Opening plenary and policy discussion   


Moderated by James Astill, political editor of The Economist, this interactive discussion features leading global thinkers who will help us explore the theme: ‘Towards 2030: What is the role of FLEGT in the evolving global forest agenda?'.

Who is in it?

The speakers list below will be updated as FLEGT Week 2015 approaches. Visit this website to get the latest about this session.

Moderator: James Astill, The Economist

James Astill is the Political Editor and Bagehot Columnist of The Economist. He was formerly the newspaper's Energy and Environment Editor, in which role he wrote a special report on the world's forests, researched in Indonesia, Uganda, India, Mexico and Brazil. It won the Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment, 2011. He continues to speak and chair events on forest issues, including on behalf of the European Commission, the Norwegian Environment Ministry, CIFOR, the Forum on Sustainability and Governance (Curitiba, Brazil), and at The Economist's annual Global Forests Summit.  

He has also worked as The Economist's South Asia Bureau Chief, based in Delhi; International Security Editor; Afghanistan and Pakistan Correspondent, based in Islamabad; and Africa Correspondent, based in Nairobi. He has written other special reports on the Arctic, India and Pakistan. He has written a prize-winning book on India and Cricket, ‘The Great Tamasha: Cricket, Corruption and the Turbulent Rise of Modern India.' He was educated at the universities of Oxford and Tokyo and lives in London.


Master of ceremonies: Bernard Crabbé, European Commission

Crabbé is the Head Forest Sector at the Eurpean Commission, DG DEVCO. An agricultural engineer by training, with a specialization in tropical agronomy and environment, Crabbé has spent most of his professional career in developing countries. He managed rural development projects in Mali, Laos and Madagascar. He planted his first tropical trees in Timbuktu in 1991 and supported local governments and communities in promoting food security and managing water and forest resources. He then served as the adviser for environment and sustainable development matters to the Belgian Secretary of State for Development Cooperation in Brussels (Belgium). After a few years as development cooperation attaché in the Belgian embassies in Quito (Ecuador) and Dakar (Senegal), he joined the European Commission in 2008. He was head of the rural development and environment section at the EU Delegation in Kampala (Uganda), where he was in charge of a number of programmes in support of agriculture, commercial forestry, climate change adaptation and fisheries. He has been in charge of the forest sector in DG DEVCO since 2012. His team co-leads the implementation of the EU Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade. 

Panelist: Hans-Joachim Danzer, Danzer AG

Danzer is a German national, who graduated from the University St. Gallen, Switzerland. Before joining the family business in 1999, he worked for four years for Boston Consulting Group. Since 2002, he has been the Chief Executive Officer of Danzer, an Austrian based company specializing in decorative hardwood products. 




Keynote speaker: Penny Davies, Ford Foundation

Davies is a Ford Foundation program officer, based in New York, working with organizations on international and national climate change policies that benefit low-income rural communities, particularly indigenous peoples. Her grant making also focuses on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and on global and local work specifically aligned with the foundation's Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico and Central America offices. Penny joined the foundation in 2012 after working as the senior forestry advisor for the Department for International Development (DFID) in the British government. In this role, she led DFID's global policy and program work on forests. Davies holds two master's degrees—one from the University of Oxford on forests in relation to land use and the other from the University of London on agricultural development and economics. 

Panelist: Lisa Elges, Transparency International

Elges is Transparency International's Head of Climate Policy. She directs TI's advocacy and programmatic work on climate finance. In her current role, Elges serves as an observer on the Clean Technology Fund of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and represents TI at the Green Climate Fund, the Adaptation Fund, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International Panel on Climate Change, and the Global Environmental Facility CSO Network. She has directed the advocacy programme of AdaptationWatch and serves as advisor to the Adaptation Fund NGO Network. Prior to TI, she worked for the Japanese Parliament, the Asia Crime Prevention Foundation, UN Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders. She graduated at the International Christian University (Tokyo, Japan) in 1993, completed her LL.M in international human rights law at the University of Essex (UK) in 1997, and recently defended her doctoral dissertation magna cum laude in the field of environmental law and policy at Berlin's Freie Universität.

Opening speech: Karl Falkenberg, European Commission

Falkenberg is the Director-General DG Environment (ENV). He has a long experience as a negotiator in the European Commission. He started his career in the Commission as textiles negotiator, has dealt with international fisheries issues and since 1985 he has worked with the GATT. In 1990, he served as foreign policy advisor to EU President Jacques Delors, with a particular focus on the German unification process. He was involved in the Uruguay Round negotiations and has been negotiating the telecommunications and financial services agreements in WTO. From 1997 to December 2000 he was in charge of the coordination of all WTO issues. In 2001 he was appointed Director in charge of sectoral trade policies and bilateral trade relations with North America, Japan, the Mediterranean area and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and in 2002 Director for Free trade agreements, Agricultural trade questions, ACP. From 2005 to 2008 he coordinated all bilateral trade policies as Deputy Director General. In January 2009, he took up the position of Director General of the Environment, covering the EU's environmental policy in both its domestic and international dimensions. Falkenberg is an economist and journalist.

Panelist: Katarina Maaskant, Head of Public Affairs IKEA

Maaskant has been heading IKEA's Public Affairs unit since 2012. She is responsible for advocacy for the IKEA Group in order to support the company's strategies and business goals. She joined IKEA 2006 as a policy advisor with responsibility for public policies related to sustainability and was leading IKEA advocacy related to the EU Timber Regulation during the legislative process.

Panelist: Yannick Jadot, Member of the European Parliament

Jadot is a Greens/EFA Member of the European Parliament elected in the West France constituency since 2009. In 2002, he joined Greenpeace France as director of campaigns where he coordinated several remarkable actions. As an environmentalist and humanitarian, he also headed ‘the Alliance pour la planète' in 2007 and was a key player in the 2008 Grenelle Environmental Accord. At the European Parliament, he is Vice-chair of the International Trade Committee and the Greens/EFA spokesperson on climate. He also follows the FISH Committee as a substitute. 

Panelist: Harrison Karnwea Sr., Liberian Forestry Development Authority

Karnwea was Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Liberia before becoming Managing Director of the Liberian Forestry Development Authority. He has over 30 years' experience in the private sector, managing rubber plantations in Liberia. He first entered the public sector as Superintendent (Regional Governor) of Nimba County in the National Transitional Government of Liberia in 2003. Karnwea holds a Bachelor's degree in management.


Panelist: Roberto Ridolfi, European Commission

Ridolfi is Director of the European Commission for Sustainable Growth and Development at DG for International Cooperation and Development, EuropeAid. Twice Ambassador and Head of delegation to the European Union, Ridolfi was first in Suva where he served from 2005 to 2007. There he was in charge of all the relations of the European Union with 15 countries and territories as well as with the Pacific Forum. In 2010 he was appointed in Uganda by the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the EU where he served until September 2013. In between, during his duty as head of unit of EuropeAid, he managed programmes dealing with Environment, Food security, migration and asylum as well as the One-Billion-Euro Food Facility in 50 countries. Ridolfi joined the European Commission in 1994 and worked in several delegations, Malawi, Namibia and Kosovo, as development and economic advisor. Throughout Accession negotiations (2001-2004), he was the principal coordinator dealing with Environment and Transport in Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP). Ridolfi holds a MSc in Engineering, an MBA and a PhD in A. Technology

Panelist: Sue Unsworth, The Policy Practice

Sue Unsworth worked for many years for the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID), including as Regional Director for Asia and Chief Governance Adviser. She was one of the main initiators of DFID's Drivers of Change programme that advocated the need for donors to gain much better understanding of political context and process. She has been a Research Associate at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, and has worked with a wide range of donors to help them apply political economy analysis to development practice. She is a Principal at The Policy Practice, and a Trustee of the Overseas Development Institute.

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