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A native of forest-rich Sweden, Peter studied forestry at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. When acquiring his MSc in 1987, he was already determined to work internationally and went on to work with, e.g., remote sensing projects in the Philippines,forest resources assessments in Kenya and forest inventory in Pakistan. In 1995 he earned his PhD with a thesis on Geographic Information for Forestry Planning. His research has focused on forestry information requirements, and models for multiple-objective decision-making.

Peter joined FAO in 1998 to lead the Global Forest Resources Assessment. Over the following years, the FRA process broadened its scope to cover all themes of sustainable forest management and deepened collaboration with all countries that provide information. He led the development of FAO’s support to national forest monitoring, building capacity and generating knowledge on national forest resources in many countries. Between 2003 and 2007 he was head of forest resources development at FAO, coordinating development of guidelines on planted forests and fire management, engaging in initiatives of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, leading the development of forest monitoring, among many other tasks. Since 2007 he has served as Director Climate, Energy and Tenure division at FAO, with a focus on developing the profile and coordination of FAO’s work related to climate change. He has chaired the inter-departmental working group on climate change, and coordinated the support and contributions of FAO to the UNFCCC process. He was part of the interagency team set up the UN-REDD programme as a unique One-UN partnership.

Under his leadership, the concept of climate-smart agriculture has emerged, ensuring that agriculture productivity, resilience and climate change mitigation are addressed together at all levels. During 2012 he has also coordinated FAO’s preparations for Rio+20, brining the full breadth of FAO’s mandate and mission in agriculture, forestry and fisheries to bear onto achieving the future we want.


  • –present
    Director General, CIFOR