WASHINGTON, DC, May 15, 2013 – The Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF) today announced the election of Shawn Draper, partner and president of the Home & Building division at IMRE, as its new Chair of the Board of Directors. Draper joined the TFF Board in 2010 and the Executive Committee in 2011. He replaces John Carpenter, who joined the Executive Committee in 2008 and became Chair in 2010.
“Shawn has been active with TFF for many years. He has been an integral part of creating the foundation’s strategy and the continuing accomplishment of our goals,” said Bob Johnston, executive director of TFF. “In addition to his strong leadership skills, his experience in communications will help us better inform the world about the importance of sustainable forestry management.”
Draper is partner and president at IMRE, a full-service marketing firm with a long history of exemplary work in the Home & Building industries. Previously, he served as a marketing executive at several manufacturers. Known throughout the industry as an innovative thinker and expert at building award-winning teams, Draper brings decades of experience to his new role at TFF.
“I believe in both TFF’s work in sustainable forestry management and the fact that the results speak to the importance of what we are doing,” said Draper. “Many companies and governments don’t yet realize that sustainable forestry is a benefit to everyone involved, from individuals like TFF employees working to protect the rainforest to the indigenous people who can use the practices taught by our foundation to build their local economies. I’m honored that my fellow TFF board members have chosen me as chair, and look forward to helping the foundation deliver even greater results in the future.”
WASHINGTON, DC, January 8, 2013 – The Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF) continued its commitment to balanced leadership by electing new members of its Board of Directors and Executive Committee representing conservation, industry and academia. Since formed in 1990, TFF has maintained that balance to foster improvements in management of the tropical forests to conserve them and sustain their value for forest-dependent people.
The most recent addition of four new members to TFF’s Board of Directors and appointment of two elected officials to its Executive Committee is also a testament to the foundation’s commitment to increasing awareness of sustainable forestry practices.
“The TFF Board and Executive Committee are the heart of our organization,” said TFF Executive Director Bob Johnston. “The members offer their expertise and knowledge in order to make real advancements in the management of tropical forests for the benefit of the environment, economy, and people that depend on forests for their livelihood. Each new member and appointed official adds unprecedented value and we look forward to their engagement and contributions.”
The new Board of Directors includes:
- Julie Kunen, Director of Latin America and Caribbean Programs for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
- Fran Raymond Price, Director of Certification Programs for The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
- Philip Duvic, Executive Vice President of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI)
- Brent McClendon, Executive Vice President of the International Wood Products Association (IWPA)
Before joining WCS in 2011, Kunen spent nine years with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), working on forestry and climate change projects, including the role of USAID policy advisor for President’s Global Climate Change Initiative.
As Director of Certification Programs at TNC, Price works to promote certification as a conservation tool and is particularly interested in efforts to align conservation incentives such as forest carbon and certification in the marketplace. In addition to her work at TNC, she is co-chair of the Forest Stewardship Council - US Board. Prior to joining TNC, Price directed the Forest Monitoring Project of the Izaak Walton League of America.
As Executive Vice President, Duvic joined the staff of AWI in 2000 and has been in his current leadership role since 2006. AWI represents the millwork industry, which manufactures custom designed wood products primarily used in construction of new buildings and renovation of existing buildings. Duvic gained his knowledge of the field at AWD Corporation, an architectural woodwork company.
Since 2003, McClendon has been leader of IWPA, which advances international trade of wood products. Previously he had been employed in the industry at the Dean Company after six years with the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association.
In addition to the new Board of Director members, TFF has also appointed two existing board members to its Executive Committee. Laura Snook of Bioversity International was elected as Vice President of the Board and Chad Oliver of Yale University was elected as a Board representative to the Executive Committee. Snook was a TFF director from 1994 to 2005 and rejoined the Board four years ago, while Oliver became a TFF director in 2006.
WASHINGTON, DC, December 7, 2012 — The Tropical Forest Foundation and its members continue to receive attention in the press, which helps to spread the word about the work of the foundation and the benefits of sustainable forestry.
"Designing Hotels with the Forest in Mind," authored by Tropical Forest Foundation Executive Director Bob Johnston, was published on the lodging and hospitality website lhonline.com in August. "As green becomes the new gold standard," Johnston said, "hotel owners and operators are looking for ways to attract increasingly eco-conscious travelers." The article goes on to explain how architects and designers can support sustainable forestry through the decisions they make.
TFF Board Chair John Carpenter interviewed Johnston in a video posted at WoodworkingNetwork.com. The interview was conducted at the 2012 National Hardwood Lumber Association convention, held in Chicago in September; it introduced the purpose of TFF and underscored the importance of sustainable forestry to industry. Speaking as an industry member of TFF, Carpenter said, "Wood products have a long and wonderful future as long as they're maintained. The environment... and the communities that count on wood products need it to be sustainable as well."
WASHINGTON, DC, August 15, 2012 -- "Sustaining conservation values in selectively logged tropical forests: the attained and the attainable" was one of two studies published this month that included Tropical Forest Foundation Board Member and University of Florida faculty member Francis "Jack" Putz as author. Included in Conservation Letters (available online to subscribers), the study points to the need for "a 'middle way' between deforestation and total forest protection." Tropical forests are, according to the study, logged "at about 20 times the rate at which they are cleared," which justifies a focus on managed logging. Among the findings regarding the impact of selective logging were that 76 percent of carbon is retained in once-logged forests, and 85 to 100 percent of "species of mammals, birds, invertabrates, and plants remain after logging."
The second study, completed by Putz with Vincent Medjibe and published in the Journal of Forest Economics, focuses on "Cost comparisons of reduced-impact and conventional logging in the tropics" (available online to subscribers). The researchers found that reliable cost data for logging operations are rare and difficult to compare because of variation in methods, terrain, diversity or heterogeneity of timber stands, and time scales. From the data that was compiled, though, the researchers could conclude that reduced-impact logging is sometimes but not always most cost-effective in the short term, reinforcing the need for clear demonstration of long-term benefits for timber yields and environmental and social impact, and for additional incentives and subsidies.
"We're grateful to have board members like Jack who are actively involved in learning more about the challenges we face," says Tropical Forest Foundation Executive Director Bob Johnston. "His work affirms our multi-faceted approach to supporting our on-the-ground training with advocacy for certification and legality measures that will help to balance the economic equation."
WASHINGTON, DC, June 29, 2012 -- In a guest blog post on WoodworkingNetwork.com, an informational site for professional woodworkers, Tropical Forest Foundation Executive Director Bob Johnston drew attention to the crossroads for sustainable forestry faced in Peru. Johnston pointed to the significant exports of mahogany from that country, and the 25-percent growth rate for those exports, which is predicted to challenge Peru's current low rate of deforestation.
Johnston introduced the fundraising campaign designed to accelerate the development of a Peru training center, where sustainable forest management training can balance the demand for timber with the ecological integrity of the forests and the economic well-being of local communities. "We need to maintain our momentum," Johnston said. "We need to make immediate progress before government leaders, interests, and priorities change."