Meet the IUCN Leaders Forum 2022 Changemakers

Meet the IUCN Leaders Forum 2022 Changemakers

IUCN Leaders Forum Changemakers champions young leaders and entrepreneurs who are designing or implementing innovative nature conservation or biodiversity action projects in their communities. More than 3,500 programme applications were received for last year’s Forum.
From this pool, 10 young changemakers were selected to travel to the host city of Jeju and pitch their projects to influential global leaders from the private sector, government and civil society.
Learn more about the innovative projects of these changemakers below.


Sabrine Chennaoui

Sabrine Chennaoui

CEO, Monsapo

Sabrine, CEO, and co-founder of MONSAPO, holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Marketing from the Mediterranean School of Business.

She has 8 years of experience in communication, community mobilization, coaching, and training entrepreneurs as well as project management skills that she acquired working with NGOs and European-funded projects such as horizon Europe.

She is passionate about entrepreneurship, sustainability, and empowering women in business and is very interested in topics such as Bio-circular economy, biomimicry, and sustainable manufacturing. This has enabled her to launch MONSAPO which is in line with her values and the added value she wants to create in society.

MONSAPO is an ecological cleaning products line based on circular economy and sustainable development as we are using dangerous and non-dangerous waste as raw materials. 

Saed  Hanani

Saed  Hanani

Founder and CEO, Startup Furange

Saed Hanani from Palestine, 23 years old, Electrical engineering and renewable energy student at Arab American University. 

Hanani is the Founder and CEO of Startup Furange, can you imagine wearing clothes made of your orange juice leftovers? Our team turned this imagination into reality. We are producing high quality, affordable, and environmentally friendly common Rayon fabrics by extracting cellulose from orange peels and turning it to threads.

All team members have turned Furange's mind-blowing idea into reality through the scientific research and the continuous work in labs. We succeeded in extracting cellulose from oranges' peels and making fibers by following a chemical process that is unique and special for Furange only. Our prototype matches the universal and famous Rayon....We are the first to accomplish this in Asia. 

In 2021, Hanani was elected as the Chairman of organization IEEE for his university branch. IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.

Hanani served as the ambassador for the IEEE Entrepreneurship Initiative in Palestine, and was awarded the title of Best Ambassador for the IEEE Entrepreneurship Initiative 2021 at the level of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In 2022, Hanani served as the Ambassador of Orange Corners at his university, an initiative of the Government of the Netherlands to support young people through entrepreneurship. 

Hanani was elected as the Director of Entrepreneurship for the EMEA Gathering 2022 conference held across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Engaged in Sustainopreneurship as an event organizer and believes this is an effective way to serve the community and a tool for making a lasting impact. During 2021, he managed to inspire 220 people to start working on their own projects by organizing Doc Tech and IEEE Pioneers workshops, sessions and competitions in the field of sustainable entrepreneurship. 

Recipient of several awards for the results of participation in local and international competitions, including the team leader who won first place in the challenge of solutions proposed by young men and women in the Arab to the issues of desertification and drought 2022 - ESCWA - United Nations and Winner of the second place in the "EU Green Talk" competition organized by the European Union at the level of Palestine and many others. 

Hua Jie Toh

Hua Jie Toh

Co-Founder, Stewards of Environmentally-Aware Development (SEAD)

Hua Jie Toh, or HJ, is the cofounder of Stewards of Environmentally-Aware Development (SEAD), a Malaysian sustainable impact enterprise that plants, harvests, and turns bamboo into building material.

SEAD works directly with forest communities to harvest bamboo by training them in sustainable harvesting methods that not only improves the harvester’s productivity but also preserves the plant and supercharges the plant’s rate of carbon sequestration. Currently, SEAD is also developing a bamboo agroforestry model to rehabilitate barren ex-mining land. 100ha of such lands have been earmarked for intervention, with a 20ha plot serving as the initial proof of concept. SEAD's ultimate goal is to build up a sustainable bamboo supply chain in Malaysia, creating a restoration economy that reverses degradation on ex-mining lands and empowers the local community.

HJ recently completed a Professional Fellowship with the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative and was a Visiting Fellow at the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC. See more of his organisation’s work on or connect with him on 


Filip KoprÄina

Founder and CEO, Energy Shift

Filip is a serial entrepreneur and a founder of Energy Shift, a blockchain powered platform that enables citizens to jointly invest in and co-own solar farms. He has previous work experience from a solar installation company, where he became an expert in solar energy. Among his vast experience in the energy sector, he was a Technical Working Group member in the United Nations’ High Level Dialogue on Energy, providing recommendations on how the World can achieve the SDG7 targets that we set. Furthermore, he advised Big Oil companies on how they can transition their business model to sustainable energy. Last but not least, he won the EU Sustainable Energy Award in the Young Trailblazer category, awarded by the European Commission. Forbes 30 under 30 Europe 2022.

