International environmental advocate and businessman Harry Cockrell has joined the TREE Foundation’s Mission Green Scientific Advisory Board. TREE is a Florida-based nonprofit organization focused on protecting trees and forests around the globe. The goal of its Mission Green initiative is to build canopy walkways around the globe to promote ecotourism employment opportunities (as opposed to land-clearing and logging-based economies), and help protect plant and animal species in the most endangered biodiversity forest canopy “Hot Spots” on the planet.
Mr. Cockrell is Chairman of Pacific Tiger Group, Ltd, a Hong Kong-based global manufacturer focused on holistic food solutions that utilize natural, ingredients and environmentally-friendly packaging. Care and concern for the planet is a high priority for the Cockrell family. He is also Chairman of The Habitat Foundation. In 2017, Mr. Cockrell and his son Reza played critical roles in funding and advocating for the conservation of the Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve in Malaysia, which was officially designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021.
As they developed the Penang project, the Cockrells connected with Dr. Margaret Lowman, who, as the Executive Director of the TREE Foundation, had established best practices for canopy walkway planning and construction in 2002 when TREE collaborated with the Friends of Myakka River State Park and the Florida Park Service to create the walkway and observation tower at Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, Florida.
In 2017, the Cockrells invited Dr. Lowman to consult on the Penang project and help them raise awareness about the science in relation to the construction of a canopy walkway in Malaysia. She also helped the Cockrells launch a BioBlitz event, which she co-chaired, to connect international and local experts to facilitate the rapid identification of critical biodiversity at the Penang Hill site.
“We’re immensely grateful to have Mr. Cockrell join our Mission Green scientific advisory board,” said Dr. Lowman. “The TREE Foundation is actively working on canopy walkway development in the island nation of Madagascar, and we’re in discussion with local communities to develop walkways around the globe, including India, Mozambique, and the Great Smoky Mountains of the United States. Mr. Cockrell’s acumen, both in the business and sustainability arenas, will be invaluable.”
Learn more about the TREE Foundation and Mission Green at https://www.mission-green.org.