Thomas Panella
Director, Agriculture, Food, Nature, and Rural Development Sector Office, Sectors Group, Asian Development Bank

Thomas Panella has led water operations in Central, South, and Southeast Asia, directing water and climate change programs in Indonesia, and overseeing operations in Uzbekistan. He joined ADB in 2003 and served as ADB’s chief of the Water Sector Group from 2017 to 2020 and as Afghanistan country director from 2014 to 2017. He holds a PhD and MPP in Public Policy and MSc from the Energy and Resources Group of the University of California, Berkeley.

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Without proper valuation, natural assets’ scarcity remains economically invisible, leading to their exploitation for short-term gains.

Policy Brief

Valuing GEP and implementing ecological compensation mechanism can enhance the sustainable finance mechanism of desert ecosystem restoration.


The National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2035 emphasizes nature-based solutions, a region-specific approach, and climate-resilient investments.