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, Executive Director
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.
|Lubica Bogantes, Capacity Building Coordinator
IAFN-Global Alliance fro Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) program
Born in Slovakia, Lubica has always had a strong passion for traveling and exploring new cultures and natural landscapes through her studies and work. After gaining a Law Degree in Czech Republic, she moved to Germany and Switzerland to support international NGOs, such as the World Future Council in sustainable development projects and promotion of environmental policies for future generations.
This experience opened her heart for forest protection and restoration. A desire to get a deeper grassroot experience took her to Costa Rica, a country praised for its biodiversity conservation, where Lubica shared her legal and project management skills with the National Agroforesty Union for 2 years.
After completing the volunteer service sponsored by the German Ministry, Lubica moved to People in Need's Regional Office in San José to manage human rights and civil society empowerment projects in Central America.
Currently, Lubica is coordinating Lobby and Advocacy at the IAFN, as part of the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action. Her vision is to show that forest restoration and analog forestry are successful and sustainable only when women play a central role and their rights are respected.
|Lorena Gamboa, Certification Officer
Lorena Gamboa is a founding member of the International Analog Forestry Network, and has worked as an AF trainer for many years in Latin America and Asia.
With a background in Environmental Studies, Lorena more than 20 years of experience with community restoration projects including the AF methodology.
She has been accredited as an Inspector in the Forest Garden Products (PJF) standards. During the IFOAM Organic Leaders Course she completed, she became interested in the Participatory Guarantee Systems and worked on the development of this System for the "Good Market" from Sri Lanka: Lobby in Latin America and Asia for the adoption of PJF standards in Third Party Certification, as well as within Participatory Guarantee Systems.
|Maite Smet, IAFN Advocacy Coordinator
Maite Smet (she/her) is a feminist political scientist who has worked for over ten years with civil society organisations and local movements across the globe advocating for gender, environmental and climate justice.
As the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) Coordinator (2016-2022), Maite got to know IAFN and their crucial work in supporting women’s and girls’ leadership in advancing feminist climate resilient and environmental practices, particularly through Analog Forestry. Now, working with IAFN, she is excited to be facilitating and coordinating advocacy opportunities amongst partners, centred on their demands and proposals for a more just and sustainable future for all people and our planet, based on principles of solidarity, equity and care.
Maite holds a MSc in Public Policy and Human Development from Maastricht University/United Nations University from the Netherlands and a Combined Bachelor's degree in International Business, Political Science and Languages from the University of Sydney, Australia. She was born in Brazil and has lived and worked across different countries in the Americas, Europe, Oceania and South Asia. She currently lives in Chile, where she hopes to spend more time exploring and connecting with native flora and fauna. There, she is also collaborating with Fundación Regenerativa, a non-profit organisation dedicated to linking, promoting and expanding the regeneration of ecosystems and territories across Chile.
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.