Liesbeth Gort steps down as CEO of FSC Netherlands after 9 years


Liesbeth Gort has always been committed to the certification of the Congo Basin forests and has always worked towards the establishment of a specific roadmap. She leaves FSC Netherlands after nine years as CEO.

©Business School Nederland

She will continue to dedicate her working life to forests. Liesbeth will start the Treevive initiative, which aims to accelerate the accessibility of climate finance for forest conservation, forest restoration and sustainable forest management in the tropics. This initiative was developed by FSC Netherlands in collaboration with Form International.

During Liesbeth’s period as Director, the market share of FSC products on the Dutch market has more than doubled to approximately 55%. She also has initiated an expansion of the activities of FSC Netherlands to contribute more effectively to sustainable forest management and the transition to a green economy. The organization is now also committed to promoting wood in construction and valuing and marketing ecosystem services of forests.

Bert van Veldhuizen, chairman of the board of FSC Netherlands said: “I dare to say that Liesbeth has really changed FSC Netherlands. She combines entrepreneurship with vision. With her enthusiasm, she knows how to inspire other companies and organizations. She leaves behind a thriving organization with a sophisticated strategy for the next five years. It was a pleasure working with her and we will dearly miss her.

Liesbeth Gort declared: “I am proud of what we have achieved as a team and as FSC. We dare to go beyond certification and do much more to protect and restore forests. And we are happy to see an increasing interest in investing or compensating in high quality forest projects. However, at present, the layout of most forest projects needs to be developed for the uptake of climate money. To this end, we have designed the Treevive initiative which aims to bridge the gap between the available climate finance and forest projects.

It is the right time for me to take the next step for forests. I leave my role as CEO at FSC, with confidence, to my successor and a strong team with great ambitions. I am convinced that we will continue to work closely together in the future.”

On 1 October, Wyke Smit will start as CEO of FSC Netherlands. She has a solid background including Director of Administrative Affairs at the Efteling, Deputy Regional Director for Natuurmonumenten and Public Affairs Senior Advisor for Nature and Environment Organizations (Groene 11).

The ATIBT thanks Liesbeth Gort for all her work and welcomes Wyke Smit.