Proforest Initiative UK (PIUK) is one of Proforest Group’s three charitable organisations.

Proforest is a not-for-profit group. PIUK manages grant-funded programmes, and projects that support other non-profit organisations. PIUK’s knowledge products are always publicly available.

PIUK Statement of Purpose

We promote transformation of agricultural commodity production by addressing systemic issues that are barriers to achieving positive social and environmental outcomes.

We do this by building collaboration between supply chain companies, producers, governments, NGOs and other stakeholders by sharing innovative tools and knowledge.

As members of the Proforest Group we are able to leverage the group’s existing engagement with supply chain companies, as well as its global network of local expertise in producing countries.

The Proforest Initiative UK manages a range of grant-funded programmes. These are delivered in collaboration with other Proforest Group entities, which provide local expertise to deliver the programmes and ensure local ownership of the knowledge built through the programmes.

Our programmes support:

  • Landscape and sectoral initiatives that deliver positive environmental and social outcomes at scale
  • Regional and local multi-stakeholder processes that enable better collective management of land and resources, and respect for human rights
  • Collaboration between public sector agencies and companies to deliver shared sustainability goals
  • Capacity building among companies, government agencies and civil society to produce and source agricultural and forest commodities sustainably

PIUK also manages a varied portfolio of short-term projects that support multi-stakeholder initiatives and voluntary standard schemes. We facilitate numerous multi-stakeholder processes, convene actors around sectoral challenges, and advise on technical aspects of sustainability standards.

The value of our charity

We value the charity status of PIUK because it helps us to:

  • Deliver grant funded, non-profit activities which produce publicly available outputs
  • Separate the governance of grant funded activities from consultancy operations
  • Raise capacity and address systemic environmental and social issues in commodity production countries

Proforest Initiative's trustees

Our trustees help Proforest achieve the implementation of our strategic plan and ensure efficient management of the organisation.

Dr Chris Elliott

Dr Chris Elliott is an Adjunct Professor in the faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia. He was the first Executive Director of the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA) and prior to joining the Alliance worked for WWF in a variety of capacities and regions over twenty years, starting as China Program Coordinator and ending as Executive Director, Conservation, at WWF International. Before that, he was employed by The World Bank and by the Bank of Boston. He began his professional career by working for several years in organic agriculture. Chris has been closely involved in major forest conservation initiatives in the Congo Basin and the Amazon and led the development of a global partnership between WWF and IKEA. He worked on the establishment of the Forest Stewardship Council and was the organization’s first Board Chair. His education is in plant sciences, forestry, forest policy and ecosystem management at the universities of London, Yale and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL). His doctoral dissertation was on forest certification as a policy instrument. 

Dr Mary Hobley

Mary is an independent consultant providing advice and support on programme design, appraisal, review, evaluation and policy-related research to bilateral, multilateral donors and NGOs. She studied forestry at Bangor, University of Wales and completed a doctorate at the Australian National University, Canberra in 1990. Today, Mary operates from the macro to micro policy level to understand social and political dynamics, working with women and men, community organisations, national governments, local governments, private sector, non-government organisations and civil society. She also works with organisations to review and advise on restructuring strategies, structures and systems. Formerly she has served as a trustee of CIFOR, a peer reviewer for the International Foundation for Science a member of the DFID Forestry Research Programme Advisory Committee, and a panel member for the Darwin Initiative Expert Committee. She joined the Proforest Initiative Board of Trustees in 2018.

Anders Lindhe

Anders has been involved with conservation and certification for more than twenty years, including four years with WWF Sweden, and six years as WWF International forest certification officer. He has participated in numerous national and international FSC processes and working groups, helped to create and develop the High Conservation Value (HCV) concept, and coordinated the FSC Plantations Review. Anders also co-facilitated the RTRS standard-setting process with Proforest, and was a member of the RSPO Biodiversity and HCV Working Group and Compensation Task Force 2011-2016. Other work over the years include developing WWF’s Paper Scorecard and Certification Assessment Tool, assisting Swedish public procurement of wood products, and supporting national implementation of the EU Renewable Energy Directive. Anders joined the HCV Network as Technical Manager in 2013, and currently focuses on responsible practises for smallholders and on procedures for participatory forest monitoring. He has a PhD in conservation biology (Uppsala), a degree in chemistry and botany (Stockholm), and many years of experience teaching forest conservation and historic land use.

Dr Ines Smyth

Ines Smyth is an expert in gender and women's rights. Before becoming a development practitioner, Ines was a lecturer and researcher at various academic institutions, including the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and the London School of Economics. Ines was a Senior Gender Advisor at Oxfam GB for nearly 20 years, developing and implementing the policies, strategies and plans through which Oxfam contributed to the realisation of women's rights.

Ines is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Gender and Development network and of the Gender Rights ANd Development (GRAND) network, as well as  AWID (the Association for Women's Rights in Development). A concern for women's rights has been a constant in her professional and personal life.