Andreas Speich

Referat am Clean Forest Forum

Andreas Speich


Born 1939, 1st August, at Aarau, Switzerland, Swiss citizen; mother tongue German, French and English good. Basic schools and colleges at Aarau, Montreux and Zürich.

1955-56 Chemical Apprenticeship at the Chemical Research Centre of Holderbank Cement Industries, and upon their recommendation selection of an academic curriculum.

1956-59 College at Zürich

1959-66 Faculties of chemistry and of forestry, ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), student of the famous silviculture ecologist Prof. Dr. Hans Leibundgut; diploma (dipl. Forstingenieur ETH) and Swiss Federal Certificate as Conservator of Forest (equivalent to M.Sc.).

1966-72 Forestry development project in Rwanda (MINAGRI, Projet Pilote Forestier) funded by Swiss Government (Swiss Development Cooperation SDC, Ministry of Foreign Affairs); project manager; staff education; natural forest protection; biodiversity conservation; agroforestry techniques; rural socio-economic development; silviculture of exotic and preferably autochthonous tree species; operation of small sawmills; appropriate technology development; building and road construction; 5 years resident at Kibuye Rwanda. Substantially contributed to the conservation of over 100’000 ha of natural mountain forest around the “cradle” of the river Nile.

1972-82 Swiss Federal Institute of Forestry Research, international development activities, consulting in rural community forestry, agroforestry and ecological forest conservation in Nepal, Haïti, Rwanda, for FAO, UNDP, World Bank and Swiss Government; research in forest policy and economy, ethics and other essential values attached by man to nature, forests and landscape; socio-ecological research, lecturer at ETH, various short publications.

1982-85 Resident Senior Advisor at Kenya Forest Department, Nairobi/Africa, within the framework of a World Bank/Swiss Government funded project for rural and semi-arid area reforestation, agroforestry, rural biodiversity, socio-ecological aspects of land-use, initiatives for (successful) reorientation of Kenya‘s forest policy; rural forest policy communication, media activities, NGO promotion, marketing of medicinal natural forest products; 3 years resident at Nairobi. 1982 overland cross Sahara transfer by car from Europe to Kenya.

1985-95 Head of the forest department of the City of Zurich, Switzerland, general management and public administration (70 staff members); natural silviculture development; advanced timber marketing; lean management and organisation restructuring; ecological advisory activities to the political authorities of the City of Zurich; influence on Swiss forest policy development for improvement of nature conservation in forest management; planning and implementation of a natural forest reserve owned by the City of Zurich (Naturlandschaft Sihlwald); biodiversity conservation; development and implementation of forest ecology and wilderness education programmes for public schools; design and implementation of local monitoring programmes on forest decay and air pollution; extended media presence in television, radio and press; member of the forestry advisory group to the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs; participation in international congresses as a guest speaker: e.g. Global Forest Conference in Bangor Indonesia (1993) and in scientific meetings in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Morocco and Switzerland, on conservation of natural ecosystem and silviculture management; repeatedly guest lecturer at the Regional Community Forestry Training Centre in Bangkok (Thailand); assignments as consultant in Switzerland, Rwanda, Pakistan, Tanzania by government agencies, the World Bank, and international NGO‘s; various research and study tours in natural and virgin forest reserves of Central and Eastern Europe; 

Numerous personal contacts to ecologists, forest scientists and nature protection groups in these regions. 

Received the Swiss Award for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection (Ford Conservation Award) 1989.

Member and delegate of the Swiss Society of Consulting Engineers and Architects (SIA). 

Vice-chairman (Switzerland) of the International Society of Tropical Foresters (1993). 

Member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, WCPA Europe (since 1994).

Globally contributed to the planting of approximately one billion (109) trees.

1995 Retirement from civil service; developing international consulting activities, focusing on eco-audit, co-natural, economically viable forestry.

Consulting firm 1996 - 2007: 

silvatur travel, founding owner, main full time activity: up-market eco-tourism group tours in Central, Eastern Europe and Russia, focussing on virgin forests and cultural heritage.

2008 retirement from professional life.

2009 honorary member of Pro Natura (Swiss league of nature protection).

Other activities: 

Trouble shooting management mission in a children refugee camp in Rwanda/Africa, for a Swiss humanitarian NGO (1995). 

Production of a television film on co-natural forest management and forest reserves in Central Europe, produced with ORF television, 3-sat, Deutsche Welle (widely broadcast since 1997).

Development of timber certification eco timber (in cooperation with Forest Stewardship Council), activity not continued.

Organising and operating of nature study tours to Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic.

Lectures and consulting activities in Slovenia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Austria, Republic of Georgia (Caucasus), Rep. of Ukraine, e.g. for  IUCN, WWF, GtZ, Council of Europe, national government bodies and  NGO‘s.

Organisation and coaching of training study tours in Switzerland for leading senior forest staff from Albania, Algeria, Turkey, India, on behalf of, SDC and UN/FAO.

Member of International Union for Conservation of Nature, World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN WCPA).

Member of the jury of the International Festival of Documentary Films on Nature Parks, Sondrio (Italy).

Consulting on investment in tropical forests.

Member of Scientific Commission for the planned new Swiss National Park Locarnese