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Michael Jenkins

Founding President and CEO
BIOPublicationsBlog Posts

Michael Jenkins is the founding President and CEO of Forest Trends. From 1989-1999, he was the Associate Director for the Global Security and Sustainability Program of the MacArthur Foundation. In 1998, Michael was in a joint appointment as a Senior Forestry Advisor to the World Bank. Before entering the MacArthur Foundation, he worked for three years as an agro-forester in Haiti with the USAID Agroforestry Outreach Program. Previous to that, he was a technical advisor for a Washington-based development organization, Appropriate Technology International. In the late 1970s, Michael was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay working in agriculture, apiculture, and forestry projects. He has traveled and worked throughout Latin America, Asia and parts of Africa, and speaks Spanish, French, Portuguese, Creole, and Guaraní.

Michael holds a Master’s of Forest Science from Yale University and has contributed to and authored numerous books/publications, including The Business of Sustainable Forestry: Strategies for an Industry in Transition and Capital Markets and Sustainable Forestry: Opportunities for Investment.

In 2010 he received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and in 2015 the Social Entrepreneur Award from the Schwab Foundation. Also in 2015, Forest Trends was awarded the 2015 Award for Creative and Effective Institutions from the MacArthur Foundation.

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Untapped Potential: Forest Ecosystem Services for Achieving SDG 15

UNFF13 Background Analytical Study

By Michael Jenkins and Brian Schaap
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The world’s forest ecosystems provide critical and diverse services and values to human society. As primary habitat for a wide range of species, forests support biodiversity maintenance and conservation. Yet, continuing forest loss worldwide negatively impacts the livelihoods of millions of people and poses major challenges to sustainable development, in part because these forest ecosystem services continue to be […]

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The business of biodiversity

By Ricardo Bayon and Michael Jenkins - Forest Trends
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Environmental market in Vietnam to rise

By Michael Jenkins
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The Katoomba event in Hanoi on June 24th and 25th, co-hosted with Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE), will convene policy makers, the scientific community, major financial institutions, business leaders, NGOs, and the community-based organizations from the region and other experts from around […]

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Environmental Funds and Payments for Ecosystem Services

RedLAC Capacity Building Project for Environmental Funds

By Tommie Herbert, Rebecca Vonada, Michael Jenkins, Ricardo Bayon - Forest Trends, Forest Trends, Forest Trends, EKO Asset Management Partners
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RedLAC implements a capacity building project with the objective of strengthening the capacity of EFs to develop innovative financial mechanisms for biodiversity conservation, reducing their dependence on donations, and also to support the establishment of new EFs, by systematizing and sharing proven best practices in funds day to day operation. This book was prepared to […]

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Developing Markets Welcome and Introduction

By Michael Jenkins - Forest Trends
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Global forest trends are creating new tensions and new opportunities in forest production, conservation and industry. British Columbia is at ground zero for some of the greatest pressures for change—with the stress that involves, but also the greatest forestry innovations. Thus it is an ideal venue for this conference, which should help to place the […]

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Payment Where It’s Due

By Michael Jenkins, Sara Scherr, and Mira Inbar - Forest Trends, Forest Trends, Forest Trends
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The financing and management of natural protected areas has historically been seen as the responsibility of the public sector. However, budgets for government protection and management of forest ecosystem services are declining, as are those from overseas development assistance. At the same time, processes of devolution and decentralization are shifting public responsibility for nature protection, […]

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Markets for Biodiversity Services

Potential Roles and Challenges

By Michael Jenkins, Sara J. Scherr, and Mira Inbar - Forest Trends, Forest Trends, Forest Trends
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In recent decades, several factors have stimulated those concerned with biodiversity conservation services to begin exploring new market-based instruments. The model of public finance for forest and biodiversity conservation is facing a crisis as the main sources of finance have stagnated, despite the recognition that much larger areas require protection.

