Welcome to Melissa Lewis as Species Officer 

Bonn, 19 March 2024 – The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat is pleased to announce the recruitment of Dr. Melissa Lewis as the Agreement’s new Species Officer. Well-known to many within the AEWA network, Melissa will be responsible for overseeing and guiding AEWA’s framework for species action and management planning.  

A national of South Africa, Melissa’s educational and professional background lies predominantly in nature conservation law. She holds both a Bachelor, and Master of Law degree from Rhodes University (South Africa), a Master’s in environmental law from Lewis & Clark Law School (USA), and a PhD in this field from Tilburg University (the Netherlands).  

Melissa has previously worked as an environmental law lecturer and consultant and as BirdLife South Africa’s Policy and Advocacy Programme Manager. She has a special interest in AEWA. The Agreement was the focus of her doctoral dissertation, and she has recently been working with the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment to develop South Africa’s first National AEWA Implementation Plan. She also co-authored AEWA’s international species management plans for Barnacle and Greylag Geese and served as Coordinator of the AEWA Lesser Flamingo International Working Group.   

Melissa was also a member of the AEWA Technical Committee for over eleven years – first as thematic expert in environmental law and, more recently, as regional representative for southern Africa. For the past year, she served as the AEWA Technical Committee Chair.   

Melissa is excited to be joining the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat and looks forward to supporting members of the AEWA community in her new role. 

Last updated on 19 March 2024

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