breaking ideas developed by youth through empowering actions and meaningful way of life. His ongoing words over the last decades and a reminder of his greatest passion is to inspire, aspire and mentor young leaders who today ultimately will become the future leaders of tomorrow, that will make change required for a better understanding of a peaceful world.

"We are not grain in the Desert, but we are the Desert in a grain of the sand" - The Green Sheikh

Lucy Emerton 

Lucy Emerton is an environmental economist specialising in biodiversity and ecosystem valuation, and the development of innovative conservation finance and incentive mechanisms. Over the last 30 years she has worked as advisor to DFID, GIZ, the African Wildlife Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Bank, WWF, UNDP, UNEP, FAO and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), established and led IUCN’s environmental economics programmes in Africa, Asia and at the Global level, and provided technical advice and backstopping to a wide variety of other organisations and governments across almost 70 countries worldwide.

Lucy is currently Conservation Economics and Finance Director of the Environment Management Group, a consultancy group and think-tank providing business planning advice and technical support in environmental sustainability to the corporate sector, governments and international agencies.

Keynote abstract: Making the economic case for investing in ecological restoration: Why it matters

Rudolf de Groot 
Ecosystem Services Partnership

Rudolf de Groot is Associate Professor in Integrated Ecosystem Assessment & Management with the Environmental Systems Analysis Group of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. He is a Landscape Ecologist by training and has worked for more than 30 years on the use of ecosystem services as a tool for sustainable planning, management and decision making.

De Groot was involved as Coordinating Lead author in the UN-supported Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2001-2005) and in the global study on The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity (TEEB 2008-2010).

He is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal on “Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services and Management” and co-founder of the Elsevier Journal “Ecosystem Services: Science, Policy & Practice”

He is Special Advisor on Ecosystem Services and Nature Based Solutions of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), member of the Steering Committee of the UNEP International Resource Panel and Chair of the Ecosystem Services Partnership, a worldwide network to enhance the science and practical application of ecosystem services assessment.

Dr. Nizar Haddad

General Director, National Center for Agricultural Resources and Extension, Ministry of Agriculture

Nizar Jamal Haddad is the Director General of the Jordanian National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE). He holds Ph.D. and M.Sc degrees in Agriculture from the University of Belgorod State Agricultural Academy, Russia. He also holds the M.Sc degree in Management and Strategic Studies from Mu'ta University, Jordan.

Haddad is a Senior Expert Researcher and has 17 years of experience in the agricultural research sector at NCARE. His special research focus in the areas of beekeeping, climatic change, food security, and ethnobiology. He is the author of 17 books and more than 50 scientific papers published in the international peer-reviewed scientific journals. Since 2007 till now, Haddad has gained 5 international and 4 national awards, including the “Flash Talk Awards” - Best Speech awarded from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) & the U.S. National Academy of Science (NAS), USA (2016). And the recipient of the “Apimondia Silver Medal” – Best Education Website in Bee Sciences awarded from the Apimondia, Ukraine (2013).

He is ahead of the National Committee of Wheat and Barley Breeding, and the Vice President of the National Committee of Organic Agriculture. Moreover, he is a member in the Forest Value- Mediterranean-European Researchers Network, the National Technical Honey Bee Experts committee, and the National Biodiversity Committee.


Bethanie Walder

Society of Ecological Restoration

Bethanie Walder has more than 20 years’ experience in environmental conservation, restoration and education. Prior to joining the SER, Bethanie served as the Executive Director of Wildlands CPR, where she oversaw several highly successful conservation and restoration campaigns. Bethanie has worked as an organizational development, strategic planning and natural resources management consultant. She also worked in the field of environmental and outdoor education for over a decade. She was a founding member of several coalitions and non-governmental organizations and has served on numerous boards of directors for both environmental and community-based organizations. Bethanie joined SER in 2015 as its Executive Director. She is responsible for helping guide SER's overall work to achieve its mission of advancing the science, practice and policy of ecological restoration.

Bethanie has a Bachelor of Political Science and International Studies degree from Duke University and a Master of Science in Environmental Studies degree from the University of Montana. She lives, works, and plays in Missoula, Montana. 





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