Steering Group

The Steering Group consists of representatives of the German Ministry of Environment, the German Environment Agency, the Governments of France and Sweden, the European Commission, UN Environment and the project team. The Steering Group guides the project as a whole in strategic matters, provides advice on progress and key deliverables, supports the development of a long-term strategy, and the positioning of the Forum in relevant global ocean governance processes.


Ann-France Didier
Ann-France Didier

Ann-France Didier is Special Adviser for Regional and Local Governance and Co-ordinator for SDG14, Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, France. Anne-France  was  in  charge  of  the  “Plan  Bleu” in  2006,  one  of  the  regional  activity  centers  and  part  of  the  UN  EP/MAP  system  for  the  Barcelona  Convention.  From  March  2013  to  January  2016, she  was  the  director  of  the  DREAL  (regional  direction  of  the  Ministry  in charge of Environment, Energy and Sustainable Development) in Provence Alpes  Côtes  d’Azur  and,  from  February  1998  to  September  2004,  she  was the  Director  of  the  DIREN  (regional  Direction  of  the  French  Ministry  of Environment)  successively  in  the  West  indian  Ocean  (Reunion  Island) and  South  France  (Provence  Alpes  Côtes  d’Azur).  She  also  managed  the transition  to  a  sustainable  development,  teaching  a  programme  and  the e-learning  of  the  french  technical  high  school  ENTE  in  Aix  en  Provence during 8 years.


Raphaël Goulet

Raphaël Goulet is Head of Unit for International Ocean Governance, Law of the Sea and Arctic policy in the Directorate General for maritime affairs and fisheries of the European Commission since 2020. Before that, he headed the unit for public interest services in the Directorate General for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs. Between 1996 and 2016, he held various positions in the Directorate General for regional and urban policy in charge of regional development programmes (ERDF) in Germany, pre-accession infrastructure projects (ISPA) in Latvia. He became Assistant to the Director General in 2002, and headed then different units for strategic planning and inter-institutional relations, for information, communication and international relations, and for Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany and the Netherlands. Raphaël Goulet graduated from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and from the Free University (political science and economics) in Berlin.


Heike Imhoff

Heike Imhoff is Head of Division „Protection of the Marine Environment“ in the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. She is the German EU Marine Director, bearing responsibility, i.a.,  for the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive as well as for regional vo-operation under OSPAR and HELCOM. For several years she has served as the German Head of Delegation to the Helsinki-Commission (HELCOM). At the global level Ms. Imhoff has been involved in the UNICPOLOS Process, the Rio+20 Conference, the UN Ocean Conference on SDG 14 and the Our Ocean Conferences. During the German G7 and G20 presidencies she has been leading the German G7 and G20- activities on ‘Marine Litter’.


Manuela Krakau

Manuela Krakau is Scientific Officer at the German Environment Agency. She is involved in two sections, „Protection of Marine Environments“ and „Protection of the Polar Regions“, within the division „Environmental Health and Protection of Ecosystems“. Her interests lie in marine biodiversity aspects with focus on alien species in context of MSFD and HELCOM, and she also handles issues relating to effects of climate change and ocean acidification. She has a background in marine science and molecular ecology and brings along experience with environmental assessments of human activities, e.g. maritime tourism. Since 2017, Mrs. Krakau gives professional support of the PROG-MRF project for the SDG14 implementation of the German commitment to advance Regional Ocean Governance (#OceanAction18439).


Maria Laamanen is International Relations Officer in the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) of the European Commission. She works on the follow-up and further development of the EU’s international ocean governance agenda and is involved in the research related work of DG MARE. In her previous position as Senior Ministerial Adviser in the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, she was responsible for the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in Finland and acted as Head of Delegation to HELCOM and earlier also to OSPAR and coordinated UN Ocean and SDG14 related work. From 2008 to 2013, she worked as Professional Secretary in HELCOM. Maria Laamanen completed her PhD on hydrobiology in 2002 and was nominated Associated Professor (docent) on Aquatic Sciences in 2011 both at the University of Helsinki. From 2019 to 2021 she acted as part time Professor of Practice (marine biology) at the Abo Akademi University.


Takehiro Nakamura

Takehiro Nakamura is Chief, Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Unit, Ecosystems Division, United Nations Environment Programme. He has been promoting adoption of an ecosystem approach at local, national and regional levels, particularly to aquatic systems, including regional seas.  He has been instrumental in building and reinforcing regional seas programmes and their operations.  He was a senior officer leading the team of experts for the UN Environment Programme’s portfolio of Global Environment Facility International Waters projects. Recently he has expended his area of work to include exploring issues related to marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, particularly the application of area-based management tools in these areas. He holds a Doctor of Global Environmental Studies from Kyoto University.


Ingo Narberhaus

Ingo Narberhaus is deputy Head of Division “Protection of the Marine Environment” in the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Among other things, he acts as the German Head of Delegation to the OSPAR Commission for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Northeast-Atlantic and he oversees the DE activities in the EU-level ‘Common Implementation Process’ for the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive and its implementation in Germany. At the global level, Ingo Narberhaus is involved in the development of a deep sea mining regime through the International Seabed Authority, in the SDG14 follow-up process (UN Ocean conferences), he serves as National Focal Point for the UN Regular Process (World Ocean Assessments) and is supervising for BMU the PROG-MRF project.