The day-to-day work of the IAFN consists of facilitating communication between partners around the world, sharing their stories and successes, coordinating international cooperation efforts between members, like the Rich Forest Initiative, and carrying out projects of interest to our partners and the general public. This work is done by the IAFN secretariat from our office in San José, Costa Rica.
Who is the Secretariat?
|Isabel Macdonald, Office Manager
Born in Haiti and having lived in Martinique, Honduras and Nicaragua as a child and teenager, Costa Rica became Isabel´s home 27 years ago. Exposed to the love of trees by her father, her first involvement with conservation was organizing two reforestation brigades with volunteers from the United States to Leon, Nicaragua in the mid 80s. Soon after obtaining a degree in Latin American studies, Isabel served as Director of the Costa Rican Federation of Environmental Groups (FECON) for 7 years, as well as local coordinator for Lighthawk, a program that offered aerial monitoring to environmental and government ministries in Central America. A transition into human rights and peace work was offered at the San José Quaker Peace Center, where she became coordinator for 5 years and where she currently participates as a member. As the Secretariat grows and assumes more responsibility with its partners and continues to advance analog forestry to a broader audience, Isabel is supporting IAFN´s administrative and financial obligations in order to ensure our networks sustainability.
|Paulina Chaverri, Advocacy & Lobby
With a Masters in Regional and Community Planning, Paulina has work experience in programs of prevention and post-disaster recovery, inclusive territorial policies, socio-cultural sustainability, as well as in education and environmental protection. She has been involved in discussions regarding the contributions and proposals of women with regard to climate change and participated in community reforestation programs in environmentally sensitive areas. She is a promotor of planting endangered tropical tree species in small plots. A permaculturalist and co-founder of the Permanezca network in Costa Rica, she is designing the transformation of her mini farm in San Antonio of Escazú to render it resilient and as regenerative as possible. She organizes events and workshops on permaculture and related practices such as bio-coal, clay plastering, edible gardens, and collaborative design projects. She is committed to the ethical regeneration of the vitality of the planet.
|Sabrina Nagel, IAFN Volunteer & Communications
Growing up in a farm in the South of Germany, Sabrina has always had a strong connection with nature. Her grandfather, who was one of the most popular rhododendron growers in Middle Europe, guided her way to environmental protection and reforestation. After finishing her Bachelor´s Degree in Communication Science, she decided to work as a volunteer in Costa Rica, supporting IAFN for one year with communication design and public relations. The government-funded “weltwärts”-volunteer program was founded to give young people the possibility to participate in developmental work.
Working at Paulina´s farm in San Antonio de Escazú, gives her the possibility to convert IAFN’s ideas into practical experiences. When back in her little hometown of Bretten, Sabrina plans to redevelop her parent´s property into a permaculture farm.
What is the Secretariat working on right now?
The secretariat has a number of special projects that we coordinate in concert with our partners. These ongoing projects contribute to the spreading of the Analog Forestry methodology, and in a wider sense to the revitalization of rural communities through alternative income-generating activities. The secretariat has coordinated the publication of a number of publications related to the practice of Analog Forestry. These include the Field Guide for Analog Forestry and the Practitioner’s Guide to Analog Forestry. In addition, we have a wide array of material gathered over the years from our partners that we are working to make freely available to aid AF efforts worldwide. Our certification projects involve the promotion of Forest Garden Products, a ‘beyond-organic’ certification whose members pledge to not only produce without harmful chemical inputs, but also to conserve and increase biodiversity in their operations. We have also become closely involved with Participatory Guarantee Systems, which are efforts to make the certification process more democratic, enforced by the farmers themselves. A key priority of the secretariat is to manage and share information between our members, and to make this information openly accessible. To that end, we have been compiling a database of plants used by Analog Forestry practitioners and their use in AF systems in various bioregions. This database is under construction and should be available by the end of 2013. See here for a list of other useful databases. The Secretariat also manages the regular communications that the IAFN sends to its members and the public, such as our regular bulletin, Analog Forests (issues available on our Publications page), and our Facebook page, among others.