Mr. Sakharov was born in Moscow, Russia on 30 April 1950. He holds a Masters degree in Biochemistry and PhD in Ecology. Mr. Sakharov has Russian and Swiss nationalities. He speaks and works in Russian, English and French.
Mr. Sakharov has an extensive experience in disaster management and preparedness, and has been an active member of the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team (UNDAC) since 1996. He has held key positions with national authorities dealing with international multilateral and bilateral environmental cooperation, and was an advisor to the Brundtland Commission on Sustainable Development. Mr. Sakharov was serving as Co-Chairman of bilateral Russian-Dutch Environment Commission. He has been involved in the mobilization and coordination of international emergency assistance to many disasters and emergencies worldwide, including floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and industrial accidents.
Mr. Sakharov has 25 years’ work experience with the United Nations in various positions. For several years, he worked with the UN Economic Commission for Europe, Division of Environment and Human Settlements in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was responsible for the development of cooperation on environmental impact assessment and transboundary water pollution. He moved to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1992 as the Deputy Director of the UN Centre for Urgent Environmental Assistance, dealing with industrial and technological accidents.
In 1994, he joined the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as the Chief of the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit in Geneva, Switzerland, and in this capacity he has been responsible for many years for the provision of international assistance to countries affected by environmental emergencies, such as chemical accidents, oil spills, industrial and technological disasters, forest fires, acute water pollution, etc. In 2008, Mr. Sakharov also took over functions of the Chief, Emergency Preparedness Section of OCHA’s Emergency Services Branch. In these capacities he was involved in managing international response to the entire spectrum on natural disasters and environmental emergencies, and was responsible for developing tools and mechanisms for emergency preparedness.
Mr. Sakharov has been deployed to the field for on-site assessment and emergency coordination as leader or member of UNDAC or other international teams to the following countries:
Algeria (earthquake); Belarus (Chernobyl nuclear accident – post-disaster assessment); Cambodia (emergency preparedness); Guinea (floods); India (hurricane); Indonesia (forest fires); Iran (earthquake, drought, post-disaster assessment); Japan (2011 Earthquake and Tsunami – early recovery); Mongolia (harsh winter conditions); Nigeria (ammunition depot explosion); Republic of Korea (oil spill); Russian Federation (Chernobyl nuclear accident – post-disaster assessment) (forest fires); Sri Lanka (tsunami disaster); Syria (dam collapse); Tajikistan (emergency preparedness); Turkey (earthquake) (post-disaster assessment); Ukraine (Chernobyl nuclear accident – post-disaster assessment); United States (hurricane Katrina – lessons learned) (Deep Horizon oil spill – International Observers Mission); Vietnam (floods); former Yugoslavia (consequences of military conflict).