During his career, our founder, Dr. Thomas Lovejoy was increasingly called upon by country governments, companies, and non-governmental organizations to share his earned wisdom of both ecological systems and political structures by advising on the creation of sustainable development and conservation policy. His approach was to balance this goal with a pragmatic perspective on the needs of indigenous peoples for livelihoods, as well as the energy and resource demands of local communities and state and country governments. Some of Dr. Lovejoy's work included:
• Being selected as a Science Envoy by the U.S. Department of State, traveling to Peru, Colombia, Brazil, the Philippines, and Malaysia to meet with government officials on their efforts to conserve their rainforests.
• Advising the Chinese Ministry of the Environment on setting biodiversity targets for the 2020 Council of Parties (COP) in Beijing, as well as advising the Ministry on greening China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
• Partnering with the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) and National Geographic Magazine in 2015 to develop and publish the first detailed map of the Amazon rainforest, including current and planned infrastructure projects and illustrations of rainforest ecosystems.
• Co-editing three books on climate change and biodiversity: Global Warming and Biological Diversity in 1992; Climate Change and Biological Diversity in 2005; and Biodiversity and Climate Change: Transforming the Biosphere in 2019. Dr. Lovejoy is considered a leading authority on the interactions between climate change and biological diversity at a global scale.
• Raising awareness in the scientific and policy communities as well as the public of the irreversible deforestation tipping point that the Amazon rainforest is approaching. In 2019, Dr. Lovejoy co-authored two op-eds both published in the journal Science Advances -- the first about need to avoid an irreversible tipping point in Amazon at around 20 percent deforestation.