As part of the International Women's Day 2016 a call for nominations for Geneva-based inspirational women working to protect the environment was launched in February 2016. A total of 160 submissions were received, including women working for inter-governmental, non-governmental, governmental and business organizations, academic institutions and civil society. A committee selected 20 of these inspirational women to be part of an exhibition celebrating their achievements, launched on 8 March 2016, on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Silja HALLE was among the 20 women selected.
Silja is a Programme Officer with UNEP’s Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch (PCDMB). A Swiss and Finnish national with strong family ties to the US and Canada, she currently heads a new programme on women and natural resource management in conflict-affected settings. In this respect, she acts as the coordinator for an innovative partnership between UNEP, UN Women, UNDP and PBSO, which focuses on pilot-testing gender-responsive approaches to environmental and natural resource management as a tool for redressing gender inequity and promoting women’s empowerment in peacebuilding processes. Silja has held several other roles within PCDMB, guiding programme and policy development and working to build partnerships within and outside the UN system. Prior to joining UNEP, Silja served on the city of Geneva’s Municipal Council, before being elected as a Green party representative to the canton’s Constituent Assembly