Gerphas Keyah Opondo – Executive Director
Mr. Opondo is the Founder and Executive Director of the Environmental Compliance Institute where he is providing strategic leadership for ECI’s work in supporting the development and implementation of appropriate policy, legislative and institutional models for sustainable development in Africa. He is a lawyer with longstanding experience in environmental governance and regulatory cycle development. He has played lead roles in the formulation of regional, national and sub-national environmental policies, laws, regulations and standards across East Africa. In 2010, Mr. Opondo was instrumental in the establishment of the East African Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (EANECE). He has overseen the network’s steady growth over the years and continues to serve as the network’s Regional Coordinator on pro bono basis.
Mr. Opondo’s international work includes consulting on various projects for international organizations including The World Bank Group, UN Environment, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD), the multinational consultancy firm Euroconsult Mott MacDonald, among others. He has also been involved in international negotiations of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, particularly the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Mr. Opondo was a member of the International Standards Development Committee of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) where, together with others in the Committee, they successfully developed the first version of the International Water Stewardship Standard that promotes responsible use of fresh water that is socially and economically beneficial as well as environmentally sustainable. He continues to advance the water stewardship agenda and currently serves as a member of the AWS Africa Regional Advisory Group, a transitional structure set up to guide and oversee the establishment of AWS Africa on behalf of interested stakeholders in the region.
Mr. Opondo is currently leading ECI’s efforts, in partnership with UN Environment, towards improved legislative and institutional frameworks for better air quality management in East Africa and has been instrumental in development of Rwanda’s air quality standards; conducting air quality policy and regulatory situational analyses for Addis Ababa and Kigali cities; and developing Nairobi city’s first air quality action plan. He is leading similar efforts in Kampala, Uganda; as well as spearheading efforts for harmonization of vehicle emission standards across the East Africa Community (EAC).
In addition, Mr. Opondo has lately been engaged as a consultant for the MARPLASTICCs project that is being executed by the IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme in collaboration with the IUCN Environmental Law Centre. The MARPLASTICCs’ medium-term outcome is that governments, industry and society in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Asia regions are equipped with knowledge, capacity, policy options and plans of action to contain and reduce marine plastic pollution.
Mr. Opondo is an alumnus of the University of Nairobi where he earned a Master of Science in Environmental Governance (Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace & Environmental Studies) and Bachelor of Laws (UoN School of Law). He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Practice of Law (Kenya School of Law) and Certificate in Health and Environmental Risk Assessment (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa). He has also undertaken numerous specialized environmental courses in reputable international institutions. He is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and was admitted to the Bar in 2001.