Prof. Sarath Kotagama

Professor of Environmental Science,
Department of Zoology,
University of Colombo,
Sri Lanka.

Professor Kotagama is a member of the Environmental Council, Central Environmental Authority of Sri Lanka; Chairman, Biodiversity Experts Committee; and has received Presidential Award for contribution to environment activities in 2004 , he is recipient of distinguish service award for Conservation Education from Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) in 2003. The SCB, with a membership of over 6,000 science experts in 90 countries, is the premier professional society for those seeking to conserve biological diversity and represent the highest recognition that the Society bestows upon colleagues in the struggle to study, protect, sustain, and restore that diversity.Prof. Kotagama is the third Asian and the only Sri Lankan to receive the award. India’s Anil Agrawal and a Malaysian environmentalist were the earlier two winners of this award.

Prof. Kotagama is the third Asian and the only Sri Lankan to receive the award. India’s Anil Agrawal and a Malaysian environmentalist were the earlier two winners of this award.

Prof. Kotagama has many ‘firsts’ to his credit. He founded the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL), the ‘March for Conservation’, ‘The Young Zoologists Association’, ‘The Sri Lanka Environmental Foundation’, ‘The Mihikatha Foundation’, ‘The Mihikatha Institute’ and the semi-government ‘Wild Life Trust’. Being actively involved in research on Birds and Wildlife, he has authoured several publications mostly on birds and has made outstanding national contributions. Significant among these are the National Wildlife Policy for Sri Lanka (1990) and the National Wetland Conservation Policy for Sri Lanka (1997), Strategy for the Preparation of the National Biodiversity Action Plan for Sri Lanka (1997).

He has also been the Director of Wildlife (1989-1992) and still provides expert advice to the Wildlife Sector. He is current President of the Eco-tourism Society of Sri Lanka and the President of Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka.

Prof. Upinder Sawhney

Dept. of Economics at Panjab University

 ” Poverty Eradication – A Global Challenge “

Professor Upinder Sawhney, Chairperson, Dept. of Economics at Panjab University, Chandigarh (India) has been teaching there since Oct.1984. She has been a DAAD (German Academic Exchange) Fellow and a Fulbright – Fellow and was also a Visiting Scholar at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. Her areas of specialisation are Contemporary Issues of the Indian Economy and Public Policy. She has been teaching and guiding research at M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. levels. She has worked on several projects including a World Bank supported project on Budgetary Analyses at the State Level. She has many national and international publications to her credit. Prof. Sawhney has also been a member of various national and state level advisory committees on economic issues.

Ms. Una McCauley

UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative

Ms. McCauley has been with UNICEF since 2002 serving in Angola, Kenya, Sudan, Togo and Panama. In her role as UNICEF Representative in Togo and Panama, she was responsible for the overall leadership in developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the Country Programme. Prior to this she has served in various capacities in child protection programming and providing expertise on child welfare strategies. She is a national of the United Kingdom. She holds a Masters degree on International Development from the University of London and Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences and Social Research from the University of East London. Ms. Una McCauley succeeds Mr. Reza Hossaini, who was reassigned to the UNICEF Zimbabwe office. In 2013, Ms. Una McCauley has assumed office as the new Representative for UNICEF in Sri Lanka.

Aasim A. Siddiqui (Plenary Speaker)

M.D, Marine Group of Companies

Mr. Siddiqui has initiated sustainability development projects like Organization for Social Development Initiatives (OSDI), an NGO which is focusing on poverty alleviation through sustainable development in the rural areas of Pakistan, since 2009. Manzil Pakistan, a think tank NGO dedicated to work on developing and advocating Public Policy that contributes to the growth and development of Pakistan (2012). The Rabia Azim Trust, formed as a CSR project in 1995 aiming to promote quality education by adopting running government schools and supporting vulnerable private schools.

Mr. Siddiqui has actively developed various transport, logistics and sustainability development projects in Pakistan during the last 02 decades. He is currently the Group Managing Director of Marine Group of Companies, which is the biggest and most diversified business entity in the shipping, logistics and cargo handling industry of Pakistan. Mr. Siddiqui has played a vital role in the development and financial structuring of the following large infrastructure projects; Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT), the only public listed container terminal of Pakistan, which is now operating as a part of ICTSI terminals; Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT), the first modern coal/cement terminal which is also a public listed company on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and Pakistan Intermodal Ltd. (PIL), Pakistan’s first private freight train operator connecting the ports with the inland container depots through rail-road linkages. He is also on the board of directors of 14 other companies of the group.