BOARD


SIBYLLE FELTRIN


ROBERTO 
ARTAVIRA


GIAN 
CASTILLERO

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


JORGE 
JIMÉNEZ

CO-INVESTMENTS


ALEJANDRA
PACHECO

ADMINISTRATION


MARTHA 
NAVARRETE


ÉDGAR 
ARAYA


YANELA
CEDEÑO

SCIENCES


JUAN MANUEL 
POSADA


ANNISSAMYD 
DEL CID


CRISTINA
SÁNCHEZ


MANUEL 
VELANDIA


MARCO 
CASTRO


JUAN MANUEL 
DÍAZ

COMMUNICATIONS


KELLY
ROJAS


MELISSA 
ÁLVAREZ


MAGDALENA 
VELÁZQUEZ

POLITICAL INCIDENCE


VICENTE
DEL CID


ANA 
ÁVILA


KATHERINE 
ARROYO


ALBERTO
QUESADA


FÉLIX
FONSECA


TANIA 
AROSEMENA


ESTEFANÍA
RODRÍGUEZ

All Rights Reserved Copyright 2021 MarViva

SIBYLLE FELTRIN

REGIONAL

Director of Avina Stiftung, a Swiss foundation for social and ecological sustainability, since 2012. Sibylle began working for Fundación Avina (sister organization of Avina Stiftung) in 2001, analyzing and evaluating projects in Latin America. She served as a member of the board of directors of Avina and as secretary of the VIVA Trust.

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ROBERTO ARTAVIA

REGIONAL

President of the VIVA Trust and the Latin America Possible Foundation.

He was the rector of the Central American Institute of Business Administration (INCAE) Business School, and founding director of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development. He is a member of the board of directors of INCAE and the World Resources Institute in Washington. He is a co-founder of the Digital Strategy project of Costa Rica and a member of the Competitiveness Commission of the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica. He is also a co-founder of the Central American Leadership Initiative and director of several international companies in the region.

He holds a PhD from Harvard Business School, a master’s degree in business administration from INCAE, and a bachelor’s degree in naval and mechanical engineering. He is the author of several books and dozens of articles and case studies on sustainable development, strategic management, nonprofit strategy, agribusiness and corporate social responsibility.

He has provided advice to corporations, nonprofit organizations and governments in Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, all Central American countries, Dominican Republic and Mexico. He has been invited as speaker at major forums on sustainable development in Latin America, the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

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GIAN CASTILLERO

REGIONAL

MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE MARITIME UNIVERSITY OF PANAMA, THE PLAZA AMADOR SPORTS ASSOCIATION AND THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF THE WTT FOUNDATION

He is the chairman of the subcommittee for the project to modernize Panama’s marine-commercial legislation. He is the president of the International Bar Association, and a member of the presidential committee for the protection of international and financial services in Panama. He is also a member of the International Maritime Committee. He was head of the Panamanian Association of Maritime Lawyers.

He holds a master’s degree in commercial law from the School of Economics at the University of London, and a bachelor’s degree in law and political science.

He has been a partner at the law firm Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega since 1994. His main areas of work are commercial, corporate and maritime law. He is a private advisor in several fields of expertise: asset management, management and structuring of foundations and trusts, and philanthropic entities, tax planning and corporate consulting. He is also a professional advisor to several NGOs in Panama: MarViva, Avina, América Latina en Acción Solidaria (ALAS), Fundes, Latinoamérica Posible, Red Forum Empresa and Un techo para mi país.

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JORGE JIMÉNEZ

REGIONAL

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Jorge holds a PhD in marine ecology. His extensive experience in the field has made him a researcher at the School of Biological Sciences, a member of the Postgraduate Academic Committee, coordinator of the Mangrove Forest Ecology and Management Program, and a member of the University Council of the National University of Costa Rica. He has been a visiting professor at institutions in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, Australia and Europe. He has also worked as an ad-honorem professor of the Postgraduate Studies System and as an associate researcher at the Marine Research Center of the University of Costa Rica.

Before joining MarViva, he worked with the Tropical Agronomic Research and Teaching Center (CATIE) as a specialist in management of mangrove and wild areas. At the Instituto de Forestería Tropical, Puerto Rico, he served as an instructor of the Tropical Forest Management course, and as an instructor in postgraduate courses of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), where he is also a member of the assembly and the board of directors. He was director of biological inventories at the National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio), director of scientific programs and general director of the OTS.

His experience in mangrove ecology is summarized in several publications, including maps, technical reports, scientific articles and books. His book “The Mangroves of the Central American Pacific” stands out.

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ALEJANDRA PACHECO

REGIONAL

REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF CO-INVESTMENTS

Alejandra has extensive international experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She holds master’s degrees in project management from the University for International Cooperation and in business administration from the INCAE Business School.

Since joining MarViva in 2010, she has been responsible for the creation of alliances and fundraising in favor of marine conservation and sustainability initiatives promoted by the foundation in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

Previously, Alejandra was a collaborator in the Costa Rican Coalition of Development Initiatives dedicated to attracting foreign direct investment from North America, Europe and Asia. She served as a diplomatic representative for the Government of Costa Rica in Spain and held international promotion functions in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Tourism. She also held executive positions in multinational companies based in the United States, Spain, Mexico and Argentina.

