• Jack Hurd, previously the Executive Vice President, Global Programmes at Conservation International, has been appointed the new executive director of the Tropical Forest Alliance 
  • The Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) is a multistakeholder partnership platform at the World Economic Forum established to support companies through the global transition to deforestation-free supply chains for commodities such as palm oil, soy, cattle, paper and pulp.
  • The food system represents over a third of emissions; changing how we produce food and manage our landscapes will be critical for the 1.5 degrees ambition pathway.

Geneva, Switzerland, 23 August 2022 – The Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) has appointed a new executive director to lead its work in supporting companies through the ongoing global transition to deforestation-free supply chains. Jack Hurd joins the World Economic Forum from his current role at Conservation International where he served as the Executive Vice President for Global Programmes.  He brings more than 25 years’ experience in natural resource management, biodiversity conservation and community economic development.

Since COP26 in Glasgow, there has been unprecedented levels of interest in the issue of tropical deforestation, when more than $20 billion of public and private funds were committed to initiatives to tackle deforestation – from governments, companies and financial institutions. The TFA, working alongside its 175+ partners, plays a catalytic role at the heart of many of these efforts to transform how the world’s food and land use systems into more sustainable methods of production.

Globally, the annual consumption of food and agriculture products rose by an astonishing 48 percent between 2001 and 2018, growing at more than twice the rate of the increase in human population. This has been the biggest driver of deforestation, which in turn has been a major cause of climate change. The urgency of ending tropical deforestation to curb emissions cannot be understated: there is no pathway to the 1.5°C targets set out in the Paris Agreement without halting forest loss.

While many multinational companies with global supply chains have been working hard to make significant improvements, the scale of the challenge means that no single sector can resolve deforestation on its own, hence the need for collective action. The TFA plays a critical role in catalysing public-private partnerships in key tropical forest regions including Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa, while also working on demand-side issues in regions such as Europe, China and the US.

Jack Hurd says: “After decades of working on tropical forest conservation, sustainable management, and restoration, I am delighted to be taking up this role at the Tropical Forest Alliance that plays such a crucial role at the nexus of public and private sector action. This collective action is what is needed to accelerate the transformation needed – whether it’s about increasing financial flows towards more sustainable land use practices, shifting the policy landscape or mobilising corporate supply chain action. The TFA clearly plays an important enabling role as the connective tissue behind many multi-stakeholder initiatives, such as the agricultural commodity traders’ roadmap or the Consumer Goods Forum Forest Positive Coalition.”

“I am excited that Jack is joining the TFA team during this critical time for climate and nature. TFA plays such a key role in ensuring that companies take transparent actions to end commodity-driven deforestation by 2025 and all deforestation by 2030. Without it, a 1.5C world is out of reach.  Jack’s experience and engaging leadership style will enable collaboration while holding individual players to account,” says Sabine Miltner, Programme Director for Conservation and Markets at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

In previous roles, Jack Hurd was at The Nature Conservation for 18 years, including as Managing Director of the Asia Pacific region. Before that, he was with WWF as Coordinator of the World Bank/WWF Forest Alliance. He starts the new role on 15th September and will be based in Geneva.


Press contact: lucy.almond@weforum.org

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