16 Women Restoring the Earth this

International Women’s Day


GCP’s Annette Pensel, the platform’s executive director, has been recognised in the fourth annual list of climate and sustainability leaders from around the world for International Women’s Day.

The list of 16 women restoring the Earth by the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) was released to mark the United Nations’ International Women’s Day, observed on 8 March. The list has been inspired by the work women are doing worldwide in the face of the continual international environmental and humanitarian crises.

For Pensel, a cup of coffee is so much more than just a simple beverage. Each drop encapsulates a complex supply chain of farmers, traders, roasters and retailers, spanning mostly family-run smallholder farms in the tropical coffee belt, to an international network of shippers and sellers, ultimately landing daily in the cups of billions of people around the world. Coffee not only connects people, importantly, coffee is a livelihood for millions of farmers and workers around the world.

“There are serious threats to the global coffee supply chain, among them climate change, inadequate farming practices leading to biodiversity loss and human rights violations, and an income gap affecting more than 40% of smallholder farmers who live below the poverty level – a gap the platform is addressing through the GCP’s 2030 Goal of transformational change on farmers’ prosperity for more than one million farmers in more than 10 countries.”

As part of her work at GCP, Pensel is focused on rallying GCP Members and partners, aligning agendas at local and global level and advancing solutions, from driving transparency and demand of sustainable coffee purchases towards sustainable sourcing, to developing an actionable industry framework on farmer incomes and coffee sustainability through collective action in coffee producing countries.

“GCP Members recognize that coffee sustainability is a shared responsibility and if we’re going to have transformational impact at scale, we need to work collectively and pre-competitively to address the systemic issues that hider progress,” said Pensel. In this way, “coffee is more than a beloved beverage, but a positive engine for economic and social development and the conservation of nature, and can even be a ‘natural climate solution,’” she wrote last year.

With close to 20 years of experience in the sustainability and coffee sectors, Pensel works on multistakeholder partnerships and innovative approaches to address these issues towards transformational change. She helped set up 4C’s verification system, which became the largest in the coffee sector, facilitated the growth of innovative public-private coffee sustainability platforms in coffee producing countries, and enabled the creation of the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code, a common language on the foundations of coffee sustainability that is used by public, private and third sectors to align sustainability strategies and tools.

Having lived and worked in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, Pensel has established relationships among a broad range of key stakeholders needed for change at scale – from farmer organizations, trade, industry to governments, NGOs and the international development community.

Meet more women from GLF’s 16 Women Restoring the Earth

GLF is honoring 16 women on the frontline of the climate and biodiversity crises. These outstanding women are the faces of innovation in science, technology, art, public policy, sustainable business, environmental activism, journalism, litigation, climate finance, international climate treaty negotiations, and grassroots ecosystem restoration across the globe.

Through unique bios, quotes, photos, and stories, this year’s campaign tells why these are the GLF’s‘16 Women Restoring the Earth’2023:

  • The Strategist: ANDREA MEZA MURILLO, UNCCD’s Deputy Executive Secretary and former Minister of Energy and Environment for the Government of Costa Rica
  • The Connector: ANNETTE PENSEL, Executive Director, Global Coffee Platform (Germany)
  • The Investor: AYESHA KHAN, Regional Director, Acumen Pakistan –expert in sustainable finance for climate
  • The Steward: CAMILLE RIVERA, Co-founder and Director of Oceanus Conservation, GLFx Mindanao chapter Coordinator, and Restoration Steward 2021 (Philippines)
  • The Investigator: EDILMA PRADA, investigative journalist, Pulitzer fellow and founder and director of the independent media organization Agenda Propia (Colombia)
  • The Leader: ÉLIANE UBALIJORO, Incoming CEO, CIFOR-ICRAF and Executive Director, Sustainability in the Digital Age (Rwanda)
  • The Educator: EVA MAKANDI, Founder, Light On A Hill (LOAH), and Forest Restoration Steward 2022 (Kenya)
  • The Activist: INEZA GRACE, Coordinator, Loss and Damage Youth Coalition (Rwanda)
  • The Artist: INNA MODJA, visual artist, musician, UNCCD Land Ambassador, and CEO and Co-Founder of Code Green (Mali)
  • The Policymaker: IRYNA STAVCHUK, Ukraine Program Manager at the European Climate Foundation and former Deputy Minister for the Ukrainian government.
  • The Philanthropist: MARIA AMALIA SOUZA, Co-Founder and Strategic Development Director, Casa Socio-Environmental Fund (Brazil)
  • The Storyteller: MOKY MAKURA, TV presenter, producer, author and Executive Director of Africa No Filter (Nigeria)
  • The Defender: PASANG DOLMA SHERPA, Executive Director, Center for Indigenous Peoples‘ Research & Development (CIPRED) (Nepal)
  • The Advocate: SYEDA RIZWANA HASAN, environmental lawyer, Chief Executive of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA)
  • The Entrepreneur: VIOLET AMOABENG, Founder and CEO, Skin Gourmet (Ghana)
  • The Financier: YURIKO BACKES, Minister of Finance, Luxembourg

About Global Landscapes Forum

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) is the world’s largest knowledge-led platform on integrated land use, connecting people with a shared vision to create productive, profitable, equitable & resilient landscapes. It is led by the Center for International Forestry Research-World Agroforestry Centre (CIFOR–ICRAF), in collaboration with its co-founders UNEP and the World Bank, and its charter members.