Our teamIf you would like to contact someone at Proforest call +44 (0)1865 243439 or email email@example.com
Ruth has been working with certification and sustainable management of natural resources for nearly two decades. Her experience includes running a global forest certification programme, advising governments, industry and NGOs on responsible natural resource management, developing international and national standards and writing a range of guides and books. She has worked in more than 40 countries and has vast experience of developing, interpreting and implementing policies and processes for delivering sustainable management and independent verification of natural resources.
Ruth is a co-founder and director of Proforest.
Neil has spent the last eighteen years working with environmental certification and responsible management of natural resources. He has extensive experience of delivering practical solutions to sustainability requirements, specialising in audit and certification, supply chain control and best management practices, in an extremely wide range of tropical and temperate settings. His experience has included management of the largest global forest certification programme, and a leading role in the development of sustainable oil palm.
Neil is a co-founder and director of Proforest.
Abraham has over 14 years of experience working on natural resource management with a specialisation in sustainable forest management, certification and forest policy. His experience involves managing community forestry projects, developing and implementing forest certification programmes and providing support to forest standard setting and policy implementation. As the Forest Programme Leader at the WWF West Africa Forest Office, he coordinated several forestry projects including providing technical support to the FLEGT/VPA process. He has also provided training and technical support to companies on forest certification for the Global Forest and Trade Network.
Abraham is an Associate Director at Proforest.
Jose Castro Negrete
Jose has a background in mechanical engineering, renewable energy and carbon markets. Over the last 11 years Jose has gained experience in a wide range of environmental projects worldwide. After six years of experience in education, networking, advocacy, environmental planning and renewable energy sectors in Mexico he moved to England to study a MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College London.
In 2005, Jose joined EcoSecurities where he implemented CDM projects on several technologies (biomass, geothermal, energy efficiency, chemical industry) and countries (South East Asia, China, Mexico and Central America), and developed business models to lock-in new carbon reduction opportunities. Jose has considerable experience in organizational development, supporting the development of effective and integrated management systems and systematizing knowledge and information sharing across organizations.
Jose joined Proforest in 2011 as Operations Manager.
Dawn has a background in rural development, and natural resource management. She has extensive experience in developing and implementing certification and accreditation systems, including forest certification, and global multi-stakeholder initiatives working with soy, cotton, sugarcane and oil palm. She has considerable field experience in participatory research and development projects in Latin America where she lived and worked for over 10 years. Her experience includes projects working with participatory land-use planning, community forestry, forest certification, NTFP harvesting, advocacy and information networks and participatory monitoring and evaluation.
Dawn is an Associate Director at Proforest. She is fluent in Spanish.
Isaac is a forester specializing in the socio-economics of tropical forestry. He has diverse work and research experience in forest ecology and social forestry particularly in his home country, Ghana. His experience ranges from coordinating community forest plantation development projects and assisting on ecological research in the tropical high forests of West Africa. Isaac has recently completed a master’s degree at the University of Copenhagen where his dissertation evaluated government interventions for forest plantation development in Ghana.
Isaac joined Proforest in 2010 as a Project Manager and his work focuses on forest governance in Africa.
Ellen has a background in environmental anthropology and natural resource management. She has more than 10 years’ experience in the environment sector, including six years living and working in rural Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo and Tanzania. Her professional experience includes biodiversity conservation, forest governance, sustainable production and participatory land use planning. She holds master’s degrees in environmental management and anthropology from Yale University and University College London. Ellen speaks English, French and Swahili.
Ellen is a Senior Project Manager at Proforest and her work focuses on the use of the High Conservation Value approach, social and environmental impact assessment and sustainable production.
Nana Darko Cobbina
Nana Darko has 8 years experience in the Natural Resources Management sector and has previously worked with Christian Aid, Care International and Friends of the Earth, leading a number of forestry projects including a Trans-Boundary Natural Resources Initiative (Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire). An FSC Lead Auditor since 2006, Nana has carried out several forest management and chain of custody assessments and audits and has developed expertise in sustainable forest management practice and certification over the years. He has broad experience in forest governance processes and has worked extensively with a range of forest stakeholders including local communities in such areas as development and implementation of Social Responsibility Agreements, Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) and multi-level forestry forums.
