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Michael B. Jenkins

Michael Jenkins is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Forest Trends. For more than a decade, Michael has worked as a tropical forester in Haiti, Paraguay and Brazil where he witnessed first-hand effects of extreme degradation of natural ecosystems. Previously, he led the MacArthur Foundation's conservation and sustainable resource programme, taking a whole systems approach to build a financial and sustainability community and pioneering the concept of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). In 1998, Michael founded Forest Trends to advance these emerging environmental markets, adoption and spread of PES as a powerful conversation tool and means to mitigate climate change. For his work, Michael received several awards including the Global Leader on Sustainable Forestry, Chief Global Stewardship Award from the US Forest Service and the Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneur Award.

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Forest Trends
Non-profit Social Enterprise
Climate Crisis; Sustainable Development; Forests
Areas of Impact
ASEAN, North America, South Asia, Eurasia, Middle East & North Africa, Europe, Africa

Forest Trends

Forest Trends pioneers innovative finance for conservation – promoting healthy forests, sustainable agriculture, clean water, robust climate action, protected biodiversity, and strong communities with its partners around the world. Its programmatic initiatives employ three fundamental approaches that have marked its work since its founding. They are: providing transparent information on ecosystem values, finance and markets through knowledge acquisition, analysis and dissemination; convening diverse coalitions, partners and communities of practice to promote environmental values and advance the development of new markets and payment mechanisms; and demonstrating successful and innovative finance tools, standards and models for conservation.

Forest Trends publishes timely research, brings together diverse actors, and applies these approaches to make a difference on the ground, often blazing trails for bold and far-reaching policies. Transparent information is critical in the early stages of any emerging market, so Forest Trends created the Ecosystem Marketplace (EM) as the go-to resource for free, reliable and broad-based market intelligence to inform and influence new capital investments in sustainable forestry and land use globally. The data collected and made available by EM has been used to inform and drive new regulatory systems in several countries, as well as to drive investment decisions in large financial institutions to support green markets and green bonds.

Forest Trends has trained, led and convened tens of thousands of people from diverse sectors around the world (environmental groups, government officials, and community organizations) who are working in their respective countries on different elements of ecosystem services, such as designing legislation, developing strategies for pricing and marketing, and monitoring performance, in order to develop capacity for the growth, understanding and capacity around environmental markets. Forest Trends models, tools and standards demonstrate and guide how emerging incentives and payments for ecosystem services transactions actually work in practice to create conservation outcomes that also serve development and community needs.


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