Luc Gnacadja was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) from 2007 until 2013.
Born in Benin, Mr. Gnacadja is an architect by profession, having graduated from the African School of Architecture and Urbanism in Lome. He was also the successful CEO of a consultancy firm and an accomplished manager, honing his skills at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and the World Bank Training Institute.
Before taking up his position as UNCCD Executive Secretary, Mr. Gnacadja served as Minister of Environment, Housing and Urban Development of Benin from 1999 to 2005. He gained first-hand knowledge of the UNCCD process over a number of years in his capacity as Head of Delegation to the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD.
Mr. Gnacadja was also Head of Delegation to the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity. His pronounced leadership qualities enabled him at the national level to initiate and build synergies between the Rio Conventions, in conjunction with the National Commission on Sustainable Development.
He has served as Chairman of several international ministerial Conferences, meetings and workshops related to the environment, urban and regional development, and sustainable development, including the African Ministers Conference on Environment and the Commission on Sustainable Development.
In March 2003 Mr. Gnacadja was honoured with the “2002 Green Award” in Washington D.C. by the World Bank.