Nana joins Proforest as a Senior Project Manager, based in the Africa office in Ghana.
Bilge Daldeniz is the Programme Manager of the Sustainability Initiatives Support Programme and joined Proforest after four years with the Centre for Tourism in Islands and Coastal Areas (CENTICA, University of Kent), where her research concentrated on tourism in developing countries, with a particular focus on the industry’s socio-economic and environmental impacts on local communities and adaptation strategies to crisis and climate change. She has substantial knowledge of tourism certification, gained in her time with Ecotourism Australia, and experience with biofuels’ and forestry standards. In her current work, she supports sustainability initiatives in areas such as mutual recognition processes, development of training materials, reviews of standards, etc. Previously, Bilge spent six years as researcher and consultant leading large multi-country projects at an international research consultancy firm, and has extensive experience in the wider field of international development, including earthquake relief work in Turkey, education projects in Senegal, study semesters in Togo and Mexico and fieldwork in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Nicaragua.
Bilge holds a BA in Politics and an MRes in Environment and Development from Lancaster University and speaks English, French, Spanish and German.
Isabella Freire Vitali
Isabella has a wide experience in corporate engagement, policy analysis, project design and management and strategic planning in both Brazil and the UK. Most recently she led WWF UK’s Livestock and Soy Programme engaging with a range of companies in the supply chain to use market forces to reduce the impacts of these sectors on natural habitats. Prior to that she worked with Conservation International in Brazil focusing on corporate engagement and establishment of partnerships to achieve biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. She also monitored and analysed development plans and international development programmes and their impacts. She has experience with certification processes, multistakeholder initiatives, agribusiness, infrastructure, energy, and mining.
Isabella holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Brasilia and an MPhil in Environmental Policy from the University of Cambridge. Isabella joined Proforest in 2011 and is based in Brazil. She speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish and Hungarian.
Elie has a master's degree in natural resources management and a post-graduate diploma in forest for rural development. He has 34 years of experience in management of natural resources in Africa. He has experience in development, management and evaluation of projects and programmes, organisation and facilitation of forums and meetings, advising governments, NGOs, industry and local communities on conservation and management of forest resources.
Since 2004, he has spearheaded the process of promotion of responsible forestry in the Congo Basin which resulted in effective commitment of actors from public, NGOs, research and training institutions, industry, and donors towards support for responsible forestry in the Congo Basin and in certification of more than 5 million hectares of forests.
His experience also includes advocacy in favour of conciliation between conservation and development, development of strategies and national and regional standards for management of forest ecosystems; forest certification, use of NTFP, community natural resources management, transboundary management, socio-economic studies, management of protected areas, and integrated approach for management of natural resources.
Elie speaks Kinyarwanda (mother tongue), French, English and Swahili.
David joined Proforest in early 2013. David has worked in Africa on natural resource management issues for the past 15 years, predominantly in Central Africa (Cameroon) and East Africa (Tanzania). His most recent position was as Director of Conservation at WWF Cameroon where he managed a series of complex protected area and wildlife law enforcement projects, as well as policy engagement around forestry, agro-industry, mining and REDD+.
David is a social scientist with a degree in Human Geography (Reading) and a masters in Natural Resource Management (Edinburgh). David specialises in community natural resources management issues.
Joyce Lam has wide experience in supply chain management, implementation of responsible timber purchasing policies for both private and public sectors. For example, she was involved in the evaluation of Danish procurement guideline in 2005, and the review of Belgian timber procurement policy in 2008. Joyce has also worked extensively in assessing forest certification schemes for different clients. Joyce has carried out baseline audits for timber product manufacturers in China and her native Hong Kong, and provides ongoing support on improving their timber sourcing.
Joyce joined Proforest in 2004 after finishing her MSc with distinction in Forest Ecology and Management in Edinburgh University. Previously, she worked in Forest and Trade Network in WWF Hong Kong generating the demand for certified forest products. Joyce speaks fluent English, Cantonese and Mandarin.
