Maria Schultz is Programme Director of SwedBio, a programme mainly financed by Sida situated at Stockholm Resilience Centre. SwedBio is a knowledge interface between practice, policy and science, on issues concerning poverty alleviation, sustainable livelihoods, equity and human wellbeing through development towards resilient ecosystems and societies. It also facilitates funding to related initiatives with partner organizations and institutions in developing countries and facilitates access and participation of developing country actors in international policy development. Maria has her formal education in Systems Ecology and communication, but has also taken courses in psychology and philosophy.
Previous work experiences includes positions at an indigenous peoples organization in the Amazon region; at the Swedish Ministry of Environment as CBD focal point; at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); at NGOs; and at Universities and in consultancy. During 2013 Maria lead the Swedish Government Inquiry ”Making the value of ecosystem services visible” with 25 action points as a “Proposal to enhance well-being through biodiversity and ecosystem services”, demonstrating that the value of dialogues and learning processes together with actors is part of crafting solutions. She has also lead and organized international multi-actor dialogues such as the Quito dialogues around finding solutions for financing of biodiversity including designing incentives, with an understanding of equity and local context. These dialogues have been organized in close collaboration with convener countries and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Maria has also been working with the development of Safeguards related to financing mechanisms and been part of the CBD appointed High-Level Panel on Global Assessment of Resources for Implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, and also as an appointed expert undertaking a Global GEF funding needs assessment for the CBD. She has been involved in the follow up of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the development of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and is presently working with ecosystem assessments and resilience assessments for practitioners.
She has long experience of the negotiations under the CBD and implementation related to CBD decisions as part of the Ministry of Environment and as advisor from Stockholm Resilience Centre. Lately, she has also been involved in the development of the Sustainable Development Goals.