Peter M. Umunay

PhD Candidate

Photo of Peter M. Umunay

Tel: 203-645 1913


MPhil 2016, Yale FES
MFS 2014, Yale FES
Licence (BAC+5): Forest Ecology and Plant Systematic, Kisangani University, DRCongo.



Throughout a variety of experiences – beginning with my childhood in a farming community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), continuing during my degrees in forest ecology (BS) and forest Science (MFS), and during my roles with various forest organizations – I have become aware of the ecosystem services provided by forests to support livelihoodsof million forests dependent people, and the impacts of human activities in changing forest dynamic and climate. For this and other reasons, it is critical that forest management techniques are developed and applied that balance human livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. Over the past five years working in Congo Basin I came to realize some of the challenges of forest management for timber, carbon stocks, biodiversity conservation, and human well-being. For my Ph.D., I plan to build my scientific (sensu latu) knowledge so as to better address these challenges. 

Prior coming to Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, I spent five years working with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in DRC where I was working as Team Leader of forest dynamics program, carbon project and REDD+ process in Ituri Landscape. In addition, I was responsible for Data Management program in Forestry Project, including Ituri Forest Dynamic Plot (IFDP) and Salonga Plot coordinated by Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) of The Smithsonian Tropical Forest Institute (STRI). 

Additional work experience includes, Consultant with the Government of DRC (Reference Scenario for REDD+) and Nepal (Design Benefit Sharing Mechanism for REDD+), Wildlife Conservation Society (DRC aand Congo Republic programs), ProForest (Oxford, UK), Libreville, Gabon, 2013—ESIA/HCV   assessments for palm oil concession; CrowdCover LLC, Washington DC, USA (2014)—Improving forest governance through independent monitoring; and World Bank, Washington DC, USA (2014)—Mapping of conflicts between Extractives and REDD+ in the DRC. An Intern at the Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) of STRI, Panama City, Panama (April – June 2011)

I speak French, English, Swahili, Lingala, Spanish (1st level).