Francisco Rilla

Director of Science and Policy

Francisco Rilla, Director of Science and Policy at the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands has more than 30 years of experience in biodiversity and wetlands conservation, policy development, regional negotiations, management and implementation of projects, scientific research, wildlife and ecosystems restoration program.

Francisco worked at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) since 2005 held a role of Head of Information and Capacity Building at the Secretariat of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) based in Bonn, Germany for eleven years.

In 2016 he moved to UNEP HQ in Nairobi, Kenya, in the International Governance Unit (Law Division), dealing with the implementation of projects such as ACP- African, Caribbean and Pacific MEAs and the African Elephant Fund (AEF). In both initiatives he has supported the implementation of conservation activities in particular with stakeholders, governments and international organizations in Africa, Asia, Americas and the Pacific regions. Prior to joining the UN, he was responsible of the Management and Science Unit of PROBIDES UNDP/GEF Project in Uruguay and Brazil on the conservation of Ramsar Area in the Biosphere Reserve Bañados del Este.

Francisco Rilla also coordinated the Wetlands Program for Latin America of IUCN in the regional Office for Latin America in Quito, Ecuador. Francisco holds a degree in Wildlife Biology from the University in Uruguay, he obtained advanced postgraduate degrees from the Saarland University in Biogeography in Germany, and in ecology on wildfowl and wetlands in Spain. He is author and co-author of more than 45 scientific publications, book chapters, and popular articles dealing with conservation biology, biogeography, and Ramsar conservation sites.

Francisco has a strong background in intergovernmental processes, including through his work in the CMS Secretariat, as well an interdisciplinary approach and holistic vision to research and policy analysis with a solid knowledge of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs focused on the conservation and wise use of the wetlands contributing to biodiversity conservation, poverty eradication and benefits for nature and society.