Global Restoration Initiative
Global Restoration Council
What is the Global Restoration Council?
The Global Restoration Council aims to harness the collective wisdom, influence and energy of its members to catalyze and sustain a global movement for restoration. The Council is a voluntary, non-departmental entity supported by the World Resources Institute on behalf of, and as a contribution to, the Global Partnership for Forest Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) and in support of other organizations that are actively engaged in restoration activities.
To find photos of the Inaugural Meeting of the Global Restoration Council, click here
Global Restoration Council Members
Inger Andersen was appointed Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in January 2015. Ms Andersen brings a passion for conservation and sustainable development with more than 30 years of experience in international development economics, environmental sustainability and policy-making, as well as in designing and implementing projects and generating on-the-ground impact. She has played a key role in supporting riparian countries on international water management and hydro diplomacy. Prior to joining IUCN, Ms Andersen held various leadership roles at the World Bank and United Nations. Most recently, she was Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank, and previous to that Vice President for Sustainable Development and Head of the CGIAR Fund Council. Throughout Ms Andersen’s 15-year career at the World Bank, her managerial roles focused on water, environment, and sustainable development with special emphasis on Africa and the Middle East. Previous to the World Bank, Ms Andersen worked at the United Nations for 15 years, starting in the UN Sudano-Sahelian Office working on drought and desertification issues, and was then appointed UNDP’s Water and Environment Coordinator for the Arab Region. Ms Andersen’s educational background includes a BA from London Metropolitan University North and a MA degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London with specialisation in development economics.
Peter Besseau retired from the Canadian Government in 2017 where he had been the Director of International Affairs for the Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada, from 2007 to 2017. From 2003 until his retirement, Peter was also Executive Director of the International Model Forest Network (IMFN) Secretariat in Ottawa; Chair of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) between 2013 and 2017; Chair of the Steering Committee of FAO’s Forest and Landscape Facility between 2016 and 2017; and Chair of the 12th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) between 2015 and 2017.
He has been involved in international affairs and development since 1991, initially focussing on economies in transition. He has extensive fieldwork and policy experience in landscape-level natural resource management through the IMFN in Asia, South America, Russia, Africa and Europe. He has an undergraduate degree in Russian language and literature and a Master’s degree in political economy. Peter has participated as a speaker for many international events and organizations, including the FAO World Forestry Congress, IUCN World Conservation Congress, UN Forum on Forests and others.
Felipe Calderón is the former President of Mexico, serving between 2006 and 2012. Calderón studied law at the Free School of Law in Mexico City and later did postgraduate study in economics at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico. In 2000 he earned a master’s degree in public administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. During his presidency he prioritized the rule of law and public security; a competitive and job-creating economy; equal opportunities; sustainable development; effective democracy; and a responsible foreign policy. Among other achievements, his government pushed through structural reforms to modernize the Mexican economy in key areas, such as public pensions, tax, the energy sector and universal healthcare. It also put in place the most ambitious infrastructure program in Mexican history, raising annual investment from 3 percent to 5 percent of GDP a year. During his period in office Mexico positioned itself as a global leader in fighting climate change: President Calderon presided over the successful UN climate conference in Cancun in 2010 and saw the passing of a comprehensive Climate Change Act in 2012. Calderón is Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, as well as current Honorary Chairman of the Green Growth Action Alliance; President of the Sustainable Human Development Foundation; and a Member of the Board of Directors of the World Resources Institute.
Naoko Ishii has served as the CEO and Chairperson for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since June 2012. Prior to that, Ms. Ishii was the Deputy Vice Minister of Finance, where she was responsible for Japan's international financial and development policies, and for its global policies on environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity. She led the Japanese delegation at the Transition Committee for designing the Green Climate Fund. For nearly half of her career, Ms. Ishii has served in international assignments outside of Japan, including at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Bianca Jagger, a prominent international human rights and climate change advocate, is the Founder and Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, a Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador, Member of the Executive Director's Leadership Council of Amnesty International USA, Trustee of the Amazon Charitable Trust, and on the advisory board of the Creative Coalition. Jagger has been the recipient of the United Nations Earth Day International Award, the Right Livelihood Award, the Amnesty International USA Media Spotlight Award for Leadership, the World Citizenship Award from The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, the World Achievement Award from Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Rainforest Alliance’s Green Globe Award for her extraordinary efforts and achievements in conservation and protecting human rights. For over 30 years, Bianca Jagger has campaigned for human rights, social and economic justice and environmental protection throughout the world.
