To build lasting capacity in AOSIS and in member governments, AOSIS, under the chairmanship of the Republic of Nauru, established the Climate Change Fellowship Program in 2014. The program, continued under the Belize Chair and in partnership with Italy, is now in its sixth year and has trained total of 20 Fellows.
The AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Program is training the next generation of AOSIS leaders and climate change experts. The program brings early career professionals from AOSIS member countries to New York for one year to participate as part of each Fellow’s national delegation to the UNFCCC and UN. The program provides Fellows with the unique opportunity to gain real-world UN experience while participating in a world-class training program.
Many former Fellows continue to attend and engage in UNFCCC meetings, and several former Fellows are now serving as AOSIS coordinators at UNFCCC meetings.
The 2018-2020 AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Program is made possible through support from the Government of Italy
The Fellowship Alumni Network connects all classes of AOSIS Fellows working on climate change and sustainable development issues at the United Nations and around the globe.
Ilisapeci Vakacegu, Fiji (Class of 2014)
Capacity Building / Cross Cutting Capacity Development (CB2/CCCD) Project Officer UNFCCC, Climate Change and International Cooperation Division, Ministry of Economy
As the officer responsible for the UNFCCC under this project, Ilisapeci works closely with the Climate Change Division and other relevant stakeholders to identify and address capacity constraints, gaps and challenges they encounter when implementing Fiji’s commitments to the UNFCCC.
Isabel Monteiro, Cabo Verde (Class of 2014)
Counselor, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cabo Verde to the United Nations
In her role as Counselor, Isabel is in charge of Sustainable Development and Climate Change issues for the Cabo Verde mission. In addition, she is part of an inter-ministerial team working on climate change.
Rennier Gadabu, Nauru (Class of 2014)
Minister for Commerce, Industry & Environment; Climate Change; and Infrastructure Development, Republic of Nauru
George Uzice, Seychelles (Class of 2015)
Meteorological Technician, Seychelles Meteorological Authority
George currently serves as the AOSIS thematic coordinator on technology at the UNFCCC. In his role at the Seychelles Meteorological Authority, George conducts observations of the weather parameters in accordance to the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Meteorological Organization. George also assists in the analyzing meteorological observational data in support of climate change detection, prediction and its economic impacts on Seychelles. He also advises on the adaptation measures to be undertaken to minimize the impacts.
Ismail Raushan Zahir, Maldives (Class of 2015)
Technical Team Coordinator, AOSIS
Ismail currently works for the Chair of AOSIS as the Technical Team Coordinator, advising on issues concerning Small Island States across the Sustainable Development Agenda, Climate Change and Oceans across the UN System.
Nellie Catzim, Belize (Class of 2015)
Belize Mission, New York City
Simalua Enele, Tuvalu (Class of 2015)
Assistant Secretary for the Ministry of Justice, Communications and Foreign Affairs, Government of Tuvalu
Simalua’s role in this position is to assist the Ministry with policy advise to the Minister and the whole of government on foreign policy matters, as well as assist with the administrative function of the Ministry. She has also worked on high level visits to Tuvalu, including the UN Secretary General’s visit in 2019 and the hosting of the 50th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Tuvalu in the same year.
Ibne Al Shanawaz Purdhun, Republic of Mauritius (Class of 2016)
Senior Environment Officer, Pollution Prevention and Control Division, Department of Environment, Mauritius
In his role as Environment Officer/Senior Environment Officer, Shanawaz ensures compliance, from industrialists and the public in general, to environmental legislations and standards under the Environment Protection Act (EPA) 2002. He addresses environmental complaints and attends to environmental emergencies by taking appropriate actions as set out through established protocols. He also provides advice to industrialists and public in general on appropriate pollution abatement measures, cleaner production techniques and on other environmental issues.
Under the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Audit) Regulations 2008, Shanawaz triggers industries to play an active role in monitoring their environmental impacts as well as development of a culture of self-compliance. As part of his duties, Shanawaz promotes the adaptation and mitigation capacities of the industrial communities to climate change and natural disasters, in a view to adopt more sustainable initiatives for a pollution-free and more climate resilient island. Moreover, he also provides technical input into the formation and review of environmental policies, legislation, regulations and guidelines including Climate Change and Integrated Coastal Zone Management.
Isis Gonsalves, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (Class of 2016)
Mission of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, New York City
Losana Latu, Tonga (Class of 2016)
Principal Vulnerability and Adaptation Officer, Tonga
In her role as the Principal Vulnerability and Adaptation Officer, Losana plans and manages the operations and staff of Vulnerability & Adaptation Section. Her main responsibility is to provide technical and advisory support to the Head of the Department including on past, current, and future vulnerability assessments and adaptation to climate change in Tonga, drafting and finalizing of Adaptation Strategies, conducting assessment and research in Tonga, drafting project concepts and proposals, and monitoring the climate change program and project activities. Losana continues to represent Tonga at UNFCCC negotiations, focusing on adaptation.
Thaddeus Atkin Siota, Solomon Islands (Class of 2016)
Chief Climate Change Adaptation Officer, Climate Change Division, Ministry of Environment Climate Change Disaster Management and Meteorology, Solomon Islands
In his role as the Chief Climate Change Adaptation Officer, Thaddeus collaborates on vulnerability and risk assessment studies, provides guidance on the dissemination of climate change information, and assisted in drafting the Solomon Islands climate change bill. In addition, he works with communities and partners on the development and implementation of adaptation projects. Thaddeus continues to represent the Solomon Islands at the UNFCCC and assists colleagues in understanding the UNFCCC process.
Aseel Hassan, Maldives (Class of 2017)
Senior State Attorney, Maldives Attorney General’s Office
Melissa Peña Rodriguez, Dominican Republic (Class of 2017)
Ahmed Abdallah Saand Youssouf, Comoros (Class of 2017)
Attaché, Climate Change advisor, Permanent mission of Comoros to the United Nations.
Saand is an Engineer in Energy and Environment from the University of Technology of Belfort Montbeliard, France. In 2015 he started working as a junior consultant in renewable energy for Comoros Negotiators and Diplomats. Despite his specialization in renewable energy, Saand decided to following the Climate Finance track at the UNFCCC negotiations. He is now pursuing his career helping his country in areas related to Climate Change and Energy as a Climate Change Advisor at the Permanent Mission of the Union of Comoros to the United Nations.
Zoe Ayong, Vanuatu (Class of 2017)
Vanuatu Natural Disaster Management Office
Ahmed Falah, Maldives (Class of 2018)
Angelique Pouponneau, Seychelles (Class of 2018)
CEO, Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCATT)
Onika Angela Stellingburg, Guyana (Class of 2018)
Department of Environment, Guyana
Tearinaki Tanielu, Kiribati (Class of 2018)
Director, Multilateral Affairs Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration