We imagine a world where communities and nations sustainably manage their forests and natural resources for the benefit of our climate, the environment and humanity.
Building upon corporate and scientific partnerships, WeForest empowers communities to sustainably advance and implement innovative, high-standard, scalable and lasting solutions to restore forest landscapes.
The values that inspire our work are: Integrity, Transparency, Excellence, Collaboration, Passion and Courage.
Our goal is to successfully transform 250,000 hectares of forest landscape by 2021, restoring 25,000 hectares of forests with an estimated 25 million trees, demonstrating FLR best practices in different ecosystems and leading to the adoption of an international standard.
Who We Are
Our team is spread over 3 continents and 12 countries, sharing the same commitment for a better world.
Jessica has extensive experience in developing and managing corporate & donor engagement strategy, both from her previous role as Programme & Partnerships Manager of The Sustainable Agriculture Network (2016-19) and as a Senior Associate at Winrock International (2008-16). Prior to that, Jessica worked with the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. Jessica holds an MSc in Environmental Technology.
Anne-Laure graduated from an International Business School in France and started her career in Finance. She quickly realised that her interests laid elsewhere and developed and perfected her training in communication, process management, human resources and organisational development, until she managed projects of cultural changes in large organisations. She has passion for people, diversity and Inclusion as well as collaborative approaches and is committed to making a difference for the planet and its communities.
Matthias leads the landscape restoration and planting projects in Zambia. He coaches the local teams and makes sure that the forest restoration projects are performed according to the foreseen activity plan. Matthias holds a PhD in Forest Ecology from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He has 5 years of experience working on agroforestry, forest ecology and conservation and has worked in several countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Xavier holds an MSc in Astrophysics. He is certified in GHG (Greenhouse Gas Protocol) for carbon footprint, as well as project validation and verification. He has been working since 2010 for Ecocert, first as Head of Carbon Services, then as Head of Business Unit on Climate and Forestry.
Aklilu oversees the various landscape restoration and planting projects in Ethiopia. He holds a PhD in Bioscience Engineering from the University of Leuven (Belgium) and a master's degree in Tropical Land Resources Management from Mekelle University (Ethiopia). Prior to joining WeForest, Aklilu conducted research in Africa and Europe for 12 years in forest ecology, management science, ecosystem safety, invasive plant, agronomy, plant propagation, bioenergy-biofuel, forest entomology, and non-timber forest products and worked for two years as a Consultant at World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Olivier coordinates our global programs. He holds an advanced master in rural and tropical forestry from the French Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering. He worked 15 years in the management of projects' portfolios in Asia and Africa in the fields of environment, disaster risk reduction and community resilience.
Michael is a seasoned finance professional overseeing the financial organization of WeForest. He holds a master degree in Economic Science from the Catholic University of Leuven and started his career as Auditor. During 15 years he developed international experience as Finance Director in different industries.
Cristina leads landscape restoration and planting projects in Brazil. She collaborates with WeForest’s partners to ensure the best use of restoration ecology knowledge and ecological restoration practices. Her work experience is based on Atlantic forest restoration and conservation, both in academia and environmental consultancy. She holds a Plant Biology Ph.D. from the University of Campinas and a master’s degree in Forestry Resources from the University of São Paulo.
Birhane is Forest and GIS expert at WeForest Ethiopia. Before joining WeForest he has worked for 11 years at Tigray Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development as forest ecologist at regional level. He graduated in natural resource economics and management from Mekelle University and has attended 6 months training on land restoration at the United Nation University of Iceland.
With a background as forest bio-engineer, Ruben provides technical assistance to the projects in Zambia and Malawi and supports new project development and M&E of ongoing projects. Prior to joining WeForest in Zambia, Ruben completed his internship with the WeForest Ethiopia team. During various conservation projects, he has conducted fieldwork in Ethiopia, Chile, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi and Zambia. As a keen photographer, Ruben provides visual stories of the WeForest project activities.
Tadele is coordinating the Tigray team in restoring Desa'a area. Tadelle owns a M.SC in the field of Tropical Land Resource Management, a B.Sc degree in the field of Soil & Water Conservation, both from Mekelle University. He also owns a Diploma in the field of Agricultural engineering and technology from the Awassa college of Agriculture - AU (Ethiopia). Before joining WF in July 2019, Tadelle has been working for NGO's using GIZ technologies for more than 14 years, and for the government agricultural office, implementing and coordinating development programs.
Pascaline manages WeForest's website and digital content. Prior to joining WeForest Pascaline worked for 10 years in multinational environments and 5 years with sustainability topics and developed her own social enterprise. She graduated in Business, Marketing & Applied Foreign languages in France and in Commercial Sciences in Belgium.
