The Secretariat oversees the day-to-day activities and decisions at Plan Vivo. They are the key point of contact for any prospective projects, current projects, or individuals with an interest in Plan Vivo.



Keith Bohannon – Chief Operating Officer


Keith has over 20 years’ experience in management roles across the Private Sector, Third Sector and in International Development. Key areas of experience include strategy development, project management, fostering partnerships and leading organisational change. Technically, Keith specialises in Rural Community Development and Livelihoods, with over 10 years working on sustainable livelihood projects across southern Africa. Keith heads up the Secretariat, reports to the BoT and is responsible for the development and implementation of the Foundation's strategy. Keith has a MSc in Africa and International Development, a PGDip in Business Administration, a BEng in Engineering and is a member of the IUCN Specialist Group on ‘Sustainable Use and Livelihoods’.



Eva Schoof – Programme Manager

Eva graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MSc in Environment and Development, where she specialised in environmental governance and natural resource management. Before joining Plan Vivo in 2015, Eva worked on a bio-ethanol project in Panama, where she focused on project and grant management, technical support and communications. Her other previous posts include digital marketing and public relations in the private sector. Eva is fluent in English, German and Spanish.



Luke Howard – Projects Officer

Before joining Plan Vivo in January 2019, Luke graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MSc in Environmental Protection & Management. During this degree, he focused primarily on environmental and conservation policy. Prior to this, Luke graduated with a Biological Sciences BA from the University of Oxford, where he specialised in ecology and conservation. He has also undertaken biological/environmental research in various countries, including Brazil, Morocco, Indonesia and the UK.



Caroline Stillman – Junior Projects Officer

Caroline Stillman Plan Vivo

Caroline holds an MSc in International Development from the University of Edinburgh, where she focused on a people-centred approach to development with a particular interest in the inclusion of marginalised groups. Her thesis research involved a collaboration with a South African NGO, and she has voluntary experience in NGOs in Tanzania and the UK. Caroline also holds a BSc in Physics, where she modeled the physics of the climate. Her previous posts include a managerial role at a Students' Association.



Chris Stephenson – Market Expert

Chris is a corporate sustainability professional with MSc's in Chemistry and Carbon Management. Chris was the Head of Operations, overseeing the Plan Vivo Secretariat, from 2014 to 2020. He now supports technical matters around Plan Vivo Certificates and helps manage the Standard's role within the wider Voluntary Carbon Market. Previously, Chris held roles in the private sector, for FTSE-100 and IBEX-35 companies in London and Madrid, as well as conducting conservation and capacity-building work in Central America, SSA and Asia. Chris is fluent in English and Spanish.



Kristin Olsen – Development Consultant

Kristin has worked in the environment and development sectors for more than 20 years. Her career spans conservation and community forestry in Vietnam, Cameroon, Uzbekistan and Scotland and 7 years working as monitoring and evaluation advisor to the Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio in South Asia. Within this role she supported organisations in their work on regional water, energy and food security, and in mainstreaming gender and social inclusion. She has worked with UN agencies, governments, NGOs, CSOs and academic institutions. Kristin is supporting Plan Vivo in its strategic growth and development. She has an MSc in Forestry and speaks Norwegian and French.



Douglas Hill – Development Support


Douglas has been involved with Plan Vivo in a voluntary capacity since March 2020, helping projects evidence SDG’s as well as working with the Secretariat and key partners on priorities ahead of COP26. In 2003, following teaching placement in Nepal, he established Room to Read as a U.K. registered charity and has served on the Board of Trustees since. He has over twenty years of Finance and Operations experience in the private sector. He holds a BA in Economics and is a qualified accountant (CIMA).





Board of Trustees

All amendments to the Standards must be approved by the Plan Vivo Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Their expertise includes forest ecology, conservation, environmental management, international development, business administration, finance, climate change, environmental sustainability, bio-energy and project management. On average, the Board of Trustees meets between six and eight times annually.

Julian Gayfer

Julian Gayfer is a management consultant with a background in NRM. In his role as Director of IOD Parc, based in Edinburgh (UK), he is currently Project Director of the Joint Evaluation of the Paris Declaration. Julian's career has otherwise focused on strengthening the M&E function and Performance Management Systems of bilateral agencies including DFID, AusAid and SDC. This work has also included an evaluation of the decentralisation of the African Development Bank. Prior to this, Julian was an Advisor and Programme Manager with DFID, working primarily in the area of rural livelihoods and the environment.

Emily Fripp

Emily is the Managing Director of Efeca and has worked for 19 years in the field of natural resource economics, specialising in sustainable use and the trade of natural resources (particularly agricultural commodities, ecosystem services, timber and other related forest products). This includes: Supporting policy dialogue (EU Timber Regulation, FLEGT Action Plan and REDD+); monitoring impacts on trade patterns and markets; working with private sector, communities and local governments; and managing complex global programmes. Emily joined the Board in March 2014.

Charlie Henderson

Charlie has been involved in environmental management and communication for about twenty years, as a consultant, project developer and marketer of carbon credits. His involvement with Plan Vivo began in 2000 when he joined the Carbon Neutral Company and sold carbon offset Certificates. In 2008, he established Climate Futures, providing consultancy and communication support to researchers, businesses and communities in Africa and Europe on agroforestry, climate adaptation and carbon reduction. More recently, he assumed the role of ‘Director Corporate Risks & Opportunities’ at SouthPole.

Dhanush Dinesh


Dhanush works as Global Policy Engagement Manager for the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) based in Oxford. His focus is on linking CCAFS science with global policy processes and partners. His career has so far included the United Nations, NGOs and private sector organisations in various countries, including China, India, Thailand, and the UK. In addition to this, he acted as Coordinator of the Plan Vivo Foundation Secretariat between 2012-2014. He holds Masters degrees in Business Administration and Carbon Management. He joined the board in 2016.

Mark Poffenberger

Dr Mark Poffenberger is co-founder and former Executive Director of Community Forestry Intl., founder and former Executive Director of Asia Forest Network, and has previously worked for the Ford Foundation as the Program Officer in New Delhi. Mark specializes in NRM, yet draws on agro-ecology, anthropology, forest practice, public administration, land use planning, and economics. He has 20 years of in-country experience in Nepal, India, and Indonesia. Mark has conducted research and implemented development programs through working with government agencies, universities, NGOs, bilateral donors, and multinational development banks.

Stephen Porter

Stephen Porter is a researcher, educator, and investor. Previously, as a Chartered Financial Analyst, Stephen held senior roles in global asset manager and investment consultancies. This included serving as Vice President of Franklin Templeton Investments, and as a research analyst for Russell Investments and Standard & Poor’s. His attention shifted to environmental development when studying for a PhD in atmospheric and environmental sciences at the University of Edinburgh. During this time, he was also the Managing Director of Natura Capital and taught on the Carbon Management MSc at the same university.




Technical Advisory Committee

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) works closely with the Foundation to support the approval of technical specifications and provide guidance on technical matters. Specific functions of the Technical Advisory Committee are to:

  • Peer review technical documents from existing and potential Plan Vivo projects
  • Provide recommendations on technical aspects in the Plan Vivo Standard and how they should be applied
  • Contribute to the development of tools and methodologies to support Plan Vivo projects


Nicholas Berry – Chair

Dr Nicholas Berry is a Partner at The Landscapes and Livelihoods Group (TLLG) - an organisation he helped establish to support Plan Vivo projects and other community-led natural resource management initiatives. He specialises in assessment and monitoring of carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem services and has worked in more than 20 countries throughout Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Nick has been involved with Plan Vivo since 2008, providing technical support to projects and developing methodologies for assessment of climate benefits from forest protection, agroforestry and climate-smart agriculture. He has contributed to the revision of the Standard in 2013 and 2020.

