The Rainforest Alliance proudly announces that Nigel Sizer has been named as its new President as of 1 February 2016. Sizer brings with him 25 years of international experience in natural resources management, most recently as Global Director of the Forests Program at the World Resources Institute. During his tenure at WRI he led a hundred-person team located in Africa, Asia and Latin America, launched pioneering partnerships including the Global Restoration Initiative and Global Forest Watch, transforming access to information about forests for everyone everywhere.
Sizer has also served as Vice President for Asia-Pacific with Rare, where he developed grassroots efforts to link impoverished communities in Indonesia to global carbon markets, and pioneered community-based fisheries and marine protected areas efforts. 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. A globally recognised authority on forests and landscape management, Sizer holds Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees in natural sciences and tropical forest ecology from the University of Cambridge, and has served on many boards and advisory groups, including the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, UNEP, the Andean Centre for Sustainable Development, the Rainforest Foundation and the Coalition in Support of Amazonian Peoples and their Environment.
“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.”
“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 World Resources Institute 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! We look forward to a close partnership with the Rainforest Alliance and with Nigel in the years ahead.”
A dual national of the UK and USA, Sizer speaks five languages, including French, Indonesian, Portuguese and Spanish, and has also spent nearly 15 years living and working in Brazil, Kenya and Indonesia. His appointment was approved by the Rainforest Alliance’s Board of Directors after an extensive search. He will be based in the Rainforest Alliance’s office in New York City.
“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. Millions of small farmers and communities could be big winners from these commitments or be excluded and impoverished. The Rainforest Alliance sits squarely at the intersection of these challenges. 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.