Bio Energy Shift

Did you know that 78% of the greenhouse gas emissions is caused by the energy sector? (source Eurostat and European environmental agency) That makes it the biggest area where we can make a huge impact in. In addition to the pollution created by the production of energy from fossil fuels, there is also a lack of participation from citizens in tackling climate change and global warming, due to the fact that they cannot easily invest in renewable energy. Last but not least, EU and UN mention that we lack funding to meet the 2030 targets that we set.

Energy Shift is a web based, blockchain powered platform that enables citizens to jointly invest in and co-own solar parks, thus democratising the energy sector and enabling citizens to actively participate in the energy transition to renewable energy. 

Adrian Leitoro

Adrian  Leitoro

Co-founder and CEO, Nature and People as One (NaPO)

Adrian Leitoro is co-founder and CEO of Nature and People as One (NaPO) and a Dryland Restoration Steward for the year 2022 at the Global Landscapes Forum.  

Adrian was born and raised in national parks in Kenya as his parents were conservationists working with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) - the body mandated with conserving Kenya’s wildlife. His experiences growing up in protected areas and seeing the importance of healthy ecosystems shaped his career in conservation.

He is passionate about conservation and the important role communities have to play in safeguarding nature. Through NaPO, he is actively exploring ways to increase the involvement and benefits to indigenous people and local communities from conservation and restoration of biodiversity while building their adaptive capacity to the impacts of climate change.   

From an academic perspective, he is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Climate Change Adaptation with a focus on Nature Based Solutions at the University of Nairobi. He is also a Charles R. Wall fellow - a program by UNEP and the African Wildlife Foundation to train young African negotiators.

Project - The ‘Herder Conservation Network’

The project aims to increase community involvement in the conservation of wildlife resources in Marsabit, Northern Kenya. Marsabit area is among the last remaining wild places in Kenya - rich in wildlife and is currently managed by indigenous communities (the Rendille and Samburu). The area is home to the endangered African Wild Dogs, Grevy’s Zebra and Beisa Oryx as well as Vulnerable African Elephants.

The ‘Herder Conservation Network’ builds upon the Rendille/ Samburu herders' deep understanding (knowledge) of their ecosystems - mainly from regular movements across the ecosystem in search of pasture - to enhance community ecosystem/wildlife monitoring and governance for long-term inclusive conservation impacts. The main objectives of the project include: (1) To work with existing indigenous community structures to conserve wildlife and landscapes (2) To gain an understanding of wildlife distribution and human-wildlife dynamics in the Marsabit Conservation Area (3) To provide incentives that enable communities to conserve.

Federico Perez

Federico Perez

Founder and CEO, Platinum Capital

Born and raised in Medellin, Colombia, Federico leverages social and environmental impact mechanisms to develop innovative solutions to critical global challenges. He tackles these challenges from a multidisciplinary approach, having experienced first-hand the successful socioeconomic transformation of his city. Over the past years, he has worked in the international trade, multilateral, non-profit and venture capital sectors. 

He is the Founder and CEO of Platinum Capital, streamlining the complexities of nature-based projects in the Amazon. The company leverages the carbon economy to finance ecosystem restoration and agroforestry. They aim to harness remote sensing technology while bringing together investors, carbon buyers, and land stewards. Ultimately, unlocking a large-scale mobilization of private capital towards climate projects. Through this work, Federico has been awarded the U.S. Department of State Young Leader of the Americas Fellowship and the German Westerwelle Foundation Young Founders Fellowship. He is seeking meaningful partnerships and financing opportunities at the IUCN Leaders Forum.

Currently, he contributes as a Consultant at a United Nations agency, the International Trade Centre. In this role, he investigates, creates public policy reports and implements foreign government projects in Colombia. As a volunteer, he catalyzes youth entrepreneurship through the ITC Ye! Community and manages the UNCTAD Youth Action Hub in his native country. 

He holds a Bachelor's degree from Michigan State University in Economics and a MicroMasters degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Supply Chain Management. Finally, Federico has been awarded academic scholarships by Harvard Kennedy School, MIT, University of Chicago, IESE, Michigan State University, and Banco Santander. 