Blanca Bernal

Dr Blanca Bernal, currently working at Winrock International, is a wetland biogeochemist, experienced in carbon accounting and calculation of emission factors associated with land use and land use change. She has investigated carbon sequestration strategies for climate change mitigation, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem response to environmental change, nutrient cycling in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and the implications of environmental impacts on ecosystem services. Blanca has been involved with Plan Vivo since 2015, and is particularly interested in contributing to strengthen mechanisms that foster conservation and restoration of forests and blue carbon ecosystems.

Ed Mitchard

Dr Edward Mitchard is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and head of the Mitchard research group, which focuses on surveying tropical forest carbon stocks and changes in these systems. With interests in mapping natural biomass through remote sensing, he has won funding from the Technology Strategy Board, the Natural Environment Research Council, the European Research Council, the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the UK Space Agency, and the US Forest Service, among others. Ed is currently leading a large EU-funded project the Tropical Forest Degradation Project (FODEX). He has also helped the governments of Cameroon and Gabon to develop their REDD+ programs, and a UN initiative to fund forest protection.

Kahlil Baker

Dr Kahlil Baker is an entrepreneur, economist and forest scientist focused on finding solutions to tropical deforestation. He is the co-founder and executive director of Taking Root- an organization that develops smallholder reforestation programs using the Plan Vivo Standard. For his work with Taking Root, he was profiled on the CBC as one of Canada’s next generation of changemakers and received the Meritorious Service Cross, one of the highest honours bestowed by the governor general of Canada. Kahlil holds a permaculture design certificate and degrees in international development, economics, forest statistics, and forest economics.

Peter Branney

Peter Branney is a freelance consultant with over 30 years of experience in forestry, specialising in community forestry and forest management planning. He has worked in 22 countries (particularly in South Asia), where he has: Facilitated workshops; planned and supported donor-funded programmes; carried out training; prepared manuals; conducted participatory research; and prepared reviews, studies and reports. Through this work, he has advised DFID, World Bank, EU, GTZ, KfW, FAO, UNDP, SDC, SNV, Intercooperation, Helvetas, RECOFTC, Birdlife International, IIED and other International NGOs, consultancy companies and organisations.

Peter O'Hara

After studying forestry, rural development and forest policy various universities, Peter has worked within the private sector, academia, charities, governments and UN organisations in over 30 countries for over 25 years. His work has focussed on strengthening the rights of local people over their forest resources by strengthening rights and releasing the full ecological, cultural, social and economic potential of thriving woodlands. Peter’s roles have included hands-on governance reform facilitation, piloting and scaling-up programmes for local control of forestry, encouraging local forest enterprises and encouraging the voice and organisation of forest-dependent people.

Saran Sohi


Dr Saran Sohi is a researcher working on the function of soils in agriculture and forestry. He is motivated by the question of how limited resources can support more productive yet sustainable agriculture, forestry and horticulture. He co-founded the UK Biochar Research Centre in 2009 and subsequently initiated the MSc course "Novel Strategies for Carbon Storage in Soil". Saran has 25 years of research experience and over 90 published papers. His research priority is to unearth predictive understanding for biochar function in soil, drawing on established knowledge of soil processes and carbon turnover.

Thomas Enters

Based in Penang (Malaysia), Dr Thomas Enters is semi-retired working as a Forest and Climate Change Senior Consultant. He has been concerned with forestry-related matters, in the broadest sense, in the Asia-Pacific region since 1994, working for CIFOR, FAO, RECOFTC and UN Environment for the UN-REDD Programme and UNDP for around 25 years. This includes consulting assignments for a variety of international organizations. His last assignment was as the Chief Technical Advisor for the UN-REDD Mongolia National Programme in 2018. Thomas has published extensively covering technical, economic, social and cultural issues, prepared technical reports, project proposals and evaluations for several clients and facilitated various events.




Technical Advisory Group

The Plan Vivo Technical Advisory Group (TAG) provides independent advice to the Foundation on scientific and technical aspects of the Standard and projects. The Group is composed of experts in community-based natural resource management, the development of rural livelihood programmes, and ecosystem services quantification and monitoring. The specific function of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is to peer-review and approve technical documents from existing and prospective Plan Vivo projects. Download a list of the current Technical Advisory Group Members