Yvonne Walz

Dr. Yvonne Walz is a Geographer by training and currently serves as Head of the Environmental Vulnerability and Ecosystem Services (EVES) division at the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). She has more than 15 years of experience in research on social-ecological systems to understand drivers of risks due to natural hazards. Building on this, her main research focus is on identifying ecosystem-based approaches to reduce current and future risks and evaluating adaptation strategies to impacts of climate change. In addition, she conducts policy-oriented research with the specific focus to support countries in monitoring progress towards the implementation of international frameworks, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Global Biodiversity Framework, or the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

At UNU-EHS, Dr. Walz has been leading and managing multiple projects in the field of risk and climate change research, land- and ecosystem-based approaches and geospatial modelling to monitor indicators of the Sendai Framework (e.g. Align4LDN, Align-SLM, CLIMAFRI, CRM-NbS, EviDENz, FURIFLOOD, RRR-Coast, VALE, WASCAL, etc.).

In terms of capacity development, Dr. Walz is actively involved in teaching activities in the joint MSc programme on Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security of UNU-EHS and University of Bonn, at UNU-MERIT and at the WASCAL PhD program on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management in Lomé, Togo with a focus on the role of ecosystems in the context of disaster risk and climate change.
Dr. Walz serves as UNU focal point to the science-policy networks Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR) and the Friends of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (FEBA), as well as the UNU-EHS focal point for institutional collaboration with UNCCD.

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