Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 Appoints New Director

  •  Justin Adams, Global Managing Director of Lands at the Nature Conservancy has been appointed the New Director of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020
  • The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 brings together governments, private sector and civil society organizations to remove deforestation from palm oil, beef, soy and pulp and paper supply chains
  • Commercial agriculture is responsible for well over half of all deforestation, with land cleared to produce commodities that end up in our everyday consumer products
  • Preserving and restoring forests is critical to averting climate change and achieving other sustainable development goals


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New York, 25 September 2018 – The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 announces appointment of new Director

Over the past decades, meeting the rising demand for food and consumer goods has often come at the expense of forests, making commercial agriculture the main driver of tropical deforestation.

Preserving and restoring forests is critical to averting the most dangerous climate change and achieving global goals. According to the latest IPCC report, about 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are directly tied to deforestation in the tropics; with more than 30% of all the abatement potential identified in the land-use sector. Forests are also extremely important to food security, water security and livelihoods, so that conserving and restoring forests feature prominently in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approved in 2015 by the United Nations.

The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 was founded in 2012 at Rio+20 after the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) committed to zero net deforestation by 2020 for palm oil, soy, beef, and paper and pulp supply chains in 2010. The CGF partnered with the US government to create the public-private alliance with the mission of mobilizing all actors to collaborate in reducing commodity-driven tropical deforestation.

Since June 2015, the Secretariat of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 has been hosted at the World Economic Forum offices in Geneva, with financial support of the governments of the Norway, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. TFA 2020 is uniquely positioned to foster cross-sector collaboration based on a common and deepening understanding of the barriers and opportunities linked to deforestation-free supply chains.

Phase 2 of the Tropical Forest Alliance began in June 2018 and will run to June 2021.

“The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 has become a vitally important platform for public-private collaboration to end deforestation in supply chains,” said Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever. “It now enters a critical phase in the run up to 2020, and I am delighted that Justin Adams has agreed to lead TFA 2020. He has been an ardent advocate for natural climate solutions at The Nature Conservancy, and will be an effective and dynamic leader at TFA 2020.”

“The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, a public private partnership graciously hosted and supported by the World Economic Forum, has over the last few years played a pivotal role in promoting the tropical forest agenda in general and the need for deforestation free commodity supply chains in particular. As we step up our efforts in the coming years to halt and reverse tropical deforestation – and thus to deliver on the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals – the Tropical Forest Alliance will play an increasingly important role, says Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen. – We are delighted at the appointment of Justin Adams to spearhead this effort, and grateful to the World Economic Forum for its willingness to continue to put its considerable resources behind this effort”.

The TFA 2020 is a platform for over 93 forest related public-private initiatives. In order to help catalyze high-impact partnerships where they matter most – in tropical forest countries – TFA 2020 has established regional platforms in West & Central Africa, Latin America and South East Asia.

“We are delighted that Justin Adams is joining the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 as the new Director,” said Nazir Foead, Head, Peatland Restoration Agency, Republic of Indonesia. “His experience as an enabler of dynamic multistakeholder engagement working across various sectors in the intersection between global development and environmental challenges will be an asset for TFA 2020. We’re looking forward to Justin’s leadership in engaging the TFA 2020 membership and supporting their implementation of zero deforestation initiatives aligned with the priorities of tropical forest countries. At the same time let me thank Marco Albani, outgoing Director of the TFA 2020 for his dedicated leadership over the past three years, under which the TFA 2020 grew into the strong and inclusive global community we have today.”

Ending commodity-driven deforestation will significantly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, improve the livelihoods of millions of local communities, conserve natural habitats and protect tropical landscapes for future generations. It is a key aspect of delivering sustainable and inclusive rural economic development in tropical forest countries.

“The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 is a vital platform that allows indigenous peoples to engage with all stakeholders including companies and governments to help shape partnerships for sustainable forest solutions, especially in Africa. I look forward to the next phase of TFA 2020, and I’m sure that Justin Adams, with his experience in civil society and with indigenous peoples, will push the TFA 2020 to a new level of action for sustainable forest development in Africa and will give more space to include indigenous peoples voices,” said Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Coordinator for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad, and member of the TFA 2020 Steering Committee.

Justin Adams is currently Global Managing Director of Lands at The Nature Conservancy. On accepting this position he said “I am honoured and excited to take on the TFA 2020 Director role while cognizant of the huge challenge ahead and the proximity of 2020. I am keen to harness and focus the energies of the multiple organizations focused on commodity driven deforestation. It is crucial that we all work together to support and enable tropical forest countries and supply chain companies accelerate meaningful action on the ground. We understand a lot about the complexity of the challenge but the TFA 2020 is uniquely positioned to serve the broader community in convening cross-sectoral partnerships designed to catalyze innovative solutions on the ground. I look forward to deepening our partnerships and accelerating action at this critical juncture.”

Since being hosted at the World Economic Forum, the membership and scale of the TFA 2020 has significantly grown. TFA 2020 partners now include 17 governments, over 60 civil society organizations and over 60 private sector companies and enterprises as well as 5 Multilateral Organizations.

“We have been delighted to provide the World Economic Forum’s platform for public-private cooperation to host the first Phase of the Tropical Alliance under the leadership of Marco Albani who helped build the TFA 2020 into the world’s leading platform for forest commodity partnerships” said Dominic Waughray, Head of the World Economic Forum Centre for Global Public Goods. “We are now delighted that Justin Adams, who after 20 years in the private sector has become a recognized leader from civil society in shaping the land agenda, has chosen to lead TFA 2020 on the next stage of its journey, as it now seeks to make a significant contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change through 2020 and beyond.”


Notes to Editors

Watch live webcasts of sessions and get more information about the event at

Follow the TFA2020 on Twitter via @tfa2020

Read the TFA 2020’s Annual Report 

Read a recent TFA 2020 report on Emerging Market Consumers and Deforestation

Read a TFA 2020 report on Financing Deforestation-Free Commodities


About the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020

The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 is a global platform for public-private cooperation, working to help organizations achieve their deforestation-free commitments. The mission of TFA 2020 is to help producers, traders and buyers of forest- risk commodities achieve their commitments to deforestation-free supply chains. It also helps governments of tropical forest countries to realize better growth through sustainable rural development in partnership with civil society and indigenous peoples. TFA 2020 works by convening stakeholders at the global and regional level to form partnerships, which are designed to transform land use practices and supply chains.

For more information on the TFA 2020 contact or contact us

Please download the press release here.

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