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Alumnus testimonial

Marten - Policy and registration coordinator

Marten is currently working as policy and registration coordinator at PEFC Netherlands. PEFC stands for the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes. He studied Forest and Nature Conservation with the major Policy and Society. Additionally, he also participated in the Sustainable Development Diplomacy track. Watch the video to get a glimpse of a day in the life of his work. Or read the full story below.

I hope to contribute to halt climate change by optimizing the use and contribution that forests can have in a sustainable way.

A week in the life of Marten

Name: Marten
Studies: BSc Forest and Nature Conservation, MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
Job: Policy and registration coordinator
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What does your job entail?
"This is actually my first job. It basically entails that I am the spokesperson of PEFC in the Netherlands on all technical matters regarding sustainable forest management and chain of custody certification.

It is a very divers job since it covers everything related to forests: from timber trader to fashion and from participating in large international meetings to meeting small forests owners and advising them on how to communicate their sustainable forest management practices."

What are your future goals?
"I hope to contribute to halt climate change by optimizing the use and contribution that forests can have in a sustainable way. In my current position I have lots of opportunities to work together with all kind of different organizations to achieve this goal. Nevertheless a lot needs to be done and I think it would be interesting to face this problem from other perspectives as well: for example from a governmental, or business perspective."

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How does your workweek look like?
Monday: "Day at the office. I work in different projects, have our weekly team meeting and prepare meetings for the rest of the week."

Tuesday: "Whole day seminar of the covenant promoting sustainable forest management. I am the representative of PEFC for this covenant, an initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On this day we will reflect upon the results of the first year of the covenant."

Wednesday: "In the morning I have to be the Dutch spokesperson of PEFC at the Word Architect Festival. A fair that PEFC International sponsors in order to gain more attention among architects for sustainable forest management. In the afternoon I have to hurry to The Hague to go to the national forest meeting, a meeting open to stakeholders who deal with forests in their profession."

Thursday: "In the morning I have to present at one of the biggest Dutch companies in the world on how they can use PEFC as a way of achieving their sustainability criteria. In the afternoon I will work together with a colleague of FSC on a project."

Friday: "Probably a day at the office in order to prepare for meetings of next week. Also, I will work on the re-endorsement of our national standard for sustainable forest management. I have to be a back-up in case my colleague cannot go to the World Architect Festival."

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And last could you tell how your time at WUR helped you to get where you are now? Also, what is your advice to current students?
"At the WUR I not only learned a lot about how the forest ecosystem works and all other ‘technical’ knowledge, but I also learned a lot on how to interact with people and how to work together in order to achieve ‘mutual gains’. Together with all the people I have met during my studies this all comes together in my current profession.

I would highly encourage current students to explore different subjects and try to meet people who inspire you. For sure those people will help you in finding something that suits you best!"

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