Simon Besnard

I bring a unique combination of social and technical expertise in International Rural Development Project Management, Community Development, Carbon Markets and Reforestation, Sustainable Agriculture and Habitat Restoration, with international experiences in Nicaragua, South Africa, Tunisia and France. I further offer a life-long commitment and passion for social and environmental justice issues throughout the global South, grounded in rigorous educational inquiry and applied on three continents.

I am a MS graduate in Agrarian Tropical Systems from the Institute of Tropical Agriculture of Montpellier SupAgro, France (previously CNEARC). The Master is very well known for its systemic approach to study the relations between anthropogenic activities and natural resources. I also hold a BS in Environmental Sciences, with majors (specializations) in Watershed Management and Habitat Restoration. I enjoyed the inter-disciplinary character and the practical application of my education in the professional and research activities I have experienced so far, which have indeed reinforced my socio-technical base. 

Alongside my education, I have acquired professional management experiences in natural resources and rural development in different communities of Nicaragua (Reforestation, Carbon Offsets and Markets with small-holder farmers in the most difficult and remote area in the tropical rainforest ecosystem of the country) and Tunisia (Diversification of income activities with women and Water Use Efficiency project with farmers in a Oasis ecosystem). I also have extensive research experience in ecosystem rehabilitation and participatory communal land management in South Africa, as well as other professional experiences in France.  As a rural development expert, participatory extensionist, habitat rehabilitator, researcher and most recently, as a project manager of reforestation projects, I have been constantly exposed and involved in improving people’s habitat, environmental and living conditions.