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Oliver Hillel,  Montreal

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Oliver Hillel

Oliver Hillel

Programme Officer
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

Oliver Hillel has been a Programme Officer at the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD, administered by the United Nations Environment Programme) in Montreal, Canada, for the last 6 years. He is responsible for the issues of South-South cooperation, sub-national implementation (involvement of States, Regions and cities), Sustainable Tourism, and Island Biodiversity. A biologist with a master’s Degree in Environmental Education and MBAs on Managerial Accounting and Hotel Management, Oliver has over 24 years’ experience on international cooperation and negotiations on sustainable tourism, event organization, and training and capacity building programs across many themes and issues related to sustainable development. Previously, he was the team leader for a tourism development cooperation project in the Philippines, Tourism Programme Coordinator for UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics based in Paris, France, and Ecotourism Program director for Conservation International. He also worked for SENAC, a professional training institution in his home country Brazil, where he created and managed training and consulting services for hotels, restaurants, and theme parks. For the past 6 years, Oliver has coordinated the SCBD’s activities involving cities and subnational authorities, supporting negotiations that led to the adoption of a Plan of Action for Subnational Governments, Cities and other Local Authorities. He has also co-organized more than 15 meetings including three Cities and Biodiversity Summits parallel to meetings of the Conference of the Parties, and produced the Cities and Biodiversity Outlook, a reference publication on the links between urbanization and biodiversity.

February 4, 2015

Over time, cities originated wherever indigenous cultures agglomerated and planned links between their settlements and peri-urban ecosystems for the provision of water, food and other goods and services. Not by coincidence, these settlements often occurred in biodiversity hotspots—and we know that historically cities were hotbeds for innovation of all sorts. Yet indigenous knowledge on the … Continue reading The Bright Side of Indigenous Urbanization for Biodiversity 

February 23, 2014
Photo: Jose Puppim de Oliveira

Today, we live in the ‘Urban Anthropocene’. This expression combines the global trend towards urbanization and the neologism ‘Anthropocene’, the term an ecologist would be forced to use these days to describe Homo sapiens as the key structuring species that could determine, alone, the fate of Earth’s life forms. For better or worse, it’s become … Continue reading The UN in the Urban Anthropocene

July 26, 2013
Hooded cranes at Suncheon Bay

In our transition from rural to urban life (arguably the largest ever migration of humans on Earth), we lose contact with Nature—that we already knew. It is not easy to find ways to raise awareness of the beauty, as well as the critical role, that living beings, all 30 million species of them, play in … Continue reading Nature in Movement: Bird Flyways as Engines of Economic Growth and Conservation for City Managers

February 17, 2013
Brest sous le soleil couchant

Une version en français suit immédiatement dans cet espace. Just as human activities change the face of our planet, the habits of maritime and port city residents have a disproportionate influence on the fate of coastal and marine biodiversity. We already know that what happens to life on Earth will depend on how people live … Continue reading Port Cities and Nature: The Experience of Brest Métropole Océane and the Maritime Innovative Territories International Network

November 14, 2012
CBO back cover

Coming just out of the whirlwind of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, in Hyderabad, India, from 8 to 19 October 2012, there are many reasons to celebrate. The Convention brings together the governments of 192 countries to discuss policies, actions and investments in the conservation … Continue reading Let’s Reinvent the Wheel: Helping Local Governments Protect Nature