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Tamara Stark

Head of Impact

Tamara returned to Canada this past year after 15 years of campaigning for conservation in countries as diverse as China, Japan and the United Kingdom. She began as an activist dedicated to saving the Great Bear Rainforest and, after the initial success of getting conservation measures in place, turned her attention to protecting South East Asian rainforests and improving the wood manufacturing industry in China, challenging illegal and unsustainable fishing globally, and shifting energy interests in Japan away from nuclear and coal to more responsible sources. Tamara oversees all aspects of our diverse campaign portfolio as Canopy’s Campaigns Director.

More About Me 

As an activist with a background in journalism, I grew up as a campaigner on the Great Bear, standing with First Nations defending their lands from destructive logging and urging major players in the market to use their influence to help protect the rainforest. My international experience is extensive, gained primarily from working with Greenpeace, and has helped me become more sensitised to cultural, social and market differences among us. But the one common thread that binds us together is our love for the planet and its creatures, and a shared desire to live a life connected to our communities and our forests and seas. I feel so incredibly fortunate to contribute to making this a reality.

Why Are Forests Important to Me?

I’ve visited some of the most majestic forests on the planet – the Amazon, the Boreal, the tropical rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia, and the ever-gorgeous Great Bear. I know scientifically how important intact forests are for biodiversity and for maintaining a stable climate. But on a personal level, being in forests lets me breathe more easily and restores my soul. The Japanese even have a term for it – forest-bathing, or shinrin-yoku 森林浴 – and my plan is that we all get to forest-bathe for the rest of our lives.

Why Canopy?

Canopy does phenomenal work that I’ve followed and admired for years. I was even on its steering committee when it first embarked on its remarkable path! Coming back to my home country of Canada and being able to join Canopy is an absolute joy.

Ask me about

Favourite forest animals. For that matter, awesome ocean critters too – I dive, as well as forest-bathe!

What ruffles my feathers

The myopia that some politicians and business interests display towards our natural environment – so fragile and yet so resilient too – more than ruffles my feathers, but for lack of a better phrase we can just leave it at that!