TNRC Event Virtual Panel: Understanding how corruption is accelerating illegal logging and deforestation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Image representing TNRC's four focus areas: wildlife, fisheries, forests, and finance

Targeting Natural Resource Corruption

Harnessing knowledge, generating evidence, and supporting innovative policy and practice for more effective anti-corruption programming

Virtual Panel:
Understanding how corruption is accelerating illegal logging and deforestation during the COVID-19 pandemic

September 29, 2020

9:00am - 10:30am Washington, DC
2:00pm - 3:30pm Cambridge, UK
4:00pm - 5:30pm Nairobi, Kenya
8:00pm - 9:30pm Bangkok, Thailand

Remote Only

Watch the Recording

iStock / Jongho Shin

About the event

While the global community is focused on health issues tied to COVID-19, the world’s forests are being illegally logged at ever more significant levels. Join TNRC for a virtual panel that focuses on corruption as an important facilitator of illegal logging in Peru, Brazil and Mozambique. Experts will address COVID-19 era developments in a historical context, discuss their recent research and publications and advocate means to effectively address this crucial problem that undermines biological diversity, exacerbates climate change and often threatens forest-dependent communities. We will discuss strategies to address corruption and follow the money in regard to this illicit trade.

About the speakers

Headshot of Maureen Moriarty-Lempke

Maureen Moriarty-Lempke, PhD, Senior Fellow, Duke University Center for International Development and Senior Associate, Land and Security, CDA Collaborative Cambridge
Maureen Moriarty-Lempke Ph.D has 20 years of experience in international development and specializes in land tenure and property rights issues in conflict-affected areas including Afghanistan, Liberia, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Colombia, and Somalia. She has worked with the World Bank, the UN, USAID, and smaller mission driven organizations. Maureen currently serves as Senior Fellow at Duke Center for International Development and Adjunct Professor of Practice at Sanford School of Public Policy teaching courses related to land, conflict, and human security. She is currently a Land and Forest Sector Advisor developing a methodology and technical approach to documenting the role of licit and illicit forest sector activities on land tenure and labor and how illegal timber trade may intersect with terrorist activities and cartel controlled land conversion for high value agricultural crops. She is the co-author of the recently released publication by Verite Exploring Intersections of Trafficking in Persons Vulnerability and Environmental Degradation in Forestry and Adjacent Sectors: Case Studies in Mozambique

Headshot of Julia Marisa Sekula

Julia Marisa Sekula, Coordinator - Climate and Security, Instituto Igarapé
Julia Marisa Sekula is coordinator of the Climate and Security Program at the Igarapé Institute and co-author of the book “Brasil: Paraiso Restaurável” (Brazil: Restoring Paradise). The book defends a new narrative for Brazil, and places it at the heart of discussions of “new economics”, the development of green industries and the fight against climate change. Julia is also the founder of FinanSOS, a financial advisory platform for small business owners affected by Covid-19. Julia began her career in the Special Situations / Distressed Assets team at Morgan Stanley in London, where she led Oil & Gas credit analysis and worked on complex cases such as the analysis of oil fields in Iraq after assaults by the Islamic State (ISIS). Upon returning to Brazil, she was invited to work at G5 Partners, the country's No. 1 investment boutique. At G5 Partners, Julia became partner specializing in restructuring and judicial recovery processes, having worked on the judicial recoveries of Oi.S.A, Odebrecht Group, among others. Julia speaks Portuguese, English, German and Mandarin and holds a degree in Politics and Economics from the University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies), with a focus on conflict and economic development. She is the co-author of the recently released Technology Solutions for Supply Chain Traceability in the Brazilian Amazon: Opportunities for the Financial Sector

Headshot of Julia M. Urrunaga

Julia M. Urrunaga, Peru Director, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
Julia Urrunaga is the Peru Director for the Environmental Investigation Agency, an international NGO where she works on exposing forest crime, amplifying local and indigenous peoples’ voices and their capacity for protecting their forests, joining forces with indigenous environmental defenders to advocate nationally and internationally for their rights, and promoting new policy measures to help eliminate illegally sourced timber and forest products from global markets and shift demand towards legal and sustainable products. With EIA, Julia was the lead author of three multiyear investigative reports: “Moment of Truth” (2018) and “The Laundering Machine” (2012) about illegal logging in Peru and its exports to international markets – including the US, the EU and China – and “Deforestation by Definition” (2015) focused on the illegal deforestation of Peruvian Amazon natural forests to be replaced by monoculture large scale agribusinesses, mostly palm oil plantations. She was also the Peru team leader for the production of the documentary Antamiki (2018) that follows a group of international and Peruvian musicians to the Peruvian Amazon to learn from indigenous community leaders how illegal logging destroys their forests and violates their human rights, even assassinating their family members. These groundbreaking reports and documentaries have provided evidence for other local and indigenous organizations to support their claims for justice, and have been the basis for ongoing official investigations in Peru and abroad. Julia holds a Master's degree in International Relations and a Diploma in Sustainable Development from Yale University – where she focused on governance, transparency and participation issues – and a Communications bachelor’s degree from the Universidad de Lima. Before EIA, Julia worked for 14 years as an investigative journalist, focusing on corruption issues. She received several national and international journalism awards, including from the Inter American Press Association and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ Fundación para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano. She also worked as a journalism professor at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP) and at Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC) and as an associate to the council on Latin American and Iberian studies at Yale University.

Headshot of Debra LaPrevotte

Debra LaPrevotte, Senior Investigator, The Sentry (Moderator)
Debra LaPrevotte joined the Sentry Team in 2015 as a Senior Investigator after a 20-year career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Debra retired as a Supervisory Special Agent on the International Corruption Unit and was one of the FBI's experts in International money laundering and asset recovery. Debra initiated the FBI's Kleptocracy Program and seized more than $1 billion dollars in corruption proceeds. Debra is also a forensic scientist and previously worked at the FBI Laboratory Division.

Image attribution: © / Jen Guyton / WWF; © Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF; © Georgina Goodwin / Shoot The Earth / WWF-UK; © Hkun Lat / WWF-Aus