David Cooper

Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Dr. David Cooper is Deputy Executive Secretary (October 2015) at the Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), where he assists the Executive Secretary by coordinating the strategic and planning activities of the Secretariat as well as the intergovernmental processes and activities under the Convention. David has previously led the Secretariat’s work in a number of key areas: inter-agency cooperation; promoting the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the national biodiversity strategies and action plans. Most recently, David COOPER was Head of the Science, Assessment and Monitoring Unit where he coordinated the science-based inputs to the Convention, including through its scientific subsidiary body (SBSTTA).

As Secretary of the tenth meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP-10), held in Nagoya, Japan, he was instrumental in the adoption of the Strategic Plan and its twenty Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Previously, he worked on supporting countries in implementing their national biodiversity strategies and action plans. He has also led the development of the Convention’s Programme of Work on Agricultural Biodiversity and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Earlier, he worked at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, for the non-governmental organization GRAIN and in the Agricultural Research Council of the United Kingdom. Dr. Cooper was a lead author for the Biodiversity Synthesis of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment as well as the chapters on food and agricultural ecosystems. He was part of the writing team for the second, third and fourth editions of the Global Biodiversity Outlook and the main author of the first report on the State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. He has edited four books on agricultural biodiversity and has written numerous papers on the biodiversity science and policy.
Dr. Cooper holds an MA in Agricultural and Forest Sciences and a D.Phil in Plant Physiology, both from the University of Oxford.