William Bradnee Chambers

William Bradnee Bate Chambers

Tuesday, July 19th, 1966 - Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019
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In Loving Memory of Dr. William Bradnee Bate Chambers
Bradnee became Executive Secretary of CMS in 2013 and led the Convention through the Conferences of the Parties in Quito in 2014 (COP11) and Manila in 2017 (COP12).

Passed away peacefully at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, at the age of 52.

Beloved husband of the late Elisa. Loving father of Ena of Germany. Dear son of Joan and the late James Chambers. Dear brother of Dan and Linda of Burlington, Tim and Janice of Carnarvon, Ginger and Bill of Minden, Frank and Shelley of Algonquin Highlands, Jeff and Cathy of Windsor. Fondly remembered by many nieces, nephews, family and friends.

Friends are invited to visit the family at the Gordon A. Monk Funeral Home Ltd., 127 Bobcaygeon Rd., P.O. Box 427, Minden K0M 2K0 on Wednesday, January30, 2019 from 11:00 am until the time of the Service to Celebrate Bradnee’s Life at 1:00 pm. Reception to follow in the Monk-Cray Family Centre at the funeral home. Spring Interment at Twelve Mile Lake Cemetery, Carnarvon.

Memorial Donations to the Ducks Unlimited or to the Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation (HHHSF) would be appreciated by the family.


Bonn, 23 January 2019 – the CMS Secretariat is deeply sad to announce that the Executive Secretary, Dr. Bradnee Chambers passed away this morning in his native Canada after a short illness.

This is a tragic loss for CMS and the United Nations. Bradnee became Executive Secretary of CMS in 2013 and led the Convention through the Conferences of the Parties in Quito in 2014 (COP11) and Manila in 2017 (COP12). Under his leadership, CMS progressed to becoming a stronger Convention with a significantly higher number of Parties. Bradnee was instrumental in the instigation of a review mechanism to facilitate better implementation of the Convention and a stronger cooperation of CMS with other biodiversity Conventions. He was aiming to ensure that the CMS Family was supportive of and recognized within the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework and envisaged CMS COP13 as a milestone in achieving this target.

Bradnee dedicated his entire academic and professional life to advancing environmental issues. He was convinced that global environmental problems must be addressed through stronger international environmental law and governance – a conviction that guided his work throughout his career.

Before joining CMS as Executive Secretary, Bradnee worked at the Transnational Cooperation Division of UNCTAD in Geneva from 1994-1995.

Bradnee served in several capacities at the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, including Acting Deputy from 1996 to 2008. He started the Institute’s programme on Sustainable Development Governance and on Environmental Diplomacy and initiated negotiation training courses on climate change and the World Trade Organisation ministerials. He also launched the Junior Professional Fellowship and Post-Doctoral Fellowship programme.

From 2008 to 2013 he headed the Law and Governance Branch of the Division for Environmental Law and Conventions at UN Environment’s Nairobi headquarters. From 2010 to 2013 Bradnee led the UNEP Secretariat in the Nairobi-Helsinki Ministerial Process that resulted in the significant strengthening and upgrading of UNEP at the Rio+20 Conference (The Future We Want). This included transforming UNEP's Governing Council into a universal body called the United Nations Environmental Assembly.

Bradnee wrote numerous books and articles on reforming international environmental governance, including his book Interlinkages and the Effectiveness of Multilateral Environmental Agreements. Bradnee contributed to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Global Environment Outlook 4. He was a part of the academic community, and a senior lecturer and visiting professor at various universities in Japan.

Bradnee will be remembered dearly by all of his colleagues here in Bonn. He was a strong leader with a clear vision; a kind and cheerful manager who always kept his door open to all staff; and a generous and warm-hearted colleague.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 | 11:00am - 1:00pm
    Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 11:00am - 1:00pm
    Gordon A. Monk Funeral Home Ltd.
    127 Bobcaygeon Road
    Minden, Ontario K0M 2K0
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 | 1:00pm
    Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 1:00pm
    Gordon A. Monk Funeral Home Ltd.
    127 Bobcaygeon Road
    Minden, Ontario K0M 2K0
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Brian Plouffe
  • Interment

    Spring Interment at Twelve Mile Lake Cemetery
    Address Not Available
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


  • United Nations Emblem


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Private Condolence

Nu Wang

Posted at 04:52pm
You are in my thoughts.
Tree Image
A memorial tree was planted in the memory of William Bradnee Bate Chambers — Plant a Tree Now


Posted at 04:09pm
This is the saddest news I've ever heard. I feel so heartbroken to lose him! I just got the news yesterday and I cried my eyes out the whole day. Until now, I still cannot accept the reality that he's gone. I still remember when he said I looked like him in his youth and he encouraged me to pursue my career goal when I was just an intern. He tried his best to support my work even there were so many uncertainties and stress and he encouraged me each time even I just made tiny progress. I remember when he visited my home country, he lost his luggage but kept all the sweet treats he bought for my family. He wrote me a recommendation letter full of the good words and said that he was very proud of what I've achieved. He's the best supervisor that I can imagine. He's my dear friend and family. This is a huge loss to the world. I will miss you forever, Bradnee. Thank you for everything.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Posted at 02:03pm
I feel so heartbroken to lose a professional partner, a friend, and a passionate and tireless defender of nature.
Thank you my friend for sharing with me your knowledge and your action.
It's been an honor to work with you on Terra's book.
My heartfelt and sincere condolences to Bradnee's family and especially to Ena.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Masanori Kobayashi

Posted at 08:49am
Bradnee was very instrumental, innovative and passionate for forging an international and UN system to promote environmental protection and sustainable development. He was working on the inter-linkages of multilateral environmental agreements and I have got a lot of inspirations and encouragement from him, his team and his work. He often spoke good about his wife and I knew that he was so proud of her. While I was looking forward to meeting him again, I encountered sad news about his wife and himself. I sincerely express my deepest condolences. Wish him and his wife rest in peace. Masanori Kobayashi in Kanagawa, Japan

Catherine Monagle

Posted at 08:22am
I was shocked to learn the news that Bradnee had passed away so suddenly and so young. My thoughts with his family and friends and particularly with his daughter at this difficult time. Catherine Monagle, former UNU-IAS colleague in Tokyo.

Photos & Videos

Photo Album

Brad relaxing on the boat.
Post Rio+20
Astana 2011
Farewell from Nairobi
With Bradnee and Elisa at my 50th in Divonne - a great evening
Bradnee was an outstanding UN official - led by example
Bradnee with the kids in 2018. He was always so generous to us. I invited him to dinner as my guest. Near the end of dinner he asked where the bathroom was. Then when I called for the bill he had already paid for it!
Brotherly love
Home forever
12 Mile Lake
"The Camp" at Clear Lake.
Bradnee leading the CMS team in Manila for CMS CoP12
Bradnee leading the CMS team in Quito for CMS CoP11
Bradnee with Sri Lanka's Wildlife Minister at CMS CoP12
Bradnee championed World Migratory Bird Day
Bradnee was one of the founders of InforMEA - a ground breaking new tool for environmental governance and law
Bradnee promoting migratory species in Manila via TV show. He was tireless in his efforts to promote the Convention and wildlife
12 Mile Lake in Autumn
from Masanori Kobayashi at ASEF for Earth Summit 2012 held in Yogyakarta, in July 2011
12 Mile Lake Church and Cemetery on Chambers Road overlooking 12 Mile Lake.
Brandee at the World Maritime University in Sweden, summer 2018
From: Bert Lenten
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