Hello! …or in Thai: สวัสดีครับ [sa-wùt dee krúp]

My name is Marcel Starfinger and I joined the Chair of Tropical Forestry at the beginning of August. After spending almost three years in the very southwest of Germany, I am pleased to move to Saxony and to get to know this very eastern part of Germany better. In Freiburg, I completed my Masters and worked in the consulting sector on international forest and development projects. I am glad to start a new chapter here in Dresden together with my colleagues and supervisors Prof. Kapp and Dr. Benedikter. I thank them and all of the other colleagues for the very warm welcome and for giving me the wonderful opportunity to pursue further studies in this historic setting in Tharandt.

My professional experiences focus on the forest development interface. I got to know this interesting crossroad from an NGO, intergovernmental, development cooperation and consulting perspective. I am a forester by training and explored the interrelations between forests and food security. As a master’s student I focused on assessing the need for standards for Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) from a forest governance perspective. For quite a while now, I have been addressing FLR in both research and practice. The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and the similarly demanding Paris Agreement, move the spotlight towards the forest sector. Great expectations rest on our shoulders!

During these demanding and agile times, I am glad to join the international research project on Forest Landscape Restoration for Improved Livelihoods and Climate Resilience (FLOURISH) as a doctoral student. I will investigate the origins and intricacies of the tree for loan collateral model in Thailand. I look forward to cooperating with our Thai partner organizations to unveil the enabling and inhibiting factors for this novel approach to lending. I strive to derive insights that will ease both credit accessibility and forest plantation management simultaneously.

When I have time on my hands I enjoy trying out new recipes with friends or going for a run or a bike ride. The beautiful Elbe valley offers an exciting landscape and I look forward to exploring it further. As I am new to Saxony I would be more than glad to hear about any tips for hiking or cycling tours.

By Marcel Starfinger

%d bloggers like this: