C U R R I C U L U M   V I T A E


Ms. Gunilla Björklund, PhD


Address: Marmorv 16 A, SE-752 44 Uppsala, SWEDEN,

phone: +46-18-51 65 22


Languages: Swedish (mother tongue), English (fluent), French (elementary), German(elementary)

Education: PhD. 1984 in Physical Geography at Uppsala University, Sweden.  



Jan 1998 – Director, GeWa Consulting, Marmorv 16A, S-752 44 Uppsala, SWEDEN. Work as consultant on sustainable development policy issues such as international water policy issues, land degradation issues, climate related issues etc.

Oct. 1998 – May 2001 Senior researcher (20%), division of Hydraulic Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Main duty to act as supervisor for PhD-students in Integrated Water Resources Management.

Oct.1994 – December 1997  Commissioned by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as Executive Secretary for the Comprehensive Freshwater Assessment Programme, conducted by Stockholm Environment Institute and the UN Agencies of the UN ACC for Water Resources, based at SEI. 

Sept.1992 – Oct 1994  Special Adviser, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Development Assistance Division, responsible for environmental issues in multilateral assistance, including GEF, UNFCCC- and UNCCD-negotiations.

Oct.1990 – August 1992  Scientific Advisor, Swedish UNCED Secretariat, Ministry of the Environment, with responsibilities for inter alia freshwater issues, desertification, research, education and awareness issues.

Feb.1990 – Sept.1990  Project Leader for an Environmental Project at Swedish Television.

Sept.1988 – Feb.1990  Programme Officer, International Secretariat of the IGBP, Global Change, Stockholm.

1986 – Sept.1988  Assistant Professor in Physical Geography and Environmental Science, Karlstad University.

1971-1985  Researcher/Student Counsellor in Geosciences/Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Geography, Uppsala.

Short summary of experiences:

During Mid-October 2009 to January 2010 I made the Mid-term Evaluation of ACP-EU Water Facility supported UNEP project on “Improving Water Management and Governance in African Countries through Support in Development and Implementation of IWRM Plans”.

One of my recent undertakings were as consultant to UNESCO/World Water Assessment Programme as writer for World Water Development Report 3, WWDR3, published 2009 In conjunction with that I was the head writer of a UNDP Side publication to the WWDR3 on Climate Adaptation Programmes for Action and Integrated Water Resources Plans,, as well as one of the co-authors of the UNEP Side publication to the WWDR3 on Water and Ecosystem Management.

During late spring-early summer of 2009 I had a consultancy assignment for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification,, where I worked on a Resource mobilisation strategy for the UNCCD secretariat as well as an ‘Operational strategic framework for the convergence and delivery of the UN system on desertification, land degradation and drought issues’. I was also a member of the Global Environment Facility, GEF,, Technical Advisory Group for Land Degradation that developed the strategy for the LD Focal Area for the GEF-5.

I have been assigned both by GEF/UNDP, GEF/UNEP and by GEF/World Bank to do GEF STAP reviews of International Waters’ projects and did in 1997 a review of the GEF/UNDP Tumen River SAP project,  in early 2001 of the first phase of the GEF/UNDP project to strengthening implementation capacities for nutrient reduction and transboundary cooperation in the Danube River Basin, in September 2001 the review of the GEF/World Bank Senegal River project, in early 2003 the initial and the final technical STAP review of the GEF/UNDP Niger project and the final technical STAP review of the GEF/UNDP Danube project, both presented for the GEF Council in May 2003. In August 2003 I made the review of the GEF/World Bank Hai Basin project. I did during first part of 2005 the GEF/STAP review of a project in Fouta Djallon, West Africa for GEF/UNEP and in 2006 a project in Kagera River Basin, part of the Nile River Basin for GEF/UNEP. I was in 2006 engaged by GEF/UNEP as consultant on a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis for the Amur River basin in Russia/ China/ Mongolia, a project that should have been reshaped and restarted late 2007.

