Meet the Board
Find out more about the Fern Board
Julia Christian is a lawyer trained in the UK and US who has been working with Fern since 2014. She specialises in climate and development issues, and has worked on forest policy in West and Central Africa, Central America and Europe. Her current focus is on EU forest and climate policy, community forests, and cocoa production in West Africa.
The EU, Ghana & Cote d’Ivoire must commit to concrete actions when talks resume after autumn 2021.
Julia Christian, Fern’s host of the Forest Movement Europe
If it weren’t for the pandemic, this week would have seen forest activists from across Europe getting together in southern France to celebrate 30+ years of the Forest...
This week Ursula von der Leyen signalled the EU’s desire to lead the world in the fight against global deforestation. But if the key drivers of deforestation aren’t addressed, progress will remain limited.
Last year changed everything, and nothing.
Almost overnight our lives were upended: businesses and economies ground to a halt, movement was constrained, and physical contact with others curbed. Yet our greatest challenge – the...
The European Commission is exploring bilateral agreements with the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to ensure sustainability in the cocoa sector, and in particular to tackle deforestation, farmer poverty and child labour.
The €1.8 trillion pandemic recovery plan and long-term budget deal agreed by EU heads of government on 21 July 2020, after nearly five days of haggling, is widely seen as a political and economic landmark. But from an...
Companies will back producer countries’ bold move to raise cocoa prices, and are also showing support for EU regulation.
Now comes the task of separating the wheat (value chain and market access measures) from the chaff (labels).
Chocolate companies and the European Parliament are on the same page when it comes to corporate due diligence.
Cocoa consumption is a major cause of deforestation – estimated to have destroyed an area of forest the size of Belgium between 1988 and 2008.
Other problems include endemic use of child labour, local tenure conflicts, and...
European countries are the world’s largest importers of the cocoa beans whose production is devastating rainforests in West Africa and driving millions of children into child labour. To prevent this, chocolate companies and NGOs...
Controversy has long plagued the Oddar Meanchey carbon offset project in Cambodia.
Solid evidence has been in the public domain for years that forests supposed to be protected by the project—which has been backed by the United...
In Bonn last month delegates from around the world discussed how to implement the Paris Climate Change Agreement – which aims to tackle the greatest threat currently facing the planet.
At exactly the same time almost 6,000...
Keeping global warming below 1.5°C - which the Paris Agreement strives to – means fundamental changes for industries from energy to transport. Yet the aviation sector - one of the planet’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2)...
This paper summarises Fern staff member Julia Christian's lessons from studying community forestry in Mexico and Petén (Guatemala), from March-July 2016, hosted by the Mexican non-governmental organisation Reforestamos. To see a...