International programme coordinators
Our international programme work is facilitated by eight International Programme Coordinators, two for each programme. They are assisted by a steering group made up of representatives from all four regions. They are hosted by different Friends of the Earth member groups around the world, to ensure that our international programme work remains rooted in the local reality and struggles of our member groups.
dipti bhatnagar is hosted by JA! / Justiça Ambiental / Friends of the Earth Mozambique where she also works on climate justice and dirty energy. She has been in the role since March 2012. An activist since 2001, with a deep-rooted sense of justice, dipti worked with the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save the Narmada movement) to fight destructive dams, and in California she worked on immigrant rights and safe drinking water for farmworker communities of colour. An environmental scientist by training, dipti was born in Kolkata, India. She lives in Maputo, Mozambique, with her partner whom she met whilst campaigning against dams.
Sara Shaw is hosted by Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland. She has been in the role since July 2014. Before joining Friends of the Earth International Sara was International Campaign Manager working on land grabs at Action Aid International and Climate Policy Adviser at Tearfund. She has also worked at Amnesty International, as a lawyer for refugees in the UK and for a human rights NGO in Mexico City. She has lived in Mexico, Rwanda and Venezuela. Sara has a degree in Latin American history, politics, literature and Spanish and is also a qualified lawyer.
Nele Marien is hosted by Friends of the Earth Flanders and Brussels. Before joining Friends of the Earth International Nele spent many years in Bolivia, first working as a policy advisor for a grassroots peasant cooperatives movement, later as a climate change negotiator for the Bolivian Government at the UNFCCC, where she was also on the organising committee of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. She later became coordinator of the CBD Alliance, before working as an agroecology campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, after which she took up her current position. Nele, originally from Belgium, is the mother of three girls.
Isaac Rojas is hosted by COECOCEIBA/Friends of the Earth Costa Rica, of which he was a founding member in 1999. Isaac was president of the Costa Rican Ecological Federation and worked with AECO, what is now COECOCEIBA. He is a founding member of the Biodiversity Coordination Network in Costa Rica. He has been active in environmental struggles across Latin American including peasant and indigenous struggles. He has published several articles and books on ecology and literature.
Kirtana Chandrasekaran is hosted by Friends of the Earth Scotland. She has spent over a decade fighting for food sovereignty and against the injustice of the industrial food system in India, the UK and Europe. At Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland Kirtana coordinated campaigns against GMOs, factory farming, and at European level to reform the European Common Agricultural Policy. Before that she worked for several local NGOs in India against agriculture in the WTO and unfair trade policies, and in support of good governance and local environmental struggles. She has degrees in Zoology, Journalism and Environment and Development. She is originally from Chennai, India and now lives in beautiful Edinburgh with her family.
Martin Drago is hosted by REDES/Friends of the Earth Uruguay, of which he has been a member since 2004. Since 2009 Martin has coordinated international work against agribusiness and land grabbing and in favor of agroecology and food sovereignty. He works as a liaison with La Via Campesina and leads on the relationship with the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty. Previously Martin campaigned on a diverse range of issues around food and farming in Uruguay, Latin America and the Caribbean against soy and forestry expansion, GMOs as well as working in the food sovereignty movement and on trade and economic justice issues.
Leticia Paranhos Menna de Oliveira has worked with Friends of the Earth Brazil since the 2012 Peoples' Summit, in the framework of Rio+20. Before joining Friends of the Earth International, Leticia was the Food Sovereignty programme regional co-coordinator for Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean. In Brazil, Leticia helps coordinate projects and works with urban and peasant movements as a popular environmental educator. The issues she is most involved with are the struggle for collective rights against infrastructure megaprojects and forced displacements, and the defence of agroecology and resisting agribusiness. Currently Leticia’s main role is the coordination of the mobilisation for the establishment of a binding treaty at the United Nations to end the impunity of transnational corporations with regard to human rights. Leticia lives with her partner and daughter in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Sam Cossar-Gilbert is hosted by Friends of the Earth Australia. Before joining Friends of the Earth International Sam worked in environmental and social justice movements for over a decade, as a trade union organiser, trainer in citizen media and an activist with Australian Student Environment Network. He was part of the Take the Square media collective working with the Indignados and Occupy movements. Most recently Sam was an environmental justice campaigner with Friends of Earth Australia focusing on harmful trade deals.