Eric Hubbard

Eric is a Plan Adapt Fellow sharing his time between Freetown, Sierra Leone and South Africa.

Over the past 20+ years, Eric has built a career as a Delivery Specialist, with a core focus on program quality including monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning (MEAL) and management quality (catalyzing operational effectiveness), primarily in Africa and in the Middle East (Afghanistan).

Currently, he serves as the Africa Regional Coordinator at the Urban Biodiversity Hub and co-leads the NATURA Network Africa Regional Team for the Global Urban NBS Roadmap.  Since 2019, he also serves as Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone and the Freetown City Council. This support included serving as Technical Program Lead for the design and implementation of the #FreetownTheTreeTown campaign to plant, grow and digitally track one million urban trees in the city through a community tree growing model co-designed to address urban climate risk and biodiversity loss, create green jobs, as well as, to structure a process to scale the #TreeTown model other cities in Africa to adopt an ecosystem-based approach to equitable and sustainable locally-led adaptation tied to valuing green and blue natural capital for long-term financing of adaptation through the carbon market (case study on the #FreetownTheTreeTown Campaign).

In addition, Eric was the co-lead of the mayor’s team on Environment and Climate Action and led the co-design and writing of the Ecosystem-based Adaptation strategy embedded in the First Freetown Climate Action Plan (2022 – 2030) and Eric recently co-authored an ODI report entitled ‘Nature-based green infrastructure: A review of African experience and potential (2023)‘. Since 2018, in his role with Catholic Relief Services as Program Manager / Lead for Urban Resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction, Eric has been fully focused on reversing the impact of climate change on cities / urban spaces and building policy and risk mitigation frameworks as well as sustainable financing and funding pathways to climate resilience – particularly in coastal cities in Africa.

In Freetown, Sierra Leone, he supports the local government to build and fund adaptation strategies that prioritize the application of nature-based solutions to address critical climate-induced challenges to the city e.g., flood risk, landslide susceptibility and threats to the water supply and critical infrastructure and food system.

In 2022, Eric began the MPhil in Southern Urbanism at the University of Cape Town through the African Centre for Cities, comprising a dissertation entitled ‘Building a “Climate Just City” in Africa: Assessing Climate Risks and Responses in Designing Equitable and Sustainable Pathways to Climate Adaptation in Coastal Informal Settlements in Freetown, Sierra Leone’. The study aims to use a multi-scalar, climate justice lens to (i) analyze the effects and risks of anthropogenic climate change in the most vulnerable urban spaces, and (ii) examine the participatory responses to these effects and risks. Eric is expected to begin a PhD in 2025, which will focus on a single measure of risk across climate-vulnerable informal spaces (extreme heat) in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana. Working title: The Political Economy of Shade in African Cities: Equitable Pathways to Heat Adaptation in informal and low-income urban landscapes in Freetown, Lagos and Accra.

For more info, see Eric’s LinkedIn page.