Chair & Vice Chair

Learn more about Tim Christopherson and Catalina Santamaria

The Global Partnership on Forest & Landscape Restoration is a collaboration of multiple countries and organisations. For a full list of those involved, see Our Partners

The GPFLR is led by Chair, Tim Christophersen and Vice Chair, Catalina Santamaria

GPFLR Tim Christopherson profile photo

Chair: Tim Christophersen

Mr. Tim Christophersen is the Chief of the Terrestrial Ecosystems Unit at UN Environment, based in Nairobi/Kenya. He coordinates the activities of UN Environment on drylands, mountains, forests, and ecosystem-based climate change mitigation, including the UN-REDD Programme ( He manages a global team of forest, private finance and land-use experts in Jakarta, Hanoi, Bangkok, Nairobi, Panama, Geneva and Cambridge.

He previously worked for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), where he led the portfolio on the conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity, including the Bushmeat Liaison Group, and worked closely with the team on traditional ecological knowledge and customary sustainable use. From 2002-2007 he was Regional Programme Coordinate for Europe, the Caucasus and the Commonwealth of Independent States at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He also worked for the Danish Ministry of the Environment at the Research Institute for Forest and Landscapes, and for the European Commission in the Nature and Biodiversity Unit.

Tim has been involved in the work of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscapes Restoration since 2007, and has also been an active member in the discussions of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) since 2003.

Tim is a German national and holds a degree in forest engineering and conservation from Dresden University of Technology. He enjoys playing volleyball, hiking, fishing, and any form of active forest and landscape restoration, including planting trees in his garden and at his son and daughter’s school in Nairobi.

GPFLR Catalina Santamaria profile picture

Vice Chair: Catalina Santamaria

Ms. Catalina Santamaria is the Forest Program Manager for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), UN Environment, based in Montreal, Canada. She leads the development and implementation of the Forest Biodiversity Program of Work and manages various portfolios on conservation, restoration and sustainable use.  Her work includes technical analyses, advisory functions and strategic coordination for the delivery of national actions to advance the forest-related Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Her work also includes the management and coordination of the Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative, as well as the follow up and joint programming of activities within the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management, the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration and the ITTO/ CBD Joint Initiative for Tropical Forest Biodiversity.

Before joining the CBD Secretariat, she was responsible for inter-agency coordination at the Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), based in New York, USA. Working with the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests since 1999, she served the UNFF Secretariat in several capacities contributing to its multi-year program of work, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests' work plans, regional involvement, as well as to numerous country led initiatives. Her work supported the adoption of the Global Objectives on Forests, the Forest Instrument and the facilitative process on forest finance. Her portfolio also included reporting on forest-related MDGs, the post 2015 development agenda and transition processes leading to the sustainable development goals. She has represented the UNFF and CBD Secretariats, as well as DESA, in numerous conferences and events.

She brings close to two decades of experience in forest policy issues and capacity development at the international and regional levels. She obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Natural Resource Management and Biological Sciences, from the University of Miami, in Florida, USA and went on to obtain her Master's Degree in International Development, with an emphasis on Social and Public Policies, from Brandeis University, in Massachusetts, USA.  She has also been awarded academic training at the University of Oxford, in the UK, Harvard University, in Cambridge, USA and Universidad Javeriana, in Bogota, Colombia.