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Announcement: New elected Chair & Vice Chair of the GPFLR

Tim Christophersen and Catalina Santamaria have unanimously been chosen as the new Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration. The GPFLR warmly welcomes both and is looking forward to continue to strengthen the partnership under their visionary leadership.

Tim is the Head of the Freshwater, Land and Climate Branch at UN Environment, based in Nairobi, Kenya. He coordinates the activities of UN Environment on drylands, mountains, forests, and ecosystem-based climate change mitigation, including the UN-REDD Programme. He manages a global team of water, land-use and forest experts in Bangkok, Cambridge, Copenhagen, Geneva, Hanoi, Jakarta, Nairobi, Panama and Washington DC.

Tim is well known as a tireless advocate for forest and landscape restoration who has already achieved much for the cause through his work at UN Environment and through the connections and partnerships he has facilitated amongst GPFLR members and other collaborators. Tim has a wide breadth of experience, draws on excellent networks of experts and brings useful perspectives on private and public finance as well as climate issues

Catalina is the Forest Program Manager for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), UN Environment, based in Montreal, Canada. She leads the development and implementation of the Forest Biodiversity Program of Work and manages various portfolios on conservation, restoration and sustainable use. Her work includes technical analyses, advisory functions and strategic coordination for the delivery of national actions to advance the forest-related Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Her work also includes the management and coordination of the Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative, as well as the follow up and joint programming of activities within the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management, the GPFLR and the ITTO/ CBD Joint Initiative for Tropical Forest Biodiversity.

Catalina is a very knowledgeable and articulate advocate for biodiversity conservation and ecological restoration of forest landscapes and her skills will be effective for moving the GPFLR forward. Catalina’s approach to the role of Vice Chair and the GPFLR was found to be thoughtful, practical, and reflected a desire to work on scalable local solutions across sectors, while leveraging attention to the multiple benefits from biodiversity in the Partnership’s programs – all aspects that the GPFLR partners considered important for a strong leader and an effective GPFLR.

Currently, the global partnership has 23 members from all over the world active on forest and landscape restoration. In the past years, the Partnership has achieved several milestones, bringing the partners’ interests and objectives closer together. The new Chairs and partners are extremely thankful to the outgoing Chair, Peter Besseau, who provided a period of steady leadership and growth for the past 4 years. His retirement is well deserved and will be celebrated at an official handover in December 2017.

Tim and Catalina in their joint announcement:

“We are motivated by the challenge and opportunity to add our drive and vision, collectively with the GPFLR, to further mobilize the Partnership's strengths across diverse agendas, as well as to help solve real problems affecting numerous countries and regions. The momentum we have generated comes from the vision, dedication and leadership of our colleagues. We thank Peter for the scope and platform he carved out from the Partnership, and to IUCN and the e-Secretariat for their unwavering support.

Going forward, we see the Partnership as an essential vehicle for coordination, and as a 'think and do tank' to allow reflection and policy learning, and to accelerate momentum towards the 350 million hectares Bonn Challenge target. Sharing experiences through the Partnership will help all members to deliver better, and to improve the services, including support tools, for the countries who have boldly committed to restoration.”

For more information please contact: gpflr@iucn.org