Olman Serrano was elected new president of Atibt (International tropical timber technical association). In this role, Serrano succeeds Robert Hunink, who has held two mandates and that the members of the Atibt warmly thanked during the last general meeting held in Shanghai. Having been a member of the board of directors for fifteen years and ad interim president between 2014 and 2015, Serrano has a thorough understanding of the operation of the Atibt and its missions. “I am convinced of the complementarity between the conservation of tropical forests and the use of forest resources in accordance with the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations,” he said. “I regret that forestry activities are often perceived as a cause of deforestation and forest degradation, without differentiating between sustainable management practices and those that are not“. “I will dedicate my efforts to defend that part of the tropical forest industry that acts responsibly. It is a sector that requires greater recognition because it plays a key role in the protection of natural resources, in improving living conditions and in the sustainable development of the countries..”, he concluded.
Serrano was born in Costa Rica and worked as an adolescent in a family business that produced tropical wood furniture. At the age of 19 he moved to Germany to undertake university studies in wood sciences. His professional career began in 1982, in the private sector: he worked in Africa, Latin America and Asia, always in positions related to the processing and marketing of tropical wood products. At the head of the Atibt, you can count on a global network; and consolidated, of interlocutors engaged in the sustainability and fair trade of tropical wood products.
His career, which lasted almost forty years, includes collaborations with the private sector and the Fao, the United Nations organization responsible for forests and natural resources. During his 25 years of experience in this organization, he fostered relationships with the tropical forest products industry. He was also Secretary of the Fao Advisory Committee for Paper and Wood Products (now Advisory Committee for Sustainable Forestry).