Lalita Pubhoo-Jungee

Lalita Purbhoo-Junggee

Founder and Director, Eco-Hustle Ltd

Lalita Purbhoo-Junggee is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur from Mauritius. She is the founder and director of Eco Hustle Ltd, a venture that was launched in 2019, with two eco brands, Sakili and Recycle Moi. 

Sakili is the brand name of a line of upcycling bags that are made from used advertising materials, mostly from billboards and banners. The idea of Sakili emerged in 2014 to reduce the solid waste that her printing company was generating. Soon, the idea became a product and after two years of hard work, it became a well-known brand and noble initiative. Sakili has made more than 400,000 products; bags, pouches, backpacks, etc, saving hundreds of tons of non-biodegradable waste from going into the landfill and the ocean. Being an island nation, it is a common practice for locals to trash their waste in the ocean. 

Recycle Moi is the brand name of the first natural and biodegradable sanitary napkins in Mauritius. Through this brand, Lalita is working on normalizing menstruation talk as it is still a taboo in Mauritius and, alongside educating young girls and women about the importance of making the right choice for both their bodies and the environment by leaving behind plastic sanitary napkins. Lalita studied business entrepreneurship at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame and is currently pursuing her MBA.

Lalita is a multi-award winner in the entrepreneurship field on the African continent, these include:  

  • 2022 Seedstar winner for the “Recycle Moi Africa” project. 
  • 2021 Mary Robinson Climate Justice Award for Recycle Moi 
  • 2019 Most Influential Young Africans by the African Union Youth Program 
  • 2019 Africa's most innovative idea - VivaTech, Paris 
  • 2018 National winner & Coup de Coeur Feminin, Total Startupper 
  • 2018 Women In Africa laureate for Innovative Start up 
  • 2018 National & Regional Winner for the Pan African Awards, SME Sector   
Raeed Roshan Ali

Raeed Roshan Ali

Founder, Precious Plastic Fiji

Mr. Raeed Roshan Ali is a climate champion, a social entrepreneur, and a youth activist from Fiji. He is the founder of “Precious Plastic Fiji”, the country's first and only youth-led social enterprise addressing plastic pollution, as well as the co-founder of “The Alliance for Future Generations”, Fiji's biggest youth-led movement centred on sustainable development. He brings demonstrated leadership, organizational, and project management skills with more than seven years of experience in environmental activism, climate advocacy, and community organizing. He has a track record of skillfully navigating cultural differences and mobilizing diverse stakeholders in support of environmental causes and youth-led sustainable development initiatives.

Mr. Ali has represented Fijian and Pacific Youth in national, regional, and international spaces to promote the important role that young people play in climate action, sharing their localized actions, aspirations, and visions, while also promoting youth-led initiatives and best practices. He was chosen as the region's 2022 Leading Pacific Scholar by ONE YOUNG WORLD, and he was also recognized for his contributions to SDG 12 - Responsible Production and Consumption. As a result, he was nominated as the youngest speaker ever to give a TEDx Talk in Fiji on Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Mr. Ali is committed to contributing to the equitable and sustainable development of the Pacific and its people through focused and practical work in which his skills can be applied in the most productive way; work that not only strengthens his own capacity, but also improves the opportunities and goals of the people he serves. 

Jeremiah Thoronka

Jeremiah Thoronka

Founder and CEO, Optim Energy

Innovator, Entrepreneur, and Scholar with intimate knowledge of energy, environment, sustainability, and development. In 2021, he was laureate of the inaugural Global Student Prize and the Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work - Africa; cited for demonstrating exemplary academic excellence and innovating Clean Energy Systems, promoting Locally Sustainable Solutions, and Youth involvement in Energy, Climate Change, Policy and the Sustinable Development Goals. He completed an MSc degree in Sustainability, Energy, and Development at Durham University as a Commonwealth Shared Scholar. 

Vriko Yu

Vriko Yu

CEO and Co-founder, Archireef

Vriko is the CEO and co-founder of Archireef, a Forbes Asia 100 to Watch climate tech startup that uses the latest technologies in 3D printing to restore coral reefs. Her team created the world's first 3D-printed reef tile in clay, a truly ocean-friendly material, delivering a rate of 98% in coral survivorship, 4X higher than previously tested methods. Originating in Hong Kong, Archireef has recently set up a new production facility in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with local governments as well as commercial partners to restore marine ecosystems. 


This programme is hosted by IUCN in partnership with One Young World

Learn more about the 2023 Call for Changemakers