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Communities Forests

Capital Markets and Sustainable Forestry

Opportunities for Investment

By Constance Best , Michael Jenkins - The Pacific Forest Trust, Forest Trends
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In this report, we frame the differences in the business models of conventional forestry and sustainable forestry. We cover the sustainable forestry sector “from the forest to the floor”, along its value chain of business enterprises. We consider the varying situation in tropical, temperate and, to some degree, boreal forests. We endeavor to give a […]

What Does COVID-19 Mean for Climate? A Conversation with Manuel Pulgar-Vidal

Forest Trends’ CEO Michael Jenkins sat down last week (virtually, at least) with Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF’s Climate and Energy Practice, for a wide-ranging conversation about the effects COVID-19 is having on climate negotiations, recovery planning, and leadership in turbulent times. Michael Jenkins: Thank you Manuel for sitting down to talk. For our readers, […]

The COVID-19 Pandemic: An Update on Our Work

We are preparing for social distancing measures to be widespread and for strong limits on travel until at least June 2020 and possibly as long as a year. This has required some re-strategizing on how we’ll do our work. On the ground Some field research and project implementation will be unavoidably delayed in order to […]

Coronavirus: How Did We Get Here?

It is hard to believe that less than three months ago, no one had ever heard of COVID-19. Today, there are nearly half a million confirmed cases and more than 20,000 dead. The global economy is stumbling. Our lives and jobs have been upended, and there is no clear end in sight. How did we […]

Five Things We Can Do in the Next 24 Months to Mobilize Major Investments in Ecosystem Restoration and Climate Resilience

In the next decade, the world will probably see the biggest ecological restoration effort in history. We have seen a recent wave of major commitments to large-scale landscape restoration. In pursuit of natural climate solutions and the Sustainable Development Goals, nearly $1.5 billion was pledged by donors in the fall of 2018 in the wake […]

A Dispatch from the Mekong

We are back from the field this week after ten days traveling in the Mekong Basin with our team. Hundreds of millions of people live along the Mekong, and the rate of change in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos was stunning. The forces of development are ever-present in demands for raw materials and the construction of […]

How to Rebuild Global Carbon Sinks

This is part two of our series A Financial Architecture to Rebuild Carbon Sinks. One: Carbon Sinks are Our Best Climate Hedge. So Where’s the Money? Two: How to Rebuild Global Carbon Sinks Three: A New Forestry Investment Strategy for the Private Sector Land-based carbon sinks – the forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems that pull […]

Looking Back on Two Decades in the Greater Mekong: “We Can Prevent Deforestation Long Before it Happens.”

What is the greatest driver of global deforestation? The answer may surprise you. Illegal deforestation persistently undermines global efforts to fight climate change. For that reason, for nearly twenty years Forest Trends has pioneered new strategies for tracing the flows of illegal timber across the world, and for working in both producer and consumer countries […]

So What Just Happened at the Climate Talks?

I’m writing this post from Washington, DC, where we just experienced the wettest year on record. In Paris, officials struggle to contain violent protests triggered by a fuel tax increase designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Residents of Canada, Sweden, and the US West are still picking up the pieces after record-breaking wildfire seasons. In […]

Green Infrastructure Key to Solving 21st Century Water Crises

Cities and communities all over the world are facing severe water crises. Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing its worst drought in decades; and while California is finally seeing its parched reservoirs being refilled, the intensity and fierceness of the storms bringing this relief also harbor new dangers, triggering mudslides, flooding, blizzards, and avalanches – thereby putting […]

A Path for Forests and the Planet

On November 19, the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 22) ended in Marrakesh. It was at COP 21, just last December, in Paris that 195 countries came together to adopt the historic agreement to mobilize global action against climate change. Many called it the most […]

Peru Approves New Innovative Environmental Policies

In the last week we have seen the announcement of several important steps forward for the people of Peru and the critical ecosystems that sustain their livelihoods and cultures. The Peruvian government has formally released: 1) the regulation of its groundbreaking national payments for ecosystem services law; 2) a separate regulation of the Sanitation Sector […]