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Di Zhang

Spatial Planning Analyst – United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Di Zhang is working with the ELSA team to support spatial data analysis and communication with pilot countries to locate and curate national level data on biodiversity, climate, and sustainable development. Di also provides support in data and technical requests from UN Biodiversity Lab users, helps countries to create ELSA collections on the UN Biodiversity Lab platform, and contributes to the capacity building events and training materials on UN Biodiversity Lab and the project, Mapping Nature for People and Planet.

Previous experience and expertise

Di Zhang has been working with the Global Programme on Nature for Development team in UNDP since late 2020. Prior to joining UNDP, she conducted studies in her PhD thesis on using spatial data to assess biodiversity status and conservation outcomes of protected areas, and designed an evidence-based outcomes evaluation system for China’s nature reserves that embeds local long-term monitoring efforts. Di has worked as consultant for a non-profit organization Shanshui, where she implemented the forest watch sub-project in China Nature Watch Report, and co-led the effectiveness assessment project of China’s largest Giant Panda nature reserve.

Di thrives on challenging field work, she used to conduct wildlife surveys and community interviews within the Giant Panda habitat, tropical forest in southwest China, and on the Tibetan plateau. Di also has work experience with UNDP China on GEF projects and the State Council think-tank on Belt and Road Initiative. Di holds a PhD degree in Zoology from Peking University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology.

Recent work 

Zhang, D., Wang, H., Wang, X., & Lü, Z. 2020. Accuracy assessment of the global forest watch tree cover 2000 in China. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 87, 102033. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jag.2019.102033