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FTA welcomes new Independent Steering Committee member Richard Muyungi

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Thick vegetation grows along the banks of the Congo River. Photo by Ahtziri Gonzalez/CIFOR

The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) has welcomed a new member of its Independent Steering Committee (ISC), a key component of the governance of the program.

With demonstrated pan-African policy and development knowledge, Richard Stanislaus Muyungi brings to the table extensive experience in environment and climate change over the past 25 years, with a particular focus on international environmental and climate policy and governance processes under the United Nations.

He joins four other continuing independent members of the ISC – chair Anne-Marie Isaac, Florencia Montagnini, Linda Collette and Susan Braatz – as well as lead center representative Robert Nasi, non-CGIAR centers representative René Boot, CGIAR centers representative Stephan Weise, and ex-officio member FTA Director Vincent Gitz.

Read also: The Independent Steering Committee (ISC) 

Muyungi was the founding chairman of the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) in 2001 and the first chairman of the board of the Adaptation Fund Board in 2008, both of which continue to be important funds for enhancing climate resilience for local communities’ livelihoods and ensuring ecosystem sustainability in developing countries.

He was the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) chair of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) between 2011 and 2013, responsible for overseeing scientific dialogue and inputs to support the implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation programs globally, including the translation of scientific information into policy actions and enhancing the role of the forestry sector in addressing climate change through REDD+.

Muyungi also has extensive experience working at a national level where he has managed programs and processes in the area of environment and climate change, including as director of environment in the Tanzanian Vice President’s Office.

At a continental level, he was a senior adviser to the chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change from 2013-2015, supporting high-level dialogues between African heads of state on environment and climate change issues in Africa, toward the adoption of the Paris Agreement.

Read also: FTA names new Independent Steering Committee members 

More recently he was appointed to manage environment and climate change for the Tanzania National Electric Supply Company under the Ministry of Energy, to help address increasing environmental challenges in energy development and supply.

Muyungi holds a degree in agriculture from Sokoine University of Agriculture, a postgraduate diploma in international relations from Reggio Calabria International Relations Institute in Italy, a master’s degree in environmental protection and management from the University of Edinburgh, UK, and a PhD in climate change from the University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

FTA welcomes the appointment of Muyungi as a pan-African policy and development expert to the ISC, which reports to the Board of Trustees (BoT) of FTA’s lead center, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). The ISC oversees work of the FTA Management Team including research programming, partnership engagement, delivery and effectiveness of the program at a strategic level.

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