Abiola Olanipekun is the Chief of the Science and Technical Assistance Branch at the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS). Her responsibilities include leading, planning and implementing the programme of work of the Branch related to technical and scientific aspects; national reporting; coordinating the work on the development of technical guidelines, tools and guidance; finalization of draft texts for amendments/submissions on lists of chemicals and wastes; providing support on technical and strategic issues to Parties and the Executive Secretary; coordinating the input of the Branch into the meetings of the Conferences of the Parties and their subsidiary bodies; in close coordination with other Branches, planning and executing joint activities on scientific matters; and collaborating and liaising with other UN organizations and agencies on scientific and technical cooperation issues.
A Nigerian citizen, Abiola previously worked for the Federal Ministry of Environment Nigeria (1987 to 2013) in the Chemicals Management Division of the Department of Pollution Control and Environmental Health. She has also led and coordinated the African region for over a decade in major international negotiations, policies and programmes on sound management of chemicals. She served as Chairperson on the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Global Mercury Partnership Programme Advisory Group and was a member of UNEP’s Expert Groups on a number of international chemicals management initiatives. She has been a prominent advocate of key outcomes that have enabled the global community’s efforts to achieve sound management of chemicals.
Abiola holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Biochemistry and Environmental Science and Technology respectively from the University of Benin, Nigeria, and from UNESCO-IHE, Delft, The Netherlands.