Speakers – Day 2

Dr Robin Chazdon 

University of the Sunshine Coast & World Resources Institute Global Restoration Initiative, Australia 

Robin is Professor Emerita in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Connecticut and part-time Research Professor with the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Her long-term and ongoing collaborative research focuses on forest regeneration pathways, drivers of land-use change, ecosystem services provided by forests, and decision support tools for restoration. She recently served as the Executive Director of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation and as Director of the NSF-funded Research Coordination Network PARTNERS (People and Reforestation in the Tropics) focused on understanding the socio-ecological drivers of reforestation in the tropics. She is a Senior Fellow with the World Resources Institute Global Restoration Initiative and a Senior Research Associate with the International Institute for Sustainability in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the new IIS-Australia branch. She is the principal consultant of Forestoration International LLC, established to support implementation of forest and landscape restoration globally. She is the author or co-author of over 200 peer-reviewed publications, including her sole authored book “Second growth: The promise of tropical forest regeneration in an age of deforestation” which was published in 2014. 

Anja Gassner  

World Agroforestry (ICRAF) & Global Landscape Forum (GLF), Philippines  

Anja is Senior Scientist at World Agroforestry where she coordinates research projects on building awareness of the benefits of trees on farms in the tropics. Together with colleagues and partners, her aim is to support governmental agencies in achieving their commitments to international conventions and treaties through mainstreaming Agroforestry interventions into national and sub-national policies and planning. Anja recently took on the role of science coordinator for the Global Landscape Forum (GLF). The GLF is the world’s largest knowledge-led platform on sustainable land use, dedicated to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement. 

Dr Manuel R. Guariguata 

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) & World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Peru 

Manuel is a forest ecologist with more than 25 years of experience across the American tropics on management for multiple goods and services of both natural and restored forests. He is a CIFOR-ICRAF Principal Scientist currently based in Peru. At present, he carries out collaborative research on the various dimensions of forest and landscape restoration including the role of natural forest regrowth, participatory monitoring frameworks, good practice standards and capacity development, as well as policy and normative aspects that govern restoration activities and projects across different scales – from the national to the international. 

Dr Kate A. Hardwick 

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK 

Kate is a Conservation Partnership Coordinator in RBG Kew’s Conservation Science Department, where she develops and manages conservation and research projects for the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, particularly in Asia. Together with colleagues and partners, her work aims to secure the safe storage of seed from the world’s bankable plant species, whilst promoting plant conservation, sustainable utilisation of plant resources, habitat restoration and the improvement of livelihoods. Kate’s research interests are focussed on the use of seeds in ecological restoration, with an emphasis on tropical forests and temperate grasslands. 

Dr Karen D. Holl 

Environmental Studies Department, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA 

Karen has studied how to restore both tropical and temperate forests for nearly three decades. She oversees a long-term tropical forest restoration study in southern Costa Rica and has worked with students and collaborators on a range of forest restoration projects in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Panama and the United States. She advises numerous land management and conservation organisations in California and internationally with the aim of improving the success of ecological restoration efforts. She is the author of Primer of Ecological Restoration published in 2020 by Island Press. She was selected as an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and the 2017 co-winner of the Theodore Sperry Award for innovative restoration research from the Society for Ecological Restoration. She teaches courses in restoration ecology, conservation biology, and environmental problem solving. She has served as chair of the Environmental Studies Department and the as faculty director of the Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History at UC Santa Cruz. 

Bob Kazungu 

Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda 

Bob is a Senior Forest Officer in the Monitoring and Assessment Division of the Forestry Sector Support Department, where he is in charge of monitoring and assessment of implementation of the forestry sector aspirations and initiatives. Bob is also a core member of the National REDD+ Secretariat, where he oversees coordination of the compilation of reports to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Bob, together with colleagues in the department, has the core responsibility of policy, regulations and standards development and formulation for the forestry sector. 

Dr Liz Kimbrough 

Mongabay.com, USA 

Liz is an environmental journalist who has studied and written about science and environmental issues for over a decade. She holds a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Tulane University in New Orleans, USA, where she studied the microbiomes of trees in dynamic coastal landscapes. She currently covers conservation, restoration, biodiversity, policy and general science news full time for the non-profit environmental news platform Mongabay.com. 

