The international "4 per 1000" Initiative

Soils for Food Security and Climate

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Executive Secretariat


The ExecutiveSecretariat

The Executive Secretariat is the executive body of the International “4 per 1000” Initiative.

Its mission is to support the governance bodies (the Forum of Partners, the Consortium of Members, the Bureau and the Scientific and Technical Committee) and to coordinate and implement the Initiative, in particular through the organisation of meetings and the management of common tools (website, collaborative platform – digital resource centre, etc.). Hosted in Montpellier (France) by the CIAT Alliance – Bioversity International, the Executive Secretariat is composed of a team of people in charge of scientific aspects, animation, follow-up and support to projects, communication, website animation… Human and financial resources for the operation of the Initiative, including the Executive Secretariat, are provided on a voluntary basis by some Members and Partners of the Initiative.

This team, led by Dr. Paul LUU, Executive Secretary of the International “4 per 1000” Initiative since 1 September 2016, is composed of:

Dr. Paul Luu

Aged 59, Dr. Paul LUU is an agronomist specialised in tropical agronomy, with degrees from AgroParisTech, the Institute of Tropical Zones and the University of Montpellier (PhD).

He started out in the field (6 years) in agricultural research projects (Saint Lucia, Sri Lanka and Tonga) before joining the international relations department of the French Ministry of Agriculture.

He was in charge (7 years) of relations with the FAO, the WB and the CGIAR, of bilateral relations with Africa and the Mediterranean, and of the management of French food aid (200,000 t of cereals per year).

He then spent 9 years developing agriculture in the French overseas territories as Technical Advisor for “Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry” and as Director of ODEADOM.

In 2011, Paul LUU was appointed Director of Agropolis International (Montpellier – France) before joining the CGIAR Consortium in September 2013 as Liaison Officer with the French authorities, then as Protocol Officer.

Since September 2016, Paul LUU has been seconded by the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food as Executive Secretary of the international Initiative “4 per 1000: Soils for Food Security and Climate”, launched at the COP 21 in Paris.

Dr. Paloma Melgarejo-Nardiz

Dr. Paloma MELGAREJO-NARDIZ is the Science Officer in charge of the link with the international research and scientific cooperation programme and the secretariat of the STC, and is based in Paris (France) in the offices of INRAE.

Dr Paloma MELGAREJO is a research professor at the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA). Dr MELGAREJO is provided to the Initiative by the Spanish Government, through the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Marc Bernard

Marc BERNARD is involved in the coordination of the operational part of the International “4 per 1000” Initiative. He conceptualises and implements network activities for the development and implementation of the strategy, manages the electronic platform, promotes teamwork and partnerships and provides ideas to overcome complex challenges, such as the idea of “Twin Regions”, the creation of working groups, the Delphi study…

Marc BERNARD is an agronomist and soil scientist, graduated from the Technical University of Munich. He is employed by the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE), “at the disposal” of the Executive Secretariat and is based in Bonn (Germany).


Ms Béatrice BRETON-ASKAR, Resource Mobilisation Senior Officer, is responsible for funder engagement. Her role within the Executive Secretariat is to develop networks, partnerships and funding for the International “4 per 1000” Initiative She is based in Montpellier at the Executive Secretariat offices in France.

Ms. Béatrice BRETON-ASKAR has a dual Franco-American background; she studied economics, management and international business at ESC Rennes, France and at Clemson University, USA, where she obtained a Master of Business Administration. She is employed part-time (60% Full Time Equivalent – FTE) by CIAT-Bioversity International Alliance on behalf of the Executive Secretariat of the Initiative.


Ms Julia KLEMME works at the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE), and is based in Bonn, Germany. She is responsible for communication in Germany, event organisation and moderation support for the collaboration platform.

Julia KLEMME studied geography at the University of Bonn. She graduated with a Master of Science in 2016. She is employed part-time (50% FTE) by the BLE and works for the Executive Secretariat.

Claudia Schepp

Claudia SCHEPP is supporting the “4 per 1000” Initiative in her function as desk officer at the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE).

Prior to her current position, Claudia was employed at the Institute of Geography of the University of Bonn, first as a research assistant in the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) project, then as a Research Associate teaching students at Bachelor level.

Claudia is completing her phd in the framework of the GlobE project of University of Bonn (Wetlands in East Africa – Reconciling future food production with environmental protection) in Central Uganda, during which she investigated the hill slope hydrology and associated nutrient fluxes.


Samuel Ottnad was born in Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany) on 14 September 1992. He graduated in Crop Science at the University of Bonn in early 2021 with a Master thesis on the “Effect of soil nitrate dynamics under alternate drying & wetting on nitrogen losses and yield of lowland rice in Burkina Faso”.

Since July 2021, he has been working in Division 334 (Climate, World Nutrition, International Cooperation) of the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE). He is part of the division’s international climate team supporting the Executive Secretariat of the “4 per 1000” Initiative. He currently lives in Bonn.


Ms Brigitte CABANTOUS is in charge of the logistical organisation of the statutory meetings (Scientific and Technical Committee, Consortium of Members and Forum of Partners) and of the management of the Members. She also contributes to the updating of the website. She is employed by Cirad (a French agricultural research and international cooperation organisation working for the sustainable development of tropical and Mediterranean regions). Based at the Cirad Campus in Montpellier (France), Brigitte CABANTOUS collaborates with the Executive Secretariat for a Full Time Equivalent of 40%.

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