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Marlène Elias
Marlène Elias is a Gender Specialist at Bioversity International and Gender Research Coordinator for the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). She leads gender research and supports gender integration in Bioversity’s work on forest genetic resources, with an emphasis on strengthening the capacities of Bioversity staff to conduct participatory, gender-responsive research that will deliver positive and equitable benefits to men and women beneficiaries. Marlène has a BSc in Biology and Environmental Sciences, and an MA and PhD in Geography. Rooted in a feminist political ecology approach, her research focuses on gendered dimensions of forest management and restoration, local ecological knowledge, and forest/agrifood value chains, predominantly in West Africa and South and Central Asia. Marlène is based in Rome, Italy, and can be reached at

Bimbika Sijapati Basnett
Bimbika is a Gender Coordinator at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and works within FTA. She also manages CIFOR and FTA’s research programs on migration and multilocal livelihoods, and agribusiness investments in forested landscapes. Bimbika holds a PhD in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. Prior to joining CIFOR, Bimbika worked as a gender researcher and consultant in UN bodies, NGOs, government agencies and policy-research think tanks in South Asia and the South Pacific regions. Bimbika is based in Bogor, Indonesia, and can be reached at

Markus Ihalainen
Markus works on the integration of gender across CIFOR and FTA’s research portfolios. His research is currently focused on examining the gendered socioeconomic dimensions of timber and charcoal value chains in Africa. Markus is also involved in the coordination of the gender integration work between FTA’s institutions. Markus holds an MA in Development Studies from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and a Bachelor in Geography from the University of Stockholm, Sweden. Before joining CIFOR, he worked in Namibia on gender and LGBT-issues. Markus is based in Nairobi, Kenya, and can be reached at

Ana Maria Paez-Valencia
Ana Maria supports work by World Agroforestry (ICRAF) and the FTA Gender unit in developing an operational framework for effectively integrating gender and inclusion into FTA and ICRAF’s work. Before joining CGIAR she worked with the Statistics Division and the Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), supporting the capacity development strategy for member countries on production and use of gender-disaggregated agricultural data and addressing gender and social equality in agricultural and food security programs. She has nine years of work experience in the design, planning, execution, and monitoring and evaluation of development projects, particularly on indicators design with a gender lens. Ana Maria is based in Nairobi, Kenya, and can be reached at

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