Obadiah Kisang  

World Vision Kenya, Kenya  

Obadiah is Program Director of the Integrated Management of Natural Resources for Resilience in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands consortium, where World Vision Kenya is the lead partner. He leads a partnership that includes Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), organisations that seek to revitalise and preserve rangeland assets for the benefit of current and future generations, through diversified livelihoods and improved natural resources management. He is part of a team of experts that have come together to support government efforts to increase Kenya’s forest cover by a target of 10% by 2022. 

Mangarah Silalahi 

Hutan Harapan (Restorasi Ekosistem Indonesia), Indonesia 

Mangarah Silalahi is the President Director PT of Restorasi Ekosistem Indonesia, which manages and restores almost 100,000 ha of Sumatran rainforest called Hutan Harapan (Forest of Hope). Located on the border of South Sumatra and Jambi Province, Hutan Harapan is a joint initiative of Burung Indonesia, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and BirdLife International, and is the first Ecosystem Restoration Concession (ERC) in Indonesia. Ecosystem restoration concession offers an opportunity for Indonesia to complement its protected area network with conserved areas of high biodiversity value in forests designated for production purposes. Together with Birldlife partners and around 200 employees supported by various stakeholders, they restore and protect the forest and its biodiversity, empower community, develop non-timber forest product business, conduct research and development on various aspects, and take lessons learned to improve and strengthen forest policy in Indonesia. His work in Hutan Harapan provides new hope for forest management in Indonesia and has seen 16 forest companies hold and manage 620,000 ha of production forest through the ERC for multiple purposes. His work in Hutan Harapan has also inspired 14 countries in the world to develop similar initiatives. 

Dr Paul Smith 

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), UK 

With a career spanning 25 years working in conservation, Paul joined BGCI as Secretary General in March 2015. He is the former head of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) and, during his nine years at the helm, seeds from more than 25,000 plant species were conserved in the MSB. 

Dr Tarin Toledo Aceves 

Instituto de Ecología A.C. (INECOL), Mexico 

Tarin is a forest ecology researcher. Her recent work focuses on the restoration and sustainable management of tropical montane cloud forests. While working for People and Plants International, she evaluated the impact of logging on tree regeneration in Selva Maya and gained further valuable experience carrying out evaluations for forest management certification with Smart Wood/CCMSS. At the Mexican Biodiversity Commission (CONABIO), she coordinated a national-scale initiative to develop a diagnosis of cloud forests in Mexico. She was distinguished by the Rainforest Alliance as a Kleinhans Fellow and is currently a National Geographic Explorer. She was recently awarded the Georg Föster Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to advance her work on the management of secondary cloud forests. 

Isabella Tree 

Knepp Estate, UK  

Isabella Tree is an award-winning author, married to the conservationist Sir Charles Burrell. Her latest book ‘Wilding’ tells the story of the daring wildlife experiment they began in 2000: rewilding their 3,500 acres of unprofitable dairy and arable farmland at Knepp Estate in West Sussex. By introducing free-roaming herbivores – proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain – the Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again. In less than 20 years, wildlife has rocketed and numerous endangered species have made Knepp their home. As a ‘process-led’, non-goal-orientated project, nature is allowed to reveal herself, with often surprising results – one of which is the speed and success of natural regeneration. The Knepp experience challenges conventional ideas about our past and present landscape, and offers solutions to many environmental issues, including reforestation. 

Adriana Vidal 

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), USA 

Adriana is a Senior Forest Policy Officer at IUCN’s Forest Conservation Programme (FCP) where she works with government agencies, partners and at international global spaces advocating for and supporting enhanced policy frameworks for forest conservation, restoration and sustainable landscape management approaches. She joined IUCN in 2015 and currently coordinates the FCP’s international policy work on climate change and biodiversity and provides expert advice for country-level policy influencing strategies and activities. Adriana previously worked for 8 years in the non-profit, public and private sectors in the USA and Peru, providing legal counsel and policy advice on REDD+, forest conservation and environmental and social compliance involved in extractive industries. Adriana holds a JD degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and an LLM from New York University.