Chuck Leavell is the keyboardist for the Rolling Stones, as well as an award winning forester and co-founder of Mother Nature Network. In 2001, he penned Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest, now in its second printing in the U.S. Along with several conservation recognitions, he and his wife Rose Lane were given the ultimate honor for their outstanding management of their own forestland, Charlane Plantation in Macon, Georgia, by being named National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year in 1999. Today, Leavell plays a strong role in environmental issues in the US and beyond. He is a Board member of several important and influential organizations including the American Forest Foundation, the US Endowment for Forests and Communities, the Georgia Land Conservation Council and others. His name is well known on Capitol Hill for his advocacy work on behalf of the environment, and he has played a solid role in forming the forest component of the past two US Farm Bills. In late 2006, Leavell released his third book, a children’s book called The Tree Farmer. It has won several top awards including the “Growing Good Kids” honor; the “Media Award” from The National Arbor Day Foundation; and a special “Book of the Year” award from the American Farm Bureau.
Rosa Lemos de Sá is the current CEO of Funbio, an innovative financial mechanism for the development of strategies that contribute to the implementation of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Brazil. Previously, she led the Andes-Amazon Initiative of the Moore Foundation between 2006 and 2008 in the United States, and worked at WWF-Brazil for 10 years, holding the position of Director Conservation between 2003 and 2006. Rosa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master's Degree in Ecology at the University of Brasilia and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Florida.
Wanjira Mathai is the Co-Chair of the Global Restoration Council and Chairperson of the Green Belt Movement. Mathai grew up in Kenya, traveling to the United States to attend college. She is a graduate of Hobart William Smith College and graduate schools of Business and Public Health at Emory University. She then worked as Senior Program Officer for International Health at the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta focusing on issues of disease eradication. Since 2002, Mathai has been directing International Affairs at the Green Belt Movement (GBM), which was founded by her mother, the late Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai. She is also a World Future Councilor, Advisory Council Member (Global Cookstoves Alliance), and Member of the Earth Charter International Council. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of both Green Belt Movement and the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace & Environmental Studies.
Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki is the CEO of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency. Dr. Mayaki holds a Masters degree from the National School of Public Administration (Enap), Quebec, Canada and a Ph.D. in Administrative Sciences from the University of Paris I, France. Between 1996 and 1997 he was appointed Minister in charge of African Integration and Cooperation and Minister of Foreign Affairs. From 1997-2000, he held the position of Prime Minister of the Republic of Niger. In August 2000, he set up the Analysis Center for Public Policy. From 2000 to 2004, Dr Mayaki was a guest Professor at the University of Paris XI, where he lectured on international relations and organizations; he also led research at the Research Center on Europe and the Contemporary World within that university. In 2004, he was appointed as the Executive Director of the Platform in support of Rural Development in West and Central Africa, the Rural Hub, from where he was recruited as CEO of the NEPAD Agency.
Dr. Göran Persson, is the Co-Chair of the Global Restoration Council and former Prime Minister of Sweden. Persson served as Prime Minister of Sweden between 1996 and 2006. During Sweden’s EU Presidency in 2001, Mr. Persson was President of the European Council. He served as Minister of Finance and Minister of Schools in the 1990s before becoming Prime Minister and Party Chairman of the Social Democratic Party. As Finance Minister, Persson led a period of rapid and sustained economic recovery. He has unique experience in international politics and within the EU. He is known for his broad personal knowledge of issues such as climate change, European relations with Russia, and challenges facing the Swedish welfare state. Since leaving the political realm, Dr. Persson currently holds the position of Chairman of Sveaskog, a leading Swedish forestry business.
Camille Rebelo is the Co-Founder & Managing Partner of EcoPlanet Bamboo and has been responsible for the origination, implementation and management of the company’s operations to date, in Nicaragua, South Africa and Ghana, currently representing more than 35,000 acres. Through EcoPlanet Bamboo, Ms. Rebelo has been responsible for the development of global and local frameworks within which bamboo can be a positive tool for achieving landscape restoration, while reducing deforestation through the provision of a deforestation free fiber to major markets and industries. Ms. Rebelo has a background in innovative financing mechanisms for the conservation of natural forests, and prior to co-founding EcoPlanet Bamboo, she developed or managed forestry projects ranging from large scale commercial plantations through to smallholder operations in more than 20 countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia. Ms. Rebelo is an expert in forest certification, and through early involvement with the UNFCCC and voluntary carbon markets developed some of the first successful forest carbon markets globally.
