Welcoming Juliette Biao to Address Global Forestry Challenges

Mar 8, 2024

We are honored to announce Dr. Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo as one of our distinguished keynote speakers for this summer’s World Congress. As the current Director of the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat (UNFSS), Dr. Biao brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the forefront of global forest discussions.

The Congress subtheme “Strengthening Forest Resilience and Adaptation to Stress,” will feature Dr. Biao’s insights on “The Role of Women in the Context of the Changing Needs for the Forest Sector to Meet the Ambition in the Future.” This timely address is anticipated to shed light on the critical intersections of gender, forestry, and sustainable development, areas where Dr. Biao has made significant contributions throughout her career.

Dr. Biao’s journey is nothing short of inspirational. As a national of Benin and a Canadian citizen, she has navigated the complexities of international development with grace and expertise, amassing 34 years of experience across Africa, Latin America, and Canada. Her work has consistently emphasized environmental sustainability, community livelihood, and gender equality.

Dr. Biao’s academic credentials are equally impressive. Holding an M.Sc. in Forestry Economics and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration, her educational background lays a solid foundation for her work in natural resources management and policy-making. Notably, Dr. Biao made history as the first female forester in West Africa, introducing pioneering initiatives in natural resource management.

Prior to her role at UNFFS, Dr. Biao served as the Director and Regional Representative for Africa at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi for over six years. Her portfolio also includes significant governmental experience in her home country, having held the positions of Benin’s Minister of Environment and Nature Protection and Acting Minister of Family and the Child.

The Congress looks forward to Dr. Biao’s keynote, which is expected to not only highlight the crucial role of women in forestry but also outline strategic directions for the sector to adapt and thrive in the face of global challenges. Her presence at the congress underscores the event’s commitment to integrating diverse perspectives and expertise in addressing the pressing issues facing forests and forestry today.