YAO Marcel is an Agroforestry Engineer by training and holds a Masters in Environmental Management, Climate Change and Sustainable Development from the National School of Rural Engineering, Water and Forests (ENGREF) in Montpellier, France. He currently acts as Coordinator of Ivory Coast’s National Climate Change Program and Permanent Executive Secretary of the REDD + mechanism at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. His engagement with the fight against climate change and the reconstitution of the Ivorian forest cover were instrumental in Ivory Coast’s accession to the most important international climate finance mechanisms. He is part of the national team of climate negotiators and facilitators of a new inter-ministerial and stakeholder dialogue for a new approach to the harmonization of sectoral policies for integrated action on forests, agriculture and climate change in Ivory Coast. He is currently leading the conclusion of the National REDD+ Strategy and engaged in all efforts to mobilize international climate finance in Ivory Coast.