Something amusing happened these past two months. A few high-profile members of the economic chamber of a local branch of forest certification organization tried to block me from joining the chamber. Allegedly they said that based on my public communications and engagement, I should be classified as an environmentalist instead of someone who supports economic development. This is almost laughable considering I spent half of my life working for corporations, with one of my roles being a Managing Director at one of the largest forestry, pulp, and paper group of companies. As soon as I left the corporate world, I admit that I encountered a strange reception from several of the stakeholders I used to closely work with when I was part of the private sector. Most of my fellow private sector players, the NGOs, the media, even some governments started to look puzzled when they looked at me. This was mainly caused by rather more vocal opinions I expressed on public platforms about the importance of sustainability, largely about zero deforestation and forest conservation. Suddenly I became an ‘unknown entity’. My social media ‘attackers’ shifted from the radical NGOs, who had been my loyal critics for ten years (including Mongabay), to companies, especially plantation and palm oil companies, and government supporters. But I am not writing this article to talk about myself, I will write about that another time. The phrase of ‘you’re either with us or against us’, made particularly famous by the former U.S. President Bush in…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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