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making science work for climate adaptation

The WASP Secretariat is hosted by UNEP’s Science Division in Nairobi, Kenya.

It supports the Management Group, co-chairs of the Science Committee, co-chairs of the Policy and Finance Committee and other WASP members in the delivery of their mandate. It also ensures the work programme is implemented consistently in line with the project’s principles.


Dr. Maarten Kappelle

Head of the WASP Secretariat

Dr. Maarten Kappelle

Mr Maarten Kappelle (PhD), a Dutch national, since 2014 works at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi – first as Global Coordinator for the UNEP Chemicals and Waste Subprogramme and since 2017 as Head of Scientific Thematic Assessments.

Mr Kappelle has 30 years of experience in the environmental sector across the globe. Prior to joining UNEP, he held positions at universities and research centers in the US (University of Tennessee at Knoxville), the Netherlands (Universities of Amsterdam, Leiden, Utrecht) and Costa Rica (Universidad Nacional, INBio). He also worked at big international NGOs in the nature conservation sector, including as Director of Science for Central America and the Caribbean and Lead Scientist for Latin America at The Nature Conservancy (TNC, 2003-2010) and Chief Conservation Officer (Netherlands office) and Director of Conservation Performance of African and Asian Programme Offices at the World Wide Fund for Nature-WWF (2010-2014). Dr. Kappelle has published over a hundred scientific, technical and popular articles, chapters, reports and abstracts in journals, magazines and technical series on ecology and biodiversity in Latin America. He has authored and (co)edited nine English and Spanish books on tropical ecology and biodiversity. Maarten has a MSc degree in biology (1988) and a PhD degree in ecology (1995) from the University of Amsterdam. He is married, has two sons and lives in Nairobi.


Dr. Ying Wang

Coordinator of the WASP Secretariat

Dr. Ying Wang

Ms Ying Wang (PhD) is a Chinese national working at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi as Coordinator of the WASP Secretariat since May 2018.

She coordinates the World Adaptation Science Programme hosting conferences, meetings, events, and activities including communication and outreach to ensure the successful delivery of impactful products and services. She also supports the partnership building and maintenance as well as resource mobilization. At UNEP, Ying also coordinates the development of the Adaptation Gap Reports and provides support to the production of the Emissions Gap Report. She has ten years of experience in international research, environmental management, technical support, and the science-policy interface on chemicals and waste, pollutions, and climate change adaptation and mitigation in the context of sustainable development. She is a Science Committee member of the sixth Adaptation Futures conference in Delhi, India. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Environmental Science from the Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland.


Sofia Méndez Mora

Assistant of the WASP Secretariat

Sofia Méndez Mora

Ms Méndez is a Costa Rican national working at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi as Project Coordination Assistant since early 2019.

She holds a graduate degree in Marketing and an undergraduate degree in Management from the United States International University (USIU). At UNEP Sofia has supported the development of several scientific assessment reports and policy briefs, including on sand and dust storms, zoonotic diseases, and climate adaptation. Currently, she is assisting the leadership of the Secretariat of the World Adaptation Science Programme in the fields of management, coordination, meetings, procurement, and production of deliverables and services.

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