The Rights and Resources Initiative and its Secretariat are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our treasured friend and colleague, Esther Mwangi. Esther was a highly respected leader in our field, and one of the African continent’s leading voices for the rights of rural women and forest communities. Her passion for improving the livelihoods of forest peoples inspired countless others, including young women scholars across the world—an enduring legacy for which we are all extremely grateful.

We have been blessed to have had the opportunity to work closely with Esther over the last decade. She was a warm and wonderful person and we were humbled by her kindness and compassion to everyone around her. She contributed to a countless number of events and research, and was recently instrumental in the development of our coalition’s gender strategy and program. She will be thoroughly missed, and we find some comfort in thinking about all those she inspired to work on our field and that her work will continue to make the world a better place.