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Rainforest Alliance names new president

Nigel Sizer has been named the new President of The Rainforest Alliance, effective 1 February, 2016.

Sizer holds Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees in natural sciences and tropical forest ecology from the University of Cambridge, UK.

A dual national of the UK and US, Sizer speaks five languages, including French, Indonesian, Portuguese and Spanish, and has spent nearly 15 years living and working in Brazil, Kenya and Indonesia.

“It is a great honour to be asked to take the helm of the Rainforest Alliance,” said Sizer. “Hundreds of companies have listened to customers and are embracing commitments to deforestation-free and responsible coffee, cocoa, rubber, palm oil, soy, beef and paper."

Sizer said millions of small farmers and communities could either be big winners from these commitments, or be excluded and impoverished.

"The Rainforest Alliance sits squarely at the intersection of these challenges," said Sizer. "Inspired by a vision of responsible consumption and land management, I have no doubt that with more creative partnership, innovation and technology, we can build on the organisation’s impressive track record to further green forestry and farming and lift millions out of poverty.”

Sizer brings with him 25 years of experience in natural resources management, most recently as Global Director of the Forests Program at the World Resources Institute (WRI).

During his tenure at WRI, Sizer oversaw the introduction of a number of programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America, including the Global Restoration Initiative and Global Forest Watch – an initiative to increase access to information on forests.

“Nigel has made extraordinary contributions at WRI, building Global Forest Watch into a worldwide partnership that empowers people, companies and governments everywhere with the information they need to better manage and conserve forest landscapes” said WRI President and CEO, Dr. Andrew Steer. “We are delighted that he will be assuming the leadership at the Rainforest Alliance, an exceptional organisation – although we will miss him greatly!"

Sizer has also served as Vice President for Asia-Pacific with Rare. In that time he developed grassroots efforts to link impoverished communities in Indonesia to global carbon markets.

In 2008, he served as lead advisor on climate change and energy issues in Asia to former US President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative. He has also worked with UNEP in Nairobi and established The Nature Conservancy’s Asia-Pacific Forest Program.

“With the recent Paris Agreement underlining the crucial role forests play in fighting climate change, the world is keenly aware that we must work together to ensure forests are conserved and carefully managed for the survival of people and our planet,” said Daniel Katz, Rainforest Alliance Founder and Board Chair. “Nigel has seen first-hand the vital connection between sustainable land-use and forests. Now is the ideal time for a leader with his track record to lead the Rainforest Alliance at this critical point in our history, as we resolve to build on our mission to protect biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods around the globe.”

The Rainforest Alliance is a nonprofit that works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travellers. It works with large multinationals and small, community cooperatives and business around the world in the hope of bringing responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace.

Sizer will be based in The Rainforest Alliance’s New York City office.

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