Aviram Rozin is the Founder and International Director of Sadhana Forest, an international, volunteer-based organization focused on creating long-term food security through environmental restoration. Globally, there are 133 million malnourished people living in arid areas who have private land but are not using it to grow food due to lack of water and agricultural knowledge. Sadhana Forest trains local people in India, Haiti and Kenya in the use of water-saving irrigation techniques and provides them with free seedlings to plant drought-resistant, indigenous, food-bearing trees around their homes. These indigenous food forests are well protected from cutting and animal grazing by their owners. Sadhana Forest won third prize at The Humanitarian Water and Food Awards in Denmark, 2010. Every year the organization's India, Haiti and Kenya centers host and train a total of over 1,500 volunteers, students, and interns from around 50 countries. Mr. Rozin and his family live in the experimental township of Auroville, South India, where their dedication to ecological restoration and their low-carbon footprint lifestyle have inspired many.
Stephen Rumsey is Chairman of Permian Global, an investment company focused on climate mitigation through forest protection and recovery. Mr. Rumsey is a life-long conservationist and an experienced financier. He has served on the board of a number of environmental non-profit organizations, and over the last thirty years he has developed a substantial nature reserve at his farm on the south coast of England. He has also been involved with tropical forest conservation projects in Brazil, West Africa and South-East Asia. Stephen Rumsey has spent almost 40 years in the financial sector. He successfully designed and managed businesses for Barclays and Merrill Lynch, before designing and managing an innovative asset management business, ECM, which grew from zero to $30 billion in six years.
Tony Simons has worked for over thirty years on issues at the agriculture/forestry interface. This experience has been gained in over 50 countries in the private sector (Shell), academia (University of Oxford), official development assistance (ODA/DFID) and research (CGIAR). He has a PhD in tree genetics from Cambridge University (UK) as well as an Honorary Professorship in Tropical Forestry at the University of Copenhagen. He has published over 120 research papers and has mentored dozens of young scientists in developing countries. Tony is passionate about the transformative and profitable change that the private sector can bring to development having established partnerships with MARS Inc., DANONE, Syngenta, Boehringer and Unilever. He also sits on the investment and advisory committees for the Family Farming and Carbon Livelihoods Funds.
Andrew Steer served as president and CEO of the World Resources Institute from 2012 to 2021, when he left to become the president and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. Dr. Steer joined WRI from the World Bank, where he served as Special Envoy for Climate Change from 2010 - 2012. From 2007 to 2010, he served as Director General at the UK Department of International Development (DFID) in London. Dr. Steer is a Global Agenda Trustee for the World Economic Forum, and is a member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the Energy Transitions Commission, the Champions 12.3 Coalition to reduce food loss and waste, the Sustainable Advisory Groups of both IKEA and the Bank of America, and he serves on the Executive Board of the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy For All Initiative.
Mark Tercek is president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. He is also the author of the Washington Post and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling book Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature. A former managing director and Partner for Goldman Sachs, where he spent 24 years, Mark brings deep business experience to his role leading the Conservancy, which he joined in 2008. He is a champion of the idea of natural capital — valuing nature for its own sake as well as for the services it provides for people, such as clean air and water, productive soils and a stable climate. In 2012, Mark appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the New York State 2100 Commission, which was created in the wake of Superstorm Sandy to advise the governor and the state on how to make the state’s infrastructure more resilient to future storms. Mark is also a member of several boards and councils, including Resources for the Future and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mark earned an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1984 and a B.A. from Williams College in 1979.
Laura Tuck assumed the position of World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development on July 1, 2015. In this role, she oversees the work of the Global Practices that bring together the best expertise from across the World Bank Group, and from partners, to help countries tackle their most complex challenges in the area of sustainable development. The practices under her responsibility include Agriculture; Energy and Extractives; Environment and Natural Resources; Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience; Transport and ICT; and Water. Before taking this position, Ms. Tuck served for close to two years as Vice President for the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region. During this period, ECA’s lending and advisory services increased substantially, stepping up support for programs and projects aligned with the goals of reducing poverty and increasing shared prosperity. Before joining the World Bank, Ms. Tuck worked for several consulting firms in the area of agricultural policy, food policy, and food needs assessments. She also served on the faculty of Princeton University as part of a university research project, and worked and lived in Africa between 1980 and 1987. Ms. Tuck has an MPA from Princeton University in Economics and Public Policy and a BA from the University of California at Davis in Economics.