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UN Environment staff lauded with Baobab awards

Three UN Environment staff members from the pan-European region have been hailed with an award for their exceptional service to the organization. The prizes are awarded by the UN Environment Executive Director – with all staff able to make nominations - and are named after Baobab Tree, which symbolizes strength, power and resilience.


Among those prized was Ms. Tatiana Hema, MED POL Programme Officer of UNEP/MAP, who won the Environmental Service Award.


The Environmental Service Award exemplifies those who demonstrate an outstanding effort and dedication in their field of expertise to enhance environmental sustainability and conservation at local, national, regional or international levels.


Ms Hema has been with UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention for 12 years, and is with MEDPOL Programme for the Assessment and Control of Marine Pollution in the Mediterranean since 2012. Her tireless efforts have resulted in innovative and substantive work in the Mediterranean towards pollution reduction. She is highly praised and appreciated by the Mediterranean countries for her services. Her work is inspiring other regional seas programmes to formulate similar action plans on marine litter. Her efforts draw on her impeccable technical expertise, her consistent professionalism and her strong interpersonal skills.


Fatma Pandey, based in Geneva for the Department of Technology, Industry and Economics; and Philippe Brarda of the Administrative Services team of the CITES Secretariat were meanwhile jointly recognized with the Support Service Award. The award goes to General Service staff who have provided consistent and exceptional support and have often gone above and beyond their duties to provide high quality of service.


Ms Pandey has for years been the centrepiece ensuring that the Economic and Trade Branch (ETB) office functions well. She has earned the respect of her peers and made contributions to the institution that go far beyond the ETB. She is solutions-oriented and pioneering, and has forged new paths to learning while juggling her ongoing front office responsibilities. Ms Pandey is a great team player, a grants specialist and an example for the office’s support team. She is the rock of the ETB. Her “can do” and “let’s try” mentality, especially during the Umoja implementation has enabled ETB to resolve so many issues.


Mr Brarda has meanwhile worked tirelessly and with great expertise during the implementation of Umoja. Also, although not a local process expert in the subject, he has developed in-house job aids and processes for staff travel and procurement matters. Mr Brarda became the only Umoja buyer in Geneva and provides support to all UNEP Geneva, in addition to his normal duties within the Secretariat. Mr Brarda is an excellent team player, dedicated team member, good role model and a peer to other staff in the UNEP Geneva environment, and always in a good mood.


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