Tropenbos International is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Joost van Montfort as its new director. Joost will succeed René Boot, who retires by the end of March 2022. He will take up his position in June 2022.
Edwin Huizing, the Chair of Tropenbos International, explains the choice for the new appointee: “Joost brings a lot of experience in conservation and tropical forests. Together, with his experience in different sectors, this results in a keen eye for people, development and inequality as key drivers for sustainable development in a context of conservation and maintaining bio-diversity. His experience within network organisations and on resource mobilisation will enable him and the Tropenbos Network work to pursue its ambitious growth strategy for more and lasting impacts.”
Joost has worked and lived in some of world’s most beautiful and biodiverse areas and experienced first-hand how much we all depend on nature, and how much we impact on it. He closely witnessed rapid environmental decline when he served in Ecuador, Peru, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras, and learnt how inequity is a root cause. Despite all good efforts to preserve nature, this decline has not been halted. He says: “We need to rethink how we can effectively address these inequalities. Research has proven that Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities are effective custodians of the forest, and we can help strengthen their position in multistakeholder collaboration. Bringing together academic and traditional knowledge can bolster local solutions for the biodiversity and climate crises that are equitable, effective and scalable.”
Inclusiveness and equity have been at the centre of Joost’s interest as early as during his studies in sociology at the University of Amsterdam. Over the last 20 years, after his PhD in management at the Rotterdam School of Management, Joost has served civil society organisations including WWF, IUCN NL, Aidenvironment, the Dutch Development Service (SNV) and Doctors without Borders (MSF) in various management and expert roles. His main areas of work have been on programme development and management, strengthening civil society, advocacy, partnership building, resource mobilisation and organizational change. Joost is married to Margreet and with their two children they live in Amsterdam. In his free time, he enjoys sports and long hikes in nature.