2017 Conference Speakers

Opening Remarks 

Dr. Ingrid Burke 

Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES)

Dr. Burke is an ecosystem ecologist whose research has focused on carbon and nitrogen cycling in dryland ecosystems. She received her B.S. in Biology from Middlebury College and her Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wyoming, and has taught at Colorado State University and the University of Wyoming.  Her work with graduate students, postdoctoral associates, and colleagues has addressed how drylands are influenced by land use management, climatic variability, and regional variability.  She teaches in the fields of environmental science, ecosystem ecology, and biogeochemistry. 
She has received over $20m in grant support for research, and published over 150 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, books, and reports. Burke has served as a member of several National Research Council (NRC) committees to review national environmental research programs and policies, as a member of the NRC Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, on the national Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board, and as a member of numerous National Science Foundation, NASA, EPA, and other advisory panels.  She has served on editorial boards for a number of nationally ranked scientific journals.  
A respected educator and intellectual leader in the U.S. and internationally, Dean Burke is particularly interested in fostering interdisciplinary scholarship.  She came to F&ES in 2016 from the University of Wyoming, where she was the dean of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, one of the leading institutions in the western U.S. for research, teaching, and outreach on natural resource issues. 

Keynote Speakers

Carlos Roxo

Member of the Board’ Sustainability Committee of Fibria

Carlos Roxo is a member of the Board’ Sustainability Committee of Fibria, a leading Brazilian pulp company based on Eucalyptus plantations, from which he retired at the end of 2014 as the Director of Sustainability and Corporate Relations. He is also a member of the Steering Group of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate Agriculture and Forests, a multistakeholder group created in June 2015 and formed by leading organizations in the Brazilian agribusiness and forestry area, the main civil organizations and the academic community., with the aim of contributing to the Climate Agreement and its implementation in Brazil. The importance of the Coalition is due to the fact that the forest and agriculture sectors account for two-thirds of GHG emissions in Brazil, with a huge potential to be reduced if proper policies and measures are put in place. Carlos Roxo is also serves as a Board member of Instituto Terra, an NGO based in the State of Minas Gerais which is striving to rehabilitate the water springs in the Rio Doce valley. He has a broad international experience, having served for 20 years as the Fibria’s Liaison Delegate at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and for 8 years as member of the Steering Committee of The Forest Dialogue (TFD), 2 of which as a co-leader.

Jan McApline

Former Director, United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) Secretariat – Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Jan McAlpine was the Director of the United Nations Division on Forests and head of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), based at UN Headquarters in New York. She has previously served as the Senior Advisor and lead negotiator for Forests in the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC, and in that role headed the interagency and Stakeholder process in the development of the President’s Initiative against Illegal Logging (PIAIL). She also led in the development of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership at the Department of State, launched at the WSSD in Johannesburg by Secretary Colin Powell in September, 2002. Ms. McAlpine conceived and developed the Asia and Africa Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Ministerial process, working with the World Bank and the governments of Indonesia and Cameroon. In 2007 and 2008, Ms. McAlpine was a Visiting Scholar and Senior Researcher at the University of Michigan’s School for Natural Resources and Environment, where she cofacilitated and chaired the first National Summit on Adaptation to Climate Change and edited the proceedings for the Summit. She also helped to establish the Central Africa Forest Research Initiative and now serves as Chair of its Advisory Board. Ms. McAlpine served in the U.S. Government from 1989; she worked in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) focusing on international policy issues, including developing the first advisory committee to the Administrator on trade and environment issues. Subsequently she worked at the White House, first with the President’s Council on Sustainable Development and then in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as the trade negotiator on forest timber, tobacco, and Montreal protocal matter.  Prior to her career in the U.S. Government, Ms. McAlpine worked for 11 years for the Water Environment Federation, an international science and educational association in the water quality field.

Omar Antonio Figueroa

Minister of State, Belize 
Omar Antonio Figueroa is the Minister of State of Belize for the Ministry of the Environment, Forest, Fisheries, Protected Areas, Climate Change and Sustainable Development. Prior to his appointment as minister, he served the senate from 2009 to 2012. Omar’s work has primarily focused on the the most iconic species of Latin America, the jaguar. In 2010, Omar was awarded the globally competitive research and conservation award ‘Rabinowitz-Kaplan Prize for the Next Generation in Wild Cat Conservation’. In August of 2003, Omar was awarded a Fulbright/Organization of American States Ecology Initiative Fellowship to pursue a Master of Science degree.  The centerpiece of his MS research focused on using a Global Positioning System to study habitat associations and movement patterns of the regionally imperiled Jabiru Stork in Mesoamerica. This study represents the first and only attempt to use GPS tracking technology to study Jabiru Storks in Mesoamerica. Omar has also received numerous research and conservation grants to conduct his doctoral research. In 2005, he was awarded a Dexter fellowship to pursue a PhD in wildlife ecology and conservation. The centerpiece of his PhD research focused on using GPS to study habitat use and movement patterns of one of the most iconic species in Latin America, the jaguar. In March 2012 Omar received his PhD from the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Omar holds a bachelors degree (cum laude) from the University of North Florida. Fondly known in Belize as the ‘Jaguar Man’, Omar hails from San Ignacio town, Belize and is married and has three kids. 

Peter Holmgren

Director General, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
Appointed in 2012, Dr. Peter Holmgren is the Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), where he leads a team of more than 200 scientists and staff operating together with partner institutions in over 40 countries. Under his leadership, CIFOR updated its strategy in 2016, emphasizing the role of forestry in achieving each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Dr. Holmgren has a PhD in Forestry and 26 years of experience in international forestry and agriculture. Prior to CIFOR, Dr. Holmgren worked at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), where he led FAO’s work on climate change and its contributions to the UNFCCC process. While at FAO he also coordinated the Global Forest Resources Assessment, played a leading role in establishing the UN-REDD program and led the development of the Climate Smart Agriculture concept. Dr. Holmgren is credited for leading the dialogue to enhance and broaden the role of forestry in the Global Development Agenda to address the major challenges of our time: poverty, food security, climate change and green economy. An early champion of the landscape approach, Dr. Holmgren launched the Global Landscapes Forum, which is today the world’s largest conference on integrated land use.

Closing Remarks

Ms. Aban Marker-Kabraji

Asia Regional Director, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Ms. Kabraji is currently the Regional Director for IUCN Asia, overseeing an active presence in 15 countries and responsible for more than 70 wide-ranging environmental initiatives. With more than 30 years of experience, her leadership has been instrumental in bringing awareness to gender, culture, and the sovereign dimensions of conservation. Ms. Kabraji serves as the Co-Chair for the Mangroves for the Future, the Chair for TRAFFIC, and a member of the Advisory Committee of the United Nations Centre for Regional Development. She led the External Review of the International Institute for Environment and Development (2011-2012) and, more recently, was invited to serve on the Green Economy Coalition Steering Group. Ms. Kabraji is a member of the External Advisory Board for the Yale Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry and also sits on the Governing Board for the International Institute for Sustainable Development. She is a McCluskey Fellow, a visiting Professor with the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a sought-after lecturer worldwide.