Sefia manages the WeForest project in Luanshya, coordinating and strengthening the local farmer’s association to ensure a smooth take-over of the forest restoration activities. As a tropical agronomist, she holds a master degree in agricultural engineering specialised in environment and land management. Prior to joining WeForest Zambia, she gained experience in Belgium, Brazil, Kenya, Burkina Faso and Congo.
Vienna has a B.A. in Language and Linguistics and an M.A. in Literature Studies. She began her career working in publishing and journalism in the UK, then moved into science communication at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. Between 2010 and 2018 she was the Head of Communications and Outreach at IBEC, a bioengineering research institute in Barcelona, Spain. Her passion for the environment and animals led to a position at Eurogroup for Animals and now to the one of Communications Manager at WeForest.
Fainess oversees the implementation of the Katanino Forest Landscape Restoration Project in Zambia. She holds a PhD in Animal Ecology from the University of Zambia and a MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Cape Town (South Africa). She has worked in Biodiversity Conservation projects in Zambia for over 15 years.
Anteneh is responsible for all financial and administrative matters of WeForest Ethiopia. He holds a master’s degree from Indira Gandhi Open University in Commerce. He started his career as an accountant, and then worked with different humanitarian organizations in diverse financial administration positions. Prior to joining WeForest, Anteneh was an Administration and Finance Coordinator at Médecins du Monde.
Claire provides technical leadership/assistance on the livelihoods and institutional components of WeForest’s projects. After a postgraduate degree in politics and international relations, she spent 10+ years working on community-based natural resource management, land rights and livelihoods programmes for a wide range of organisations in Asia, Africa and Haiti.
Alice joined WeForest as the assistant to the CEO and in 2020 she also joined the HR department, working in close collaboration with the HR Director. Alice holds a Master in Germanic linguistics and literature. She started her career as a teacher, and then moved to the corporate sector, working at a financial services company. As a nature-lover, she enjoys taking care of her garden in the countryside and her animals.
As Carbon & Technology Manager, Anna is responsible for coordinating the carbon certification processes of WeForest projects and applying the latest technologies for Mapping & MRV. Based in Berlin, Anna holds a MA in Political Science and Public Law and has a background in environmental policy, in the carbon markets and worked in project development for forestry and carbon projects in Southeast Asia. She holds a master's degree in Political Science and Public Law from Heidelberg University and is trained in forest management.
Louise is advising existing sponsors and donors and bringing on board new partners. Prior to joining WeForest, she worked at the European Climate Foundation for several years and has done several traineeships, including at the EU Delegation in Beijing, China. Louise holds an LLM in international environmental law from the University of Edinburgh, UK. Originally from the Netherlands, she has been living in Brussels for nearly 5 years.
Dr Laurent Durieux is board member and head of the WeForest scientific committee. He holds a PhD and is specialized in satellite remote sensing and GIS to study the impact of the deforestation on the convective clouds. His 20 years of international expertise in environmental satellite monitoring and his vision to associate it with artificial intelligence processing capabilities, are instrumental in increasing global environmental reporting and monitoring. Knowing the issues is already partly resolving them. Author of more than 100 international scientific publications, he is actively engaged through transdisciplinary research and thanks to an extensive international network in the reconciliation between peoples and the biosphere.
Laurent is based at the House of Remote Sensing in Montpellier, France.
Chris is responsible for business development with mobile operators/carriers at Dropbox. He also serves on the board of Shazam Entertainment. Prior to Dropbox, Chris spent nearly eight years at Google focused on mobile with his last two years on the Android business development team. Chris was the original CEO and Founder of Shazam Entertainment, the London-based music recognition company.
Giel Boes is a serial and social IT entrepreneur who gets the most out of himself and his environment. Since a young age of 14 he has been extensively active in IT. Giel gained experience in people motivation and working efficiently with computers, has set up several companies, while inspiring hundreds of individuals and organizations to plant trees in his public motivational talks. Giel’s motto: "Inspire others to activate the best version of themselves for a better environment!"
From crashing Compuserve while broadcasting a Smashing Pumpkins concert live from Dublin in 1996, through to co-producing U2's online presence for almost a decade. With a passion for doing the right thing, James is a well seasoned internet veteran having worked with numerous platinum selling artists and premium magazine publishers along the way.
