Evert Thomas

Evert Thomas is a Belgian national based in Lima Peru. His main areas of work focus on improving the conservation and sustainable use of forest genetic resources, and their application in tree-based restoration projects in Latin America and the Caribbean by combining different disciplines such as distribution modeling, spatial diversity analysis, population genetics, archaeology, ecology and social sciences. Currently, main activities focus on the development and scaling of spatially explicit online tools to support the design of agroforestry systems (www.cacaodiversity.org) and support the tree-based restoration of degraded areas (D4R; www.diversityforrestoration.org), as well as on improving the characterization of the native diversity of cacao (Theobroma cacao) and Amazon nut (Bertholletia excelsa) genetic resources in the Americas, and strengthening their improved use for tackling multiple challenges (climate change adaptation, bridging the productivity gap, resolving heavy metal contamination in cacao…). During his PhD research, Evert examined the relation between plant diversity and plant usefulness in three indigenous communities in the Bolivian Andes and Amazon. Prior to joining Bioversity International, Evert acted as the Belgian focal point for the Access and Benefit Sharing objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which led to the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol during the Belgian presidency of the EU, in which Evert played a very active role.

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