The future is here – introducing new LDC Group negotiators!

Learn more about IIED's cohort of supported negotiators from the Least Developed Countries Group – who they are, their background, their areas of expertise, and what they’re hoping to achieve at the climate talks.

Supporting new climate change negotiators
A programme of work that highlights efforts to support delegates from the least developed countries
Four people sitting in front of a table chatting.

IIED researcher Camilla More explains the fine points of the UNFCCC process to new negotiators Justina Aurea Da Costa Belo, Olivier Ishimwe and Prakriti Koirala at the Bonn Climate Conference (Photo: Jérémy Davis, IIED)

To help sustain and amplify the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group’s voice and priorities in the UN climate change negotiations, IIED supports a cohort of junior delegates, providing them with direct guidance, mentoring and training through their first steps in the UNFCCC jungle.

Meet 11 of our 12 supported negotiators for 2023: 

Hortense Traoré Kagambega

Hortense Traoré Kagambega

I am an environmentalist and hydrogeologist engineer from Burkina Faso. With degrees from Joseph Ki-Zerbo University in Ouagadougou and Mali's National School of Engineers, I am completing my PhD on water and climate change. I have 15 years of experience conducting and teaching environmental and social impact assessments in Burkina Faso and Mali, and I'm also the general secretary of Women Environmental Programme Burkina’s board of directors.

Due to a lack of funding, I have been unable to take part in the UN’s climate negotiations since 2019, but in 2022, COP27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh was my opportunity to become a delegate for Burkina Faso, following the technology and just transition thematic areas.

Find me on @htk_bf.

Head and shoulder photo of Marlene Joy Kodo.

Marlène Joy Kodo

I'm a food technologist from Benin with a strong dedication to activism and community service. I currently serve as the regional focal point for the girl-led action of climate change (GLACC) programme under the World Association of Girls Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), which aims to increase the resilience of girls and young women to climate change.

I'm particularly passionate about gender issues and adaptation to climate change because women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change and lack capacity to adapt and recover. This is why I follow adaptation in the UN climate negotiations to defend the interests of Benin and the LDC Group in a gender-oriented approach.

Find me on @KodoMarleneJoy and LinkedIn.

Head and shoulders photo of Justina Aurea Da Costa Belo.

Justina Aurea Da Costa Belo

I'm a climate negotiator from Timor-Leste with expertise in ozone depleting substances (ODS) verification. Since COP25 in Madrid in 2019, I’ve been representing my country in the UNFCCC climate change negotiations, supporting the LDC Group coordinators on loss and damage and coordinating the New Generation programme under the Climate Leadership Initiative and the Loss and Damage Collaboration, which aims to empower young negotiators from vulnerable developing countries.

In Timor-Leste, I lead the implementation of national programmes under the Montreal protocol, working closely with UNEP and UNDP regionally. I also oversee the compliance strategy of multilateral fund-approved projects and shape policies and legislation. I am proud to represent my country in Montreal protocol meetings.

Find me on @justina_aurea and LinkedIn.

Head and shoulders photo of Ambinintsoa Heritokilalaina .

Ambinintsoa Heritokilalaina (Lalainà)

I'm a junior climate negotiator based in Madagascar. With a background in forestry, I also hold a master's degree in environmental science and management from the University of Liège in Belgium. Since 2018, I have been dedicated to combating climate change, and currently hold the position of head of the databases and monitoring and evaluation department of the national office for climate change and REDD+ at the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development in Madagascar.

In the context of climate negotiations, I follow two thematic issues: the global stocktake and transparency. I also actively advocate for the representation of women from least developed countries in international climate decision-making spaces.

Find me on @heritokilalaina.

Head and shoulders photo of Mustafa Yahia.

Mustafa Yahia

I'm a Sudanese climate activist and social entrepreneur who graduated in chemical engineering from Sudan University of Science and Technology in 2017. With a passion for climate action, I operate at the crossroads of climate mitigation, sustainable finance and circular economy.

