Penny Davies


8 October 2022

28 mins 37 secs

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About this Episode

In this episode, Emily talks with Penny Davies, a recognised change agent who has over 35 years of experience working in the field of forestry, climate change and sustainable development in diverse geographic locations across Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and North America. They discuss Penny’s early experiences working in Sierra Leone with rural women, her transition from working at a grassroots level with rural communities to the international policy making world, and women as a minority in food, forests and climate-policy making.

Across her career, Penny has supported evidence-based policy development on forests and livelihoods - including access to markets, climate finance, property rights (forests, land and water), involving producer organizations and social networks, as well as the contribution of forests and lands to conflict resolution. She has led UK Government and European Union (EU) delegations in international forest policy-making arenas (United Nations (UN), EU, World Bank) and played a key role developing the European Union’s Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan (and coined the term!).

For 14 years, Penny was Senior Forestry Advisor to DFID, leading advice on UK Government’s global policy and international programming on forests, focusing on their contribution to poor peoples’ livelihoods and climate protection.

More recently, she was International Director for Natural Resources and Climate Change at the Ford Foundation. Within her role she supported rural communities and indigenous peoples in the Global South, ensuring their needs were reflected in government and company policies. She was also Coordinator of the Climate & Land Use Alliance (CLUA) for 7 years, where she created strategies to reduce climate change by supporting international policies, programmes, and finance that conserve tropical forests, biodiversity and ecosystems, promote indigenous peoples’ and rural communities’ forests, livelihoods and land rights, while reducing deforestation and human rights abuse from illegal logging and agribusiness.