Stories from the Wabanaki forest of the Maritimes, the Spice Forests of Zanzibar, and the mangrove forests of Mozambique.Sign Me Up
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Based in Atlantic Canada, on unceded Mi'kmaq and Wolastoqiyik lands, we are a team of passionate staff dedicated to saving forests, innovating positive climate solutions, and empowering more equitable communities at home and abroad.
Daimen is a co-founder of Community Forests International and will do anything for the team, working tirelessly alongside colleagues internationally on a shared mission to overcome climate change by unlocking greater social and ecological prosperity in frontline communities. He designs regional climate action strategies for the European Union; establishes regenerative supply partnerships with the world’s leading social enterprises; and champions combined people- and nature-based solutions. Daimen lives off-grid surrounded by his family’s forest in rural New Brunswick.
Zach is a co-founder of Community Forests International and works across the organization and its partners in Zanzibar to support his colleagues and create meaningful impact for people and the planet. Zach has over a decade of project management, fundraising, and community engagement experience, and is the founder of Plant 4 Pemba, which brings together hundreds of young tree planters every year in Canada and around the world to plant trees and raise funds in global climate solidarity with communities most affected by the climate crisis. A photographer, filmmaker, and sculptor, Zach enjoys creative approaches that help us make meaning and inspire new perspectives on the beautiful and complex worlds around us.
Anne has worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade, focusing on issues of gender, social, and environmental justice. She joined Community Forests International in 2016 as the organization’s grant writer — improving the sustainability of our projects in Canada and Zanzibar through fundraising, project planning, and maintaining partnerships. Most recently, Anne has been managing our Forest Accord and Common Ground projects, helping forestland owners and practitioners access and apply climate smart forestry methods, find community, and improve understanding between settler and Indigenous forestry sectors. Anne has an MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Toronto Metropolitan University and a BA in Political Science from Mount Allison University.
Megan holds a BSc in Biology from Dalhousie University and an MScF in Forest Ecology from the University of New Brunswick. She worked in a diversity of roles and organizations across the non-profit and natural resource sectors for over a decade before joining Community Forests International in 2015. Megan works to safeguard old forests, restore new forests, and integrate carbon storage and climate change resilience into regional forest management practices. Megan comes from a family of forest workers and farmers, and is a forest and farm owner herself.
Dani supports forest protection and restoration efforts in the Maritimes, promoting climate-adaptive silviculture and developing our Wabanaki forest ecological database. Dani holds a BSc in Plant Biology from McGill University, which has weaved scientific understanding into her lifelong passion for ecology. She has a diverse professional background that includes research in horticulture and renewable energy, wilderness conservation, energy efficiency education, and sustainable vegetable farming.
Craig holds a BSc in Forestry from the University of New Brunswick, is a Registered Professional Forester in Nova Scotia and has worked in several roles across government, industry, and private woodlot stewardship for close to two decades, including most recently in forest operations, planning, and landowner engagement. He has been deeply involved in many advocacy, landowner, and professional organizations throughout the forestry sector. Craig, a connoisseur of maple syrup, avid gardener, woodworker, outdoors person, and hunter of edible fungi has joined the Forests Program team to help foster and adapt forestry practices to a changing climate and stewardship paradigm. Craig and his family reside in Southeast New Brunswick and are caretakers of 120 acres of mixed Wabanaki forest in Northern Nova Scotia.
Michelle is a forestry and wildlife technician who graduated from the Maritime College of Forest Technology. She is part of the forest team supporting 'boots on the ground' collecting data and assisting in operations.
Maria is responsible for supporting the team in achieving their community and environmental goals. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Management and a minor in Business, Maria brings a wealth of experience in both business and communications to her role. Her creative talents and unwavering commitment to the environment and social justice inspire and motivate her to work for a brighter future.
Rebecca works to support and grow our community through digital engagement and storytelling. With a passion for social and environmental justice, Rebecca comes from a background in environmental governance, international development, and social geography. She has over 10 years of experience working in public outreach, marketing, and communications in the non-profit and social enterprise sectors.
As Development Coordinator, Natsuki supports fundraising and grants development to grow and strengthen the critical relationship between communities and the environment. With an academic background in International Development, Natsuki has extensive experience working with community-led organizations based in Central and Eastern Africa, project development and implementation in climate-smart agriculture, and women's empowerment. She is dedicated to social and environmental equity to enhance climate adaptation and resilience through grassroots efforts.
Abigail works with our community of donors, growing and strengthening our community, as well as recently completing independent research on Indigenous-Settler relations and allyship within the environmental sector.
With over a decade of accounting experience, Katheryn supports the Community Forests' team by managing the organizational accounting and performance data operations. She is helping to grow the operations and organizational capacity, all while completing a Masters program in Sustainability and Environmental Management.
Community Forests International is governed by a Board of Directors made up of talented and generous volunteers. The board oversees finances, provides strategic oversight, and helps expand our network.
Jeff Schnurr believes that entrepreneurship and innovation can solve our planet’s biggest challenges. As a social entrepreneur who helps rural communities achieve economic prosperity through sustainable innovation, Jeff co-founded and acted as Executive Director of Community Forests International for 9 years. He is the co-founder and CEO of Jaza Energy, a solar energy start-up working to provide electricity to the 1.2 billion people currently living without it. Jeff was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year™ 2015 Special Citation for Social Entrepreneurship, one of Canada’s top ten volunteers by the CBC and Manulife, and one of Explore Magazine’s Top 30 under 30.
Vinod is the current CFO-CHRO at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. He has worked in private and social sectors, including positions at Citibank, Catholic Relief Services, and SEWA Bank. Vinod helped launch Saving for Change, a microfinance program that helped over 500,000 people save more than $13 million. He taught microfinance at Brandeis University for 10 years and mentored startups such as Hult Prize, Our Generation Speaks, MIT IDEAS Challenge, and Heller Startup Challenge.
Niamh Leonard is a lawyer committed to social impact and systems change. She has worked on systems-change initiatives at the McConnell Foundation and civil litigation matters at Trudel Johnston & Lespérance. She is now clerking at the Constitutional Court of South Africa in Johannesburg. Passionate about governance, she is currently vice-chair of Welcome Collective, an organization that supports refugee claimants in Montréal, and was previously chair of Apathy is Boring, Canada’s largest non-partisan youth civic engagement organization. She is proud to be a board member of Community Forests International, an organization that approaches its work with creativity, humility, and rigour.
James is a father, lawyer, and one of the founding members of Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Canada. He more recently completed 10 years of service to MSF's Board of Directors and has considerable direct experience in all the chapters of their growth. James is a litigation partner at Thomson Blackburn Lane Lefebvre LLP, Toronto, and has acted for accountants, engineers and other professionals for over 25 years.
Visual Artist, birch bark canoe builder and Indigenous Guardian are just a few of the titles that Melissa Sue Labrador holds dear to her. Coming from the Wildcat Community in the Mi’kma’ki district of Kespukwitk, Nova Scotia, her family is well-respected across the Mi’kmaw communities and world-wide because of the knowledge they hold and share. From the Mi’kmaq art of basketry and birch bark canoe building to the more traditional knowledge of plant medicine as well as ecological knowledge.