His appointment was announced by Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the PIDF Summit that ended on Friday.
“I have an important announcement to make – the name of the new Secretary General of the PIDF.
“The person we have chosen to take our organization forward is Mr Francois Martel of Samoa.
“Mr Martel – who has been selected after an intensive process – has more than 35 years experience in natural resource management, bio-diversity conservation and climate change in the tropics. He also has extensive contacts in government, civil society and the private sector. So we welcome him to the PIDF and are confident that the Secretariat will be in good hands.
“I also thank Amena Yauvoli for his contribution as Acting,” Bainimarama told PIDF delegates.
In April this year Martel was appointed as Tokelau new Climate Change & COP21 Advisor.
He was tasked to assist Tokelau in urgently advising and supporting key activities to address the impact of climate change at the community level under the quality of life framework.
Martel comes with a wealth of experience with 35 years working with communities in the pacific region countries. He is a professional forester and conservationist experienced on issues of biodiversity conservation, climate change and sustainable forest resource used in island ecosystems. Martel was responsible for developing partnerships, fundraising and managing conservation and climate change projects for over 15 countries as well as French territories under a former post as the Technical Director for Melanesia and Executive Director for the Pacific Islands Program of Conservation International.
Martel was part of the Senior Leadership Team at Conservation International for the duration of his assignments with the organization. He founded and led the Pacific Islands Regional program (one of the 15 field programs of CI) until its inclusion into the Asia-Pacific Field Division in 2009.
Martel has developed and nurtured a wide network of conservation, climate change and sustainable development partners and alliances in all Pacific Islands over the last 26 years. He has good knowledge of legal and policy frameworks in island settings across all Pacific Islands from his work as part of the team designing and implementing conservation areas with the South Pacific Biodiversity Conservation Programme, a large 8-year, 17 community-based conservation areas and 12 countries GEF-UNDP funded project, prior joining the Conservation International Foundation in 2001.