Erin focuses on agricultural commodities and has developed significant experience working with clients on supply chain management and mapping of natural resources. She is the Proforest lead on biofuels and is also heavily involved in work concerned with sustainable production and responsible sourcing of a range of agricultural commodities, including palm oil, sugarcane, rubber and soya, involving interaction with sustainability initiatives, NGOs and the private sector. Erin has been involved in the development of production and chain of custody certification standards for a range of agricultural commodities, including ensuring compliance with EU RED sustainability criteria.
Erin has previous experience in a range of environmental fields, including ecological assessment, environmental aspects of chemical risk assessment and environmental exposure assessment. She has a BSc (Hons.) in Geography and Biology and an MSc in Conservation Ecology.
Jenny holds a Masters in International Studies and Diplomacy, and has experience engaging with a wide range of international stakeholders for sustainability projects, concentrating on environmental and social justice issues. This includes policy development and implementation support at all stages of natural resource supply chains, and technical and facilitation support for multi-stakeholder standard-setting processes and certification schemes. Jenny has a background working with a variety of NGOs on environmental justice, and has also worked with UNEP Finance Initiative on building stronger relationships between the private sector and policy makers to address climate change, with a focus on the financing of REDD+. Jenny is half Mexican, fluent in Spanish, and has previously studied psychology and law.
Jenny joined the Proforest team in the summer of 2011 as a Project Manager.
Rhiannon has a background in teaching English as a foreign language and editing. She also has a Masters in Environmentalism and Society and has researched the history of the recent land crisis in Zimbabwe and its impact on the culture and traditions of the Shona people. Rhiannon joined Proforest in April 2008 and currently works as the Grants Coordinator.
Rhiannon has lived and worked in a number of countries including Spain, Turkey, the United States and Zimbabwe.
Sofie Tind Nielsen
Sofie Tind Nielsen has background in biology, sustainable land use and natural resource management and has worked in developing countries assessing the effects of deforestation through ecological impact surveys and biodiversity analysis. She has professional expertise and experience with the process of developing public procurement policies for timber and an extensive knowledge of forest standards and certification. She was responsible for coordinating and managing the Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) which supports the implementation of the UK Government’s policy on legal and sustainable timber procurement for 6 years.
Andry has wide experience in forestry and conservation projects. Her work has ranged from strategy development to practical fieldwork in Madagascar as well as in France. She also has extensive experience as production and quality managers for a range of timber companies in Europe.
Andry is currently the Training and Quality Manager at Proforest, coordinating training and maintaining the quality management system. She also works in supply chain management with private sector clients on the implementation of responsible purchasing policies. As a native speaker of French, Andry is leading the Proforest francophone projects. She is a French and Madagascar national.
Pavithra has a background in economics, biodiversity conservation, agricultural commodities, and greenhouse gases. She has worked in many countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, India, the US and the UK with various NGOs, government agencies and consulting companies in the areas of sustainability, biodiversity conservation and climate change management. Pavithra joined Proforest in 2009 where she is currently a Senior Project Manager. She works predominantly with agricultural commodities, in particular oil palm and sugar, and her activities include facilitation of working groups, delivery of training courses, undertaking field assessments for growers against sustainability standards and policy development.
She holds a MSc from the Oxford University Centre for the Environment, where her dissertation focused on the feasibility of sustainable oil palm production amongst smallholders in Aceh, Indonesia. Pavithra is of Indian origin and can speak Bahasa Indonesia and Tamil.
Surin has more than 14 years of experience in natural resource management and biodiversity conservation with a particular interest in protected area planning and management, forest landscape management and plant conservation. He has been involved in initiatives related to HCV development and palm oil certification. Surin has an MSc in Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants from the University of Edinburgh and is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas.
Surin is the South-East Asian Regional Manager for Proforest and is based in the Kuala Lumpur office. Apart from English, Surin is proficient in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia.
