Charles “Chip” Barber is Director of the Forest Legality Initiative (FLI) within WRI’s Global Forests Program. FLI focuses on combating illegal logging and associated trade and promoting trade in legally-harvested forest products.  Key lines of work include catalyzing development of wood identification and timber traceability technologies and strategies; supporting the private forestry sector in adopting higher standards of timber legality due diligence; developing the innovative “Open Timber Portal” Web information platform; and supporting the spread of independent civil society monitoring organization in key tropical forest countries.

Chip also has an Institute-wide role as “Senior Biodiversity Advisor”, providing leadership, representation and integrative strategies across WRI Programs, Centers and International Offices with respect to the international policy processes developing the “UN Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework” and its linkages to the global climate change and sustainable development agendas.

Chip came to WRI in mid-2014 from the U.S. Department of State, where he had served as Forest Chief in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs since 2009. During that time, he conducted numerous multilateral negotiations in fora such as the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the “Rio+20” process that established the Sustainable Development Goals, and various multilateral environmental finance institutions. On the bilateral front, he played a key role in negotiation and implementation of the Peru-United States Free Trade Agreement, the Congo Basin Forest Partnership, the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership, and the 2012-2014 thawing of U.S.-Myanmar relations under the Obama Administration.

From 2005-2009 Chip served as Environment Advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where he represented the Agency on U.S. delegations to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). At USAID, he also co-designed the $40 million Coral Triangle support program (launched in 2008), and USAID’s strategies for climate change in the Asia-Pacific and natural resources and environment for Indonesia.

Chip previously worked for WRI from 1989 to 2001 on forest, biodiversity and marine programs. His work in this time included preparations for the 1992 Rio “Earth Summit”; Co-authoring the WRI-UNEP-IUCN Global Biodiversity Strategy; work on the founding and development of the GEF; early work on genetic resources “access and benefit sharing”; some of WRI’s first work on coral reefs and marine resources; the establishment of Forest Watch Indonesia; and WRI’s first work on the Indonesian fires and haze, in 1997-1999.

From 1994 to 2001, Chip was WRI’s first full-time overseas employee, based in the Philippines.

From 2001-2004, Chip worked as an independent consultant for clients including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UN University, the Natural Resources Defense Council, IUCN, The Nature Conservancy and various UN agencies.

Chip received his B.A. in Legal Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; his M.A. in Asian Studies, J.D., and Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California at Berkeley. He can speak decent Bahasa Indonesia.