Ulrich Apel, a German National, works at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat where he coordinates the Land Degradation Focal Area. Over the past eight years he has overseen a large portfolio of GEF projects and programs addressing land degradation, forest restoration and sustainable forest management in a wide range of landscapes and national country contexts. Prior to joining the GEF, he has worked for 15 years as a consultant for forestry and natural resource management in various bi- and multilateral development projects and programs. Ulrich was chief technical advisor of several large-scale reforestation and sustainable forest management projects in Vietnam and China. He also engaged in field research in community forestry and in advisory work related to land use planning, agriculture policy, land tenure, community livelihoods and legal framework analysis. Ulrich holds a Masters in Forestry Sciences and a PhD in Tropical and Subtropical Forest Management from the University of Goettingen, Germany.