CEESP News - by Seline Meijer
IUCN has appointed Dr. Juha Siikamäki as IUCN’s Chief Economist, effective 1 October 2017. Juha is based in Washington DC and will lead the IUCN Economics Unit within the Science and Economic Knowledge Team.
In fulfilling the Chief Economist mandate outlined below, Juha will partner and work closely together with the IUCN Chief Scientist within the Science and Economic Knowledge Team in the Programme and Policy Group. He will further work and collaborate with IUCN Commissions, with IUCN Members and partners.
Juha's mandate as Chief Economist includes (i) strengthening IUCN’s intellectual leadership in framing economic policy options to address the drivers of biodiversity losses; (ii) providing forward looking thought leadership to help frame the Secretariat’s strategic priorities – informed by IUCN’s 2017-2020 Programme and on the Hawai’i Commitments; (iii) leading the production of an IUCN flagship report with the aim of creating greater awareness of and priority for the imperative of biodiversity conservation in circles outside the conservation community; (iv) providing strategic direction and quality control for IUCN Secretariat knowledge generation; (v) preparing and managing the implementation of research and funding proposals for identified and agreed priority work; (vi) providing leadership by promoting continued quality improvement in the generation of IUCN analysis; and (vii) supporting the economic elements of relevant IUCN knowledge products.
Juha is a graduate of the University of California at Davis and University of Helsinki with the unique combined skills focusing on environmental and natural resource economics but also encompassing forestry, agronomy, and ecology. Throughout his career, Juha has specialized in the economics of ecosystems and nature, including economic valuation of ecosystem services, benefit-cost evaluations of conservation programmes, and spatial targeting of conservation investments. Juha’s career spans two decades of policy-relevant work. Since 2004, Juha worked at Resources for the Future (RFF), a non-partisan research organization based in Washington DC, most recently as Associate Research Director and Thomas J. Klutznick Senior Fellow. Prior to joining RFF, he was a Senior Economist at Arcadis company. He also has experience from University of California at Davis and Natural Resources Institute Finland.
His work is internationally broad, including United States, Canada, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Mexico, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Finland, and Sweden, as well as various regional and global assessments. Juha has a broad publishing record with more than 60 publications, including academic journal articles in general economics, general interest science, environmental and resource economics, econometrics, and ecology, focusing on exploring different aspects of conservation and ecosystem services.
Juha’s hobbies revolve around outdoors, sports, and family, including hiking, running, cycling, and spending time with his wife and 8-year old daughter.