Through Sudan Zero Waste, an NGO that I founded in 2020, I have spearheaded innovative and impactful climate mitigation projects, successfully designing, piloting, scaling and raising sustainable funding for developmental projects. I also actively contribute to organising climate awareness activities to accelerate collective climate action. In the UN’s climate negotiations, I follow climate mitigation agenda items.

Find me on LinkedIn.

Head and shoulders photo of Olivier Ishimwe.

Olivier Ishimwe

I'm a young environmentalist from Rwanda, holding a bachelor's degree in water and environmental engineering. Currently serving as a communications officer for the Green Protector, a youth-led NGO, and a member of the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition, I actively engage in climate advocacy.

I attended my first COP as a junior negotiator in November 2021, following the negotiations on article 6 of the Paris Agreement (carbon markets). Since then, I have continued to represent my country and the LDC Group, striving to enhance my climate diplomacy skills while advocating for the people most vulnerable to climate change impacts and working towards equitable climate justice.

Find me on @OliverIsh12.

Photo of Prakriti Koirala.

Prakriti Koirala

I'm researcher from Nepal holding a master's degree from Tribhuvan University in environmental science, with a specialisation in climate change and disaster risk management. For several years, I have actively been engaging in climate activism through different national youth organisations.

I have authored and co-authored several publications, including a report entitled 'Climate change vulnerability evaluation of the Marshyangdi River Basin' and a book called Project Bajho, a study of climate change legislation and policies in South Asian countries. Since COP26, I have been attending the UNFCCC negotiations, following the loss and damage thematic issue and assisting the government of Nepal in various capacities.

Find me on @prakriti054.

Head and shoulders photo of Sandra Isingizwe.

Sandra Isingizwe

I'm a climate activist from Rwanda with a bachelor's degree in water and environmental engineering. I began my career in environmental protection and climate change by co-designing projects for the Green Protector. Now serving as the Green Protector’s environmental education office’s coordinator, I engage the community, especially children, in climate change issues.

As a junior negotiator, I follow the action for climate empowerment and the transparency themes. I am also a member of the New Generation, a group of young negotiators strengthening their skills through coaching and mentoring, and contribute to the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition's training working group.

Find me on @IsingizweSS.

Head and shoulders photo of Simret Terefe Leggese.

Simret Terefe Leggese

I work as a climate change mitigation expert at the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority (EEPA). My role involves actively participating in the development of national climate change plans, strategies and guidelines to support the implementation of the Ethiopian Climate Resilience Green Economy (CRGE) strategy. I also served as an environmental training and research officer at the EEPA. I have been taking part in the UN’s climate negotiations since 2019, following loss and damage as well as gender and climate change.

I hold an MSc in environment and development from Addis Ababa University and completed my undergraduate studies in environmental science at Haramaya University, Ethiopia. Engaging in various community service activities, I'm also an enthusiastic volunteer.

Find me on LinkedIn.

Head and shoulder photos of Tasneem Sied Ahmed.

Tasneem Sied Ahmed

I'm a Sudanese advocate for social justice and sustainable development. With a background in plastic engineering and development studies, I'm passionate about driving positive change through projects and initiatives. From working on development projects to co-organising Sudan’s Local Conference of Youth, which gathers young people ahead of COP to discuss climate change and environmental topics, my work reflects my commitment to creating a more equitable and sustainable future for Sudan.

I have been taking part in the UN’s climate change conferences since 2022, following loss and damage agenda items. I hope to become a lead negotiator, actively contributing to my country's mission to combat climate change effectively.

Find me on LinkedIn.

Photo of Fatoumata Manjang.

Fatoumata Manjang

I'm a young climate negotiator based in The Gambia with experience in adaptation. I hold a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and work with the National Climate Change Secretariat, under The Gambia’s Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources. I have also been involved as a youth negotiator since June 2023 on climate change adaptation and resilience building of local communities.

I'm currently following two thematic areas in climate negotiations: adaptation and loss and damage, which are both as important as mitigation from our perspective because poor people are more impacted by extreme weather events. I'm proud to represent my country in international climate decision-making forums.

Find me on LinkedIn.