Dr. Balgis Osman Elasha is a Climate Change and Green Growth Expert with African Development Bank. Osman-Elasha’s work has received global attention. A lead author of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, she was among a select few to represent the group in 2007 in Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, next to Al Gore. The following year, she was awarded the UN’s Champions of the Earth Prize.
The US State Department invited her to the United States in 2008 to take part in a science diplomacy programme, where she gave lectures on climate change at several American universities. Balgis Osman Elasha holds a PhD in Forestry Science, Master in Environmental Science and a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) with honor in Forestry and Agricultural Science. She has more than 17 years’ experience in different climate change issues with special focus on vulnerability and adaptation assessment related to African countries and the Middle East. Her achievements were the result of years of hard work and persistence. Like women studying the sciences everywhere, she was among a small group at her university.Osman-Elasha began her career doing forestry work at Sudan’s Forests National Corporation in the 1980s. Her Fuelwood Development for Energy project emphasized community forestry, fuel conservation, and sustainable forest management. As part of that project, her team distributed improved cookstoves to reduce firewood use. She credits this work with having introduced her to the climate variability experienced in rural areas of Sudan, and to the problems faced by the rural communities.
Osman-Elasha began her climate change work as a researcher in the Climate Change Unit at Sudan’s Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources. Her work there included conducting greenhouse gas analyses, which caused her to realize the link between rising greenhouse gases and deforestation in Sudan. Her research there addressed climate change vulnerabilities and adaptations in drought-prone regions.