I have been engaged by Sida/SAREC for the assessment of the Swedish climate expertise and its applicability within Swedish Development Assistance and made during early 2003 a study resulting in a proposal for a sustainable research policy in the climate sector that is adopted by Sida/SAREC. I have together with Professor Michael Chadwick, SEI, York, been evaluating the Sida/SAREC-supported Asian Regional Research Programme on Energy, Environment and Climate, ARRPEEC. In November-December 2005 I undertook a study for Sida on Sida supported projects under the framework of EU Action on Climate Change in the Context of Development Cooperation. In early 2007 I have as Sida-consultant been developing a framework-initiative for Climate-related Sida activities in Partner Countries, and in its further development where it is to be implemented as part of a Swedish Environmental Development Support initiated in 2007. I did in October 2007 also assess for funding an ICIMOD project on adaptation to climate change in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region for Sida.

I was as consultant under the GeWa Consulting during the period May – October 2006 a member of the team to evaluate the Sida/SAREC support to international and regional thematic research work, where I was responsible for evaluating the support to the environment sector, including for coastal zone management. The study was one of five, aiming at defining the strengths and weaknesses and the areas for improvement of the research development activities.

I was a member of the founding committee and the first Board of Governors to the World Water Council, And I also acted as one of the advisors to the Water Action Unit under the World Water Council in the preparations for the 3rd World Water Forum, 2003.

I have also been representing Sweden at UN-meetings on freshwater including at the Commission for Sustainable Development and as Swedish representative participated in EU co-ordinations. I was the team leader for the SIWI/European Parliament study on Water and Development delivered 2000, when I also presented the study to the European Parliament. I was also the team leader and lead author for a SIWI/Sida financed study that was used as an EC Communication to the European Parliament and Council on Water and Development in 2001. In this work I did closely cooperate with EC DG Development and to some extent EC DG Environment.

I was Swedish governmental water expert at an intergovernmental meeting over Ganges in Dhaka in March 1998. I was also the water expert of the UNIFEM Aral Sea team on a mission in Uzbekistan. I have for the GWP participated at expert-meetings in the ESCWA-region. I have also participated in the work on the UNCHS/UNEP Programme Water for African Cities. I was a Swedish consultant for the GEF/UNEP Global International Waters Assessment with an emphasis on freshwater. I have also been consultant for the World Water Vision; Framework for Action under HR Wallingford, UK.

I was during 2002 engaged by UNDP and UN/DESA to investigate possibilities for a UN Funding Structure for Water. During 2004 I was the team-leader of the World Bank/GEF project to prepare a methodology for assessing (economic) costs of land degradation and the benefits of Sustainable Land Management in affected African countries. A second phase of that study, with implementation in Ethiopia and Ghana was initiated in the fall of 2005 and I prepared and presented the draft GEF/MSP to the World Bank in October 2006. The project now sorts under the TerrAfrica-initiative.

I have been lecturing at the universities in Uppsala, Lund, Stockholm, Linköping, Karlstad, Falun, Södertörn and Örebro as well as at the Technical Universities in Gothenburg and Stockholm and the Agricultural University, Ultuna, in Uppsala. I have acted as supervisor for some PhD-student on Integrated Water Management issues at the Royal Technical University in Stockholm. I have also been engaged to review as opponent for a land degradation Master-thesis at the Royal Technical University, Stockholm, as chairperson of the examining committee for a PhD-thesis at the same university in 2002 and as chairperson on another such committee at the same university in February 2005 and at yet another one in December 2006 and in 2007 on the examining committee for one land degradation- PhD-thesis as well as one on groundwater at Stockholm University. In May 2005 I was the opponent on a licentiate thesis on groundwater modelling at Stockholm University. During 2003-04 I was engaged in the examining committee at the Centre for studies in Environment and Development, Uppsala University.

During 1994 – 97 I was the executive secretary for the UN/SEI programme Comprehensive Assessment of the Freshwater Resources of the World. I did coordinate, together with the secretary for the UN ACC Subcommittee on Water and the director for the Stockholm Environment Institute, Michael Chadwick, who were the co-chairmen, the work conducted by 8 different UN agencies (FAO, UNDP, UNEP, UNIDO, WMO, WHO, UNESCO and the World Bank) and experts under SEI and was the head of the secretariat, based at SEI. The main report resulting from the work was presented to UN CSD and to UN General Assembly Special Session, resulting in Freshwater being on top of the Intergovernmental agenda and the main topic at CSD 1998. As a consequence of that work I was also asked by EC-DGVIII to contribute in the EC Guidelines for Water Resources Development Cooperation, carried out by a team of experts under the chairmanship of HR Wallingford, UK. During this period I was also associated to the GEF STAP as an “extra STAP-member” with responsibilities for Freshwater issues.

