Lankan-born international development expert appointed to Global Board of Rainforest Alliance
Anisha Rajapakse has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Rainforest Alliance. Rajapakse is a senior global expert with more than two decades of broad experience working at the intersection of human rights, business, and international development.
Until recently she was based in Brussels, heading the stakeholder engagement department of a leading business association working closely with corporations, governments, intergovernmental and bilateral agencies, civil society, and other stakeholders. In London, she led the Human Development Program at the Commonwealth for several years, working across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific regions, and in other senior international roles spanning East Africa, Asia Pacific, and Afghanistan.
Now relocated to Sri Lanka, Rajapakse continues to engage closely with businesses internationally to promote responsible and ethical business practices and embed sustainability into corporate policies and strategies in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). Since the pandemic she consults independently for international bodies, the UN, governments, civil society and provides guidance and training for companies on responsible business including corporate human rights due diligence in supply chains. Rajapakse holds a Master’s in International Studies, a diploma in Journalism, and is an alumnus of the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program.
In the official announcement of the Rainforest Alliance, Daniel Katz, the Board Chair and Co-Founder of the Alliance states, “We are so excited for Anisha to join our Board of Directors. Her deep expertise in business and human rights, her extensive international experience, knowledge of sustainability and the evolving international human rights ecosystem will be an invaluable asset to the organisation.”
The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organisation working in 70 countries at the intersection of business, agriculture and forests. Its mandate is towards creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities. By bringing farmers, forest communities, companies, and individuals together it addresses some of the most pressing social and environmental challenges of today.
The organisation changes the way the world produces, sources and consumes, with a focus on cocoa, coffee, tea, bananas, forest products, and palm oil through its certification programme, supply chain services, landscape management, and advocacy. In 2020, more than 6.8 million hectares of land and more than 2.3 million farmers were certified according to the Rainforest Alliance or UTZ standards, which are designed to improve economic, environmental, and social sustainability.