Combating Climate Change with Mangrove Forestry, Education, and Blockhain

About Us


Our Goals

Mangroves are crucial ecosystems for addressing climate change. Global Mangrove Trust works with our partners to ensure that families and businesses are empowered and engaged in community-based mangrove forestry no matter where they are. We've aligned our mission and goals with eight of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Our Team

Ryan Merrill
Managing Director
Ryan is a Doctoral Research Fellow in Sustainability, Strategy and Innovation and an Adjunct Professor at Singapore Management University. Ryan has spent 10 years in higher management in institutional finance, energy research, education, and consulting, and holds a PhD in Environmental Policy from the University of Southern California. Ryan is passionate about the promise of mangrove forestry to lead the fight against climate change.
Simon Schillebeeckx
Director (Innovation & Technology)
Simon is an Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at Singapore Management University and holds a PhD in Innovation from Imperial College London. Before his academic career, Simon studied commercial engineering in Belgium, Corporate Social Responsibility in the UK, and worked as a sustainability and innovation consultant in Belgium and the Netherlands. Simon’s work focuses on exploring FinTech, specifically blockchain technology, as a technological shock to both financial and other industries. Simon is also published in top management journals and has authored and edited books on SME business model innovation and sustainable natural resources management.
Richard Cohen
Institutional Sales Manager
Richard is the Institutional Sales Manager for GMT. After earning a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara, he worked as a fund manager in the U.S. financial markets. He then earned a Master’s in Pacific International Affairs at the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UC San Diego. Upon obtaining his Master’s degree he returned to the stock market, this time in Asia, where he worked as an institutional stockbroker and fund manager at some of the top local and international banks. He was ranked as the top broker on Malaysia to hedge funds. After more than twenty years in financial markets Richard took his customer service and analytical skillset to the world of Asian start-ups where he worked in several fields and consulted on several more with a focus on sustainability and energy efficiency. He eventually developed two core areas of interest: digital currencies, mainly loyalty “points,” and sustainable, ethical business practices. Richard currently splits his time between Cardu, Oy, a Finnish communications and loyalty platform where he advises on business development, and GMT where he manages relations with institutional donors.
Elsa Lillford
Chief Development Officer
Elsa is the Chief Development Officer for the Global Mangrove Trust. She has a bachelors of Environmental Science and Laws double degree from the Univerisity of New England, serves as Mangrove Coordinator for International Coastal Cleanup for the Sunget Buloh Wetlands in NW Singapore and is an Officer at Mastermark. From this experience, Elsa brings a keen appreciation for balancing stakeholder interests in restorative land use.
Alan Laubsch
Director (Natural capital valuation & global outreach)
Alan is an entrepreneur, connector, and a thought leader in natural green finance and sustainability. His mission is to protect Earth’s most vital ecosystems by democratizing natural capital investment. Alan is a founder and Chief Strategist of GenBlue, a venture studio dedicated to building a liquid global natural capital marketplace. Previously, Alan established Natural Capital Markets at Lykke AG, and listed the world’s first mangrove and Blue Carbon-backed blockchain token (TREE). He has over two decades of risk management experience with leading financial institutions, and was a founding member of the RiskMetrics Group, a JPMorgan spin-off.
Linzi Hawkin
Director (Education & Curriculum)
Linzi is a brand strategist. She’s experienced the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. From teaching kids to surf, to running music festivals and working as a freelance brand & marketing consultant. For the last three years her focus has been on teaching start ups, entrepreneurs & non-profits how to build brands with purpose and guiding companies through the B Corp Certification process. Her latest project, SUPKids, is an educational program for kids, teaching sustainability, water safety & stand up paddleboarding. SUPKids is now partnered with Starboard, 5 Gyres, Parley for the Oceans & Sustainable Surf and has 38 SUPKids Schools teaching the curriculum in 18 countries.
Simran Mulchandani
Director (Funding & Technology)
Simran is a serial entrepreneur pursuing excellence across investment banking, brand building, music, technology and sustainability. He is a founder at Generation Blue, Singapore - an innovation platform aimed at transforming Natural Capital into an investable asset class. He was a director at Lykke Corp, a Swiss Fintech company building a global marketplace based on blockchain technology. He also worked to design and execute a music and arts programme called Project Rangeet for Kokuyo Camlin (India) and BRAC (Bangladesh) that aims to educate children around social issues like the Importance of our Forests, Gender Equality amongst others.