During 1992 – 94, as special advisor at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs I was responsible for all environmental issues within the multilateral development assistance. I also acted as advisor for a Swedish position on environmental aspects on World Bank Projects. I was during the period also the Swedish chief negotiator to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, and had the Swedish responsibility for the financial negotiations on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. I participated as negotiator at OECD/DAC environment committee, in forestry negotiations, in negotiations on the Biodiversity Convention, in Habitat issues etc. I was also a member of the negotiating team for the GEF Instrument and participated at the CSD meetings. And as part of this was the period when Sweden was preparing to join the EU I also participated for Sweden at EU-coordination meetings.

1990 – 92 I worked as expert at the Swedish secretariat to United Nations Conference for Environment and Development, UNCED, based at the Swedish Ministry of the Environment. During that time I did negotiate a large part of Agenda 21, including the chapters on Freshwater, Desertification, Science and Education (where I was the international chairperson) for Sweden as well as the complete part on Major Groups. I did during that period also contribute to the Agenda 21 chapter on Desertification at the International UNCED secretariat in Geneva.

During 1988 – 90, as programme officer at the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme under the International Council for the Scientific Unions (ICSU) I had a responsibility for the programmes on “Past Global Changes”, a programme dealing with the background to today’s climate changes and their effects, and “Land Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone” and was one of the initiators to the last one.

I have a 16-year academic experience including research work in physical geography, including hydrology, academic teaching and administrative work, such as planning and administrating PhD-level courses. The topic for my PhD Thesis dealt with developing different models for Environmental Impact Assessments including working with different international models, particularly in river environments. Working with county councils etc I also had to familiarise with biology and environmental law. I was during 10 years of that time also student counsellor for Geosciences which includes all geological subjects, geohydrology, hydrology, climatology, physical geography, soil science etc. and am still teaching on some classes in these subjects at different universities.

Specific appointments:

  • Member of the Land Degradation Focal Area Technical Advisory Group for Global Environment Facility 5, GEF, strategies during 2009.
  • Reviewer for the Global Environmental Outlook 4, published by UNEP in 2007.
  • Reviewer for the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, supported by the CBD, CCD, Ramsar, UNEP, FAO, UNDP, UNESCO, WHO, GEF, UNF, World Bank, ICSU, UN/FCCC, IUCN.
  • Member of the reference group for freshwater related issues to the Swedish government in preparing for the Johannesburg Summit, 2002.  
  • Reviewer of scientific articles for Water International, published by International Water Resources Association, for Ambio published by the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, and for Lakes and Reservoirs published by International Lake Environment Committee.
  • Consultant to UN/DESA in preparations for Expert meeting on Freshwater issues in Harare Jan 1998, preparatory meeting for meeting with UN/Commission for Sustainable Development 1998.
  • Consultative GEF/STAP expert to UNDP for reviewing UNDP/GEF projects on International Waters, to the World Bank for reviewing World Bank/GEF projects on International Waters and to UNEP for reviewing UNEP/GEF projects on International Waters and Land degradation.
  • Ad hoc member of the Global Environment Facility Scientific Technical Advisory Committee (GEF/STAP) (1995-97) and at their Roster of Experts as freshwater expert (1995- 2003). My membership on the Roster of Experts was renewed from November 2004.
  • Member of the Steering Committee for planning of the GEF/UNEP Global International Waters Assessment Project.
  • Swedish Water Expert to the Swedish Delegations to Global Environmental Facility and to the Commission for Sustainable Development.
  • Member of the World Bank Advisory Committee for International Waters Monitoring and Evaluation Guidelines (World Bank GEF-projects).


Membership of organisations

  • Member of the Board of the International Water Resources Association, October 2006 – 2010.
  • Member of the Board of the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography, appointed 2005 – 2010.
  • Member of the Board of the Swedish Aral Sea Society, 2002 and onwards. From 2010 I am the chairperson.
  • Member of the Board of Governors to the World Water Council. (1996- 1997) and of the WWC Founding Committee 1994-96.