Welcome to the CBD Secretariat

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema 


From June 2020 until February 2023, Ms. Mrema was the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity. She previously served in acting capacity in the role from December 2019 until her appointment in June 2020. Prior to that, Ms. Mrema served in various capacities in her two decades at UNEP, including as the Director of the Law Division and the Deputy Director of the Ecosystems Division.

From 2009 to 2012, she served as the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat for the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals as well as served as the Acting Executive Secretary of the UNEP/ASCOBANS (Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas) as well as Interim Executive Secretary of the UNEP/Gorilla Agreement, all based in Bonn, Germany.

Before joining UNEP, Elizabeth worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania and left as a Counsellor/Senior Legal Counsel. During her time with the ministry, she was also a lecturer in Public International Law and Conference Diplomacy at Tanzania's Centre for Foreign Relations and Diplomacy. She had also served as a pro bono visiting lecturer at the University of Nairobi Law School and in the past at the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), Rome, Italy.

A lawyer and career diplomat with LLB (Hons) from the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, LLM from Dalhousie University, Canada and Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy (Summa Cum Laude) from the Centre of Foreign Relations and Diplomacy in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. In 2021, the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL), in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), awarded Elizabeth with the Nicholas Robinson Award for Excellence in Environmental Law. This prestigious honour was bestowed in recognition of Elizabeth’s career achievements, dedicated to advancing the environmental rule of law. In 2022, Elizabeth was also awarded the Kew International Award for her work in protecting nature and has been listed on the 2021 and 2022 Most Influential African Women.

Elizabeth is also the co-chair of the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures.

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