A New Chapter in GFC’s Story: Welcoming Our New Policy Director
Global Forest Coalition (GFC) members, allies, friends, colleagues, and supporters, we write to you today with exciting news, welcoming the coalition’s new policy director, Wolfgang Kuhlmann.
Wolfgang, a former GFC Board Member, brings with him over 20 years of experience in forestry policy and advocacy. He joins GFC in this key strategic role following the departure of the coalition’s co-founder and longstanding director, Simone Lovera, who left earlier this year to take up a new challenge.
On behalf of the GFC staff and members, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Simone for her years of work and dedication to build GFC into the force it is today and we wish her all the best in her new endeavours. Facing the future, we extend a big and warm welcome to Wolfgang as the new policy director. In solidarity, our collective struggle continues.
A message from GFC Policy Director Wolfgang Kuhlmann:
“I’m very happy that I’ve been given the opportunity to support the work of GFC as the new policy director. Over the years, I’ve been following GFC’s activities closely, and it was very inspiring to cooperate with several of its members in campaigns and projects.
Having studied biology, I have worked extensively on many forest policy issues for more than 20 years. This includes exposing false solutions to climate change, such as REDD+, carbon trading, so-called nature-based solutions or land grabbing for timber plantations.
In 2005, I was appointed as director of the German NGO ARA and have since been an active partner in NGO networks at the national level (in Germany), at the European as well as international levels, closely following the intergovernmental negotiations on climate, forests and biodiversity. In 2020, I joined the Board of the Global Forest Coalition.
Additionally, I have worked as a consultant on issues related to forest policy and development aid for the Environmental Paper Network, a research institute of the German protestant church and a newly established bio-economy think tank.
Fundraising for ARA’s campaigns, as well as projects developed in cooperation with local partners, has been an important part of my old job – and I regard it as one of the main tasks in my new role.
I’m looking forward to being part of this coalition – and I hope I can do my share to make it even better.”
A message from GFC co-founder and former director Simone Lovera:
“I remember that
when I went on my first maternity leave, some 28 years ago, I was actually a bit disappointed to realise that I was not indispensable in my work. The world’s environmental movement turned out to be perfectly capable of keeping up the fight without me. So when I took the difficult decision to accept another job, because I felt both the Global Forest Coalition and I needed a change after 17 long years, there was one thing I did not doubt: that I wouldn’t be indispensable. Because the Global Forest Coalition was always meant to be a coalition, not a few individuals.
In these past decades, it has grown into an amazing worldwide movement of literally thousands of Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists who all share the vision of a world where communities truly live in harmony with forests and other ecosystems. A vision of a world where the rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities and women in all their diversity form the basis of forest conservation, and not the greenwashing tactics of a few greedy corporate actors.
I am fully confident that the wonderful member groups and fantastic team that form the Global Forest Coalition will keep up the struggle for a more just and beautiful planet. And no matter where or what my job is, I will always remain part of that movement. La lucha sigue.”