Mooi-See is a trained forester specializing in tropical forests management, wildlife management and forest policy. She has worked in South East Asia, East Asia and Europe for more than 10 years. Her experience includes forest management and supply chain (CoC) auditing and support, policy advocacy, standard development, legality verification, HCVF and community forestry analysis. She has worked for both NGOs and consultancies in implementing forestry standards such as FSC and PEFC/MTCS.
Mooi-See joined Proforest in mid 2011 and is based in the Kuala Lumpur office, working in the forestry and agricultural commodities sectors. Mooi-See is Malaysian and speaks fluent English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Cantonese and Bahasa Indonesia.
Audrey has a technical background in sustainable land management and environmental research. Her experience includes participatory work and research on community-based natural resource management, agroecology, permaculture, and biodiversity conservation with rural and coastal communities in several East and West African countries. She has also assisted with the work of the IUCN Coral Specialist Group.
Audrey has a PhD in biogeochemistry and climate change mitigation, and a master’s degree in land reclamation and restoration. She joined Proforest in 2012 as a Project Manager focusing on High Conservation Value assessments and sustainable land use. She is fluent in English and French.
Paulina holds a MSc. in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University, a B.A. in International Relations, and has a background in energy and biofuels policy. She has managed projects in Brazil, Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Dominican Republic, and has worked for several NGOs and the Mexican government, where she helped create and implement a biofuels R&D network in ten countries. At Proforest, Paulina coordinates the High Conservation Value Resource Network. She speaks English and Spanish.
Anni has experience in ecological research, forest conservation and sustainable agriculture and forestry. She has worked extensively with companies, governments, research institutions, and NGOs in in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia. Her current work includes the provision of support for producers in the implementation of sustainability standards and helping buyers, processors and investors with sustainable procurement. She also works on the development, review and implementation of sustainability standards, capacity building on sustainable agriculture and high conservation values and facilitation of meetings and working groups. Anni has worked with a range of commodities, including soy, sugarcane, oil palm, coffee and timber. She has lived and worked in various countries including Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru and Malaysia.
Anni holds an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford and a BSc in Biological Sciences (Ecology) from the University of Edinburgh. Anni speaks Finnish, English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.
Our support team
Shereen is the Office Manager in our South East Asia regional office. She has a degree in Business Administration and has worked in various roles in the IT and banking sector.
Shereen is fluent in English, Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin and Cantonese. She is Sabahan.
Janka works at Proforest as the Office Manager and her role is to support technical office staff and manage Proforest administration. She is also responsible for making travel arrangements for the project managers and supporting the Communications Manager. She has six years of experience in administration for both private and public sectors, and has recently completed a BA marketing management degree.
Janka speaks Slovak, as well as fluent English and Czech.
Fern is a graphic designer and has an MA in communication design. She is part of the Proforest communications team, where she is responsible for designing and formatting reports and publications. Fern is Malaysian.
Junia joined Proforest in 2008 as the Office Administrator. She has a background in leisure management but at Proforest her role is to help run the office as well as ensure all the project managers get to the right place and on time. She is also responsible for ensuring our office reduces its carbon footprint as much as possible.
Junia is Brazilian and speaks fluent English and Portuguese.
Hannelie is a Chartered Accountant and has a background in financial accounting. She has experience in various sectors, including charitable, NHS, treasury management and manufacturing.
Hannelie is Proforest’s Finance Manager.
Kwame Boakye Agyeman
Kwame is the Office Manager for the Africa Regional Office in Accra. His role is to provide administrative support to the regional technical staff and manage Proforest Administration in Ghana. He has several years of experience in Administration and Management including Event Organisation and Management.
Kwame holds a Diploma in Administrative Management and Diploma in Marketing and is fluent in Spanish.
Raymond van de Wiel
Raymond has a background in project management as well as in journalism and copywriting. He also has experience with public relations management and policy development in the non-profit sector.
Raymond is Proforest’s communications manager. He is Dutch.
Pam has been with Proforest since it started in 2000. As Proforest has grown she has done many jobs but is currently the accounts administrator, dealing with our financial administration, invoicing and payments.