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.
Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness
Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.
How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature
Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.
While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.
When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness. Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.
4 Practical Ways to Disconnect
If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:
1. Switch to a New Phone Plan
It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.
One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.
2. Get Rid of Social Media
Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).
If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.
3. Create Quiet Hours
If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.
4. Build Community
Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.
As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.
Untether Your Life
If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.
6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move
Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.
6 Tips for a Greener Move
Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.
1. Maximize Each Trip
When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.
If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.
2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep
The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.
3. Reuse Moving Boxes
Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.
4. Get Creative With Packing
Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.
5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies
Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.
6. Forward Your Mail ASAP
Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.
Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful
Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.
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