Dianna Kopansky

Coordinator of the Global Peatlands Initiative
UN Environment

Dianna Kopansky is the Coordinator of the Global Peatlands Initiative in the Freshwater, Land and Climate Branch at UN Environment, based in Nairobi, Kenya. An expert in landscapes and biodiversity, she delivers a suite of ecosystem management and climate change programmes to contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. Dianna has worked in Africa for the past 18 years on a range of issues within the emergency, humanitarian, and development fields. For UN Environment, she works globally and has led teams to develop and implement projects such as the 17 MDG-F Environment and Climate Change Joint Projects. As part of the Executive Office she developed UN system-wide strategies, policies to strengthen the Regional Offices, and enabled the inclusion of Environment as a pillar in the UN Development Assistance Frameworks. Working in the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes regions, she led the environmental portfolio for UN-FAO’s Regional Emergency Office for Africa. While with UNDP’s Drylands Development Centre, Dianna provided direct technical support to governments in over 40 countries to integrate environmental issues into national development plans and Poverty Reduction Strategies and developed a new area of work on Drylands Biodiversity. Prior to moving to Africa, Dianna worked for the Canadian Government preparing their “State of Environment” reports and was part of a team that undertook a ground-breaking study – the Illness Cost of Air Pollution, resulting in the Ontario and Canadian Governments to dramatically improve air quality by lowering allowable pollutant levels. Dianna holds a Master of Environmental Studies Degree from York University and a Bachelor of Science Honors Degree in Conservation Biology and Ecology from Queen’s University in Canada.