ISTF Innovation Prize

Since 2014, the Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF) has offered an Innovation Prize at its annual conference to honor outstanding initiatives and ideas related to tropical forest use and conservation. In 2020, ISTF will bestow its 6th Annual Innovation Prize, not only to acknowledge outstanding initiatives but also to highlight significant contributions to shifting the paradigm around restoration of forest landscapes.




Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN)


Saw John Bright is a Water Governance Program Coordinator at KESAN from Karen State in Myanmar. KESAN aims to achieve environmental sustainability, gender equity, local participation and local ownership in the development process. Saw John has been actively engaging in Community Based Water Governance and trans-boundary water issues in local, national and regional scales. His works mainly focus on research and policy advocacy towards inclusive, informed, and accountable resource governance. He is currently pursuing his MA in Sustainable International Development at Heller School of Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University.


Mabu Jaratpratprueang is an indigenous Karen land and forest resource management coordinator, and co-founded the Karen Environmental Social Action Network (KASEN) in 2001. He specializes in land and forest governance programs in Kawthoolei, Myanmar. The conflict affected area of Kawthoolei is a globally recognized area of rich biodiversity and indigenous culture. Mabu works with local authorities and communities to regain and protect land and forests from the Burma Army, armed groups and mega-development investors. He supports local communities with technical assistance, including land mapping, registration, demarcation, and data management to strengthen indigenous community protection of land and forests.






Mugure Agriventures Limited


Beverly Mugure Gichiri is the Founder of Mugure Agriventures Limited in Kenya's Kajiado County. She is a passionate farmer and practicing permaculturalist who works to empower Maasai youth and women through agriculture. Through her work, Beverly aims to combat poverty and nurture young innovators, while fostering a sustainable community. She not only strives to advance farming policies, but she is also an advocate for the rights of girls in Kenya. In 2018, Beverly was named the Youth Champion in Agribusiness under an FAO/EAC Partnership. She was a 2019 Fellow as part of the Professional Fellows Program - Advancing Women Agribusiness Entrepreneurs and Innovators, hosted at Michigan State University.