Engr. Samuel M. Contreras is a Registered Professional Agricultural Engineer. A Research Fellow of the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) in 2002-2003, he finished his Masters of Applied Science in Natural Resources Engineering at Lincoln University, New Zealand in 1999. He was involved in several projects related to soil and water conservation and management, land degradation and land degradation neutrality assessment, and sustainable land management, and has co-authored several technical papers in the same field.
Currently, he is the Division Head of the Soil Conservation and Management Division, Bureau of Soils and Water Management Division. He is serving as the Science and Technology Correspondent to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). In 216, he was chosen as the Southeast Asia sub-regional representative to the Intergovernmental Working Group (IWG) that formulated the UNCCD’s Future Strategic Framework (FSF) and served as the Rapporteur of the IWG. He is an active member of the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT), a global network of sustainable land management (SLM) specialists.
As such, he spearheaded the documentation of SLM practices in the Philippines using WOCAT tools and methodologies. In 2017, he was appointed as the Chair of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC) of the UNCCD for biennium 2018-2019 and thus chaired the 17th and 18th Sessions of the CRIC held in Guyana and India, respectively.