Serge de Gheldere is lead at Futureproofed (the carrot) and Klimaatzaak (the stick), and ‘climate ambassador’ for Al Gore. Serge trained as an engineer in Leuven (B) and in Delft (NL) and worked for Baxter Healthcare for 7 years - including 15 months in Chicago. Serge has given hundreds of lectures all over the world including - Stanford, Yale, Tsinghua Beijing, India, Dubai, Togo , Budapest - on the choices we face regarding climate change and the opportunity of a sustainable economy."
Tom has spent the last three decades as a consultant, educator, entrepreneur, and strategic advisor. He is a student and teacher of Board, leadership and organization effectiveness.
Philip holds a Master's degree in General Management (ESSEC, France) and has 14 years of business experience as a Managing Director for an international company.
Entrepreneur and Merchant Banker with broad experience in all aspects of forming, managing, advising, fund raising, and biz dev for entrepreneur-powered businesses, including, business strategy and M&A. Significant and relevant experience with Internet apps and platforms, integrated media, on-line advertising, on-line metrics, mobile apps, telecom, energy, emerging markets, financial consulting, real estate and venture capital.
Jack initiated the shaping of sustainable energy futures based on scenarios, in cooperation with governments, the business sector and international institutions some 20 years ago. His current focus is on preventing run-away climate change by stopping deforestation in combination with reforestation and soil regeneration. This will require transformative collaboration, exceptional leadership and close cooperation with the local population and support of their economic development on an unprecedented scale.
Ivor holds a double Master degree in Environmental Resource Management (SDU Denmark) and Energy and Sustainable Business (Bocconi University). Subsequent to his studies, Ivor has been working in very different sectors, ranging from energy (GE Wind) to ad-tech (Axel Springer), always with a strong focus on partner and relationship management. At the moment, he is working for the Carbon Disclosure Project, where he advises large stock listed organizations on environmental performance and reporting.
Masters degree in General Management (ESCP, France).
25 years of business experience as a Marketing and Sales manager mainly in French and International food companies. In 2013 Sébastien took his family for a 1 year trip around the world to meet its inhabitants and discover our beautiful planet.
Yves is managing director of Experience Scotland Ltd. and Honorary Belgian Consul in Scotland since 1996. He’s been supporting WeForest since its beginning with an original idea: celebrating the turn of the year with trees (2016= 2016 trees!) and talking about the need to act for climate within his large network.
Cofounder at SaneBox, a leading email productivity app. Prior to Sanebox, Dmitri founded Wanto (a social networking app for people with common goals) and spent several years at Overture (acquired by Yahoo). While at Yahoo, he was responsible for launching Yahoo's Global Search Reseller Channel, and led business development efforts in Emerging Markets.
Problem Solver in any transformational scenario, Nina is an Entrepreneur; Visionary; Idea Generator and Implementer.
Aymeric Olibet is responsible for business development within BNP Paribas’ Sustainable Business Desk in Brussels. With a special focus on decarbonisation strategies and the circular economy, Aymeric puts environmental challenges and sustainable solutions at the heart of his discussions with Corporate leaders.
Creator, mentor and community catalyst, Molly founded multiple companies, worked with early stage companies to help set strategic direction and has completely rebuilt two non-profit programs from the ground up. She thrives when connecting people, ideas and resources. Before jumping into the startup game, she spent 15+ years in strategic marketing and sales. Molly is actively engaged in making communities socially, environmentally and economically sustainable, focusing in the areas of entrepreneurship, the arts and local food.
Anju is a serial, now social entrepreneur who believes that the purpose of business extend well beyond profits alone. Anju was one of the early members of the WeForest team, she used this learning curve to later launch Abhati Suisse. Anju’s background as a sociologist and ethnologist were truly brought into play when she visited India and witnessed the devastating lack of sanitation and education. She mobilised some of the most renowned industry experts from beauty and design to work for free and contribute their skill sets to develop an all-natural skincare range, raising funds to ultimately make an impact in the lives of hundreds of girls in India.
Cathy is a passionate and compelling educator in environments, sustainability and biological sciences with 15+ years experience as a lecturer. She is skilled in coaching and consulting in leadership, effectiveness and engagement with over 12 years in this discipline, as well as being accredited as a mediator for dispute resolution.
Tijn is CEO of interior design company Brabantia. He has been leading his family company since 2012 aiming to enrich the quality of life and living just that little bit every day. It is his goal to make Brabantia 100% recyclable by the end of his tenure. Tijn started his career at Unilever and Diageo. In 2017 he was awarded as the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Netherlands.
Nick currently works at SaneBox where he leads the growth and marketing team. Prior to SaneBox he was involved with various startups and non-profit organizations where he focused on user acquisition, content strategies and partnerships.