|Lovejoy in the field
|Biodiversity Chair at George Mason University
| Bolivian “debt-for-nature” swap
Rainforest Trust Names Leading Conservationist Dr. Thomas Lovejoy to Board of Directors
WARRENTON, VA – DECEMBER 4, 2013 — Rainforest Trust, a nonprofit conservation organization focused on protecting threatened tropical lands and saving endangered species, announced today the appointment of Dr. Thomas Lovejoy to its Board of Directors. Dr. Lovejoy is an internationally renowned conservation biologist and a leader in making the protection of tropical rainforests a public issue.
Dr. Lovejoy, who introduced the term “biological diversity” to the scientific community in 1980, has worked in the Amazon of Brazil for nearly 50 years. An influential force for conservation in many roles, he has served as chief biodiversity adviser to the President of the World Bank; chair of the Independent Advisory Group on Sustainability for the Inter-American Development Bank; senior adviser to the President of the United Nations Foundation; executive vice president at World Wildlife Fund-U.S; and Assistant Secretary for Environmental and External Affairs for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Currently, Dr. Lovejoy serves as the first biodiversity chair of the Heinz Center for Science, University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University.
“Tom Lovejoy is one of the world’s leading voices and experts on tropical biodiversity and the most influential advocate for the protection of Amazon Basin ecosystems. We are honored and thrilled to have him on the Board of Rainforest Trust,” said Dr. Robert Ridgely, President of Rainforest Trust. “Dr. Lovejoy understands Rainforest Trust’s mission and our conservation model, and we look forward to benefitting from his guidance and extraordinary experience as our organization embarks on important conservation projects in the Amazon, Borneo, the Philippines and Madagascar.”
Dr. Lovejoy is also known for developing the innovative concept of “debt-for-nature” swaps, in which a portion of a developing nation’s foreign debt is forgiven in exchange for local investments in environmental conservation measures. This innovation alone has made billions in conservation funds available in countries ranging from Bolivia to Madagascar. Dr. Lovejoy’s contributions to conservation biology have earned him numerous awards and citations, including the Blue Planet Prize 2012. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in biology from Yale University.
He joins Rainforest Trust’s board at a time of exciting change for the organization, which is entering its 25th year. In addition, Rainforest Trust recently announced the launch of a major new project to save 5.9 million acres in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon’s last true wilderness. Importantly, the project – which has a fundraising goal of $2.9 million – will protect several uncontacted indigenous tribes.
To donate or learn more about Rainforest Trust, visit https://www.rainforesttrust.org/donation-options/ways-to-give.
About Rainforest Trust
Rainforest Trust is a nonprofit conservation organization focused on saving rainforest and endangered species. Since its founding in 1988, Rainforest Trust has saved nearly 8 million acres of rainforests and other tropical habitats in 73 projects across 17 tropical countries. We protect threatened land in partnership with local conservation leaders and indigenous communities. Rainforest Trust has been awarded the top four-star Charity Navigator rating for each of the last five years.
Marc Ford, Rainforest Trust
Marie Gehret, RF|Binder