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MARTHA NAVARRETE

COLOMBIA

ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE COORDINATOR

Martha is a Certified Public Accountant, who graduated from The Ideas University, with a specialization in commercial and financial law conferred by the Catholic University of Colombia.

She worked for more than 18 years at IFF Multinational in the financial sector; she started as an assistant in the administrative department and was the Accountant of the company. Additionally, she worked as an Accountant in several companies in the commercial and services sector.

She joined MarViva in 2017 and since then has overseen the administrative and financial departments .

She is very interested in interpersonal relationships, is a believer and looks for opportunities to improve in every aspect. She enjoys family life very much and spends her free time with her relatives. She lives with her father, sister, son and two pets.

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EDGAR ARAYA

COSTA RICA

ACCOUNTANT

Edgar is an accounting and finance professional. He has more than 10 years of experience, working in administration and accounting teams.

He worked as a BPO Supervisor (Business Process Outsourcing) in Asesores y Consultores Empresariales, a firm of public accountants with international representation of the Geneva Group International firm based in Switzerland, which is a worldwide network of independent professional firms whose main activities are in the fields of external auditing, accounting, taxation and business consulting. He has been a consultant in labor issues, taxes, accounting, finance, auditing and implementation of accounting software.

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YANELA CEDEÑO

PANAMÁ

REGIONAL MANAGER OF ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE

Yanela Vega-Ayala de Cedeño holds a degree in accounting from the University of Panama and is an Authorized Public Accountant (CPA). She has a postgraduate degree in senior management and two master’s degrees in business administration, one with an emphasis on business management and another with an emphasis on human resources, from the Latin University of Panama. She holds a PMD Pro1 Development Project Management Certification, awarded by APM Group Ltd, Buckinghamshire, England.

She worked for more than seven years in the private banking sector of Panama, and was recognized by the Banking Association of Panama with the distinction of Distinguished Employee of the Bank of Colombia in 1994 and later in 1997.

She worked as an Accountant at Crea Consulting, S.A., obtaining experience in financial reporting, budgeting, accounting for nonprofit organizations, administration and human resources. In 2006, she joined Fundación MarViva as Administration and Finance Manager.

She has participated in financial seminars of international organizations, as well as courses by Franklin Covey and John Maxwell on leadership, teamwork, emotional intelligence and interpersonal relationships, among others.

 

She enjoys reading, and spending time with friends and family.

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JUAN MANUEL POSADA

PANAMÁ

SCIENCE MANAGER

Juan M. Posada was born in 1959, in Caracas, Venezuela; he is the son of Spanish immigrants (Asturias). He is a biologist who graduated from the Central University of Venezuela (1984), with a PhD in biological oceanography from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez University Campus (1996). His first professional steps were with the Los Roques Scientific Foundation as a resident biologist at the Dos Mosquises Marine Biology Station (1986-89). He worked for 14 years as a professor and researcher in the Department of Biology of Organisms of the Simón Bolívar University, and is currently the Science Manager for the MarViva Foundation (Panama). His area of interest has always been linked to marine fish biology and the management of artisanal fishery resources. He is proud of the 24 students who have completed their undergraduate or postgraduate studies under his mentorship, and has published 22 articles in indexed refereed journals and another 57 in conference reports, book chapters and technical reports. During the last few years, he has developed an interest in the massification of scientific knowledge, through the production of documentaries, press articles and the creation of electronic information pages. He is married and has two children. He likes good food, traveling with family and taking care of his friends, despite the time and distance.

“Fighting not to end up as a forensic biologist of marine fishery resources” -Juan Manuel Posada.

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ANNISSAMYD DEL CID

PANAMÁ

BIOLOGIST

As an environmental biologist, with a specialization in coastal ecology, coastal marine resource management and higher education, Annissamyd is fully dedicated to the conservation of marine life since the start of her professional career, with experience in marine resource assessments, management plans, impact studies and environmental monitoring for private companies, universities and NGOs.

In MarViva, the most rewarding work for her is working with coastal communities, strengthening the knowledge of various users of the resources, including fishermen, who she identifies as an important ally to promote conservation and bring about changes in the actions that lead to more sustainable practices in the use of marine resources — “fishermen are the empirical marine biologists”.

Annissamyd has a constant vocation to continue researching and learning alongside fishermen; she has interests in the areas of fishing technology, marine pollution and fisheries bioeconomy. Her hobbies include going to the beach, scuba diving and going to the cinema.

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CRISTINA SÁNCHEZ

COSTA RICA

SCIENCE MANAGER

Cristina is a marine biologist who graduated from the University of Costa Rica, with a master’s degree in biology, with an emphasis on marine biology, specifically the ecology of coral reefs and fish populations. She has collaborated in scientific research monitoring coral reefs and fish populations in the Pacific and the Caribbean. She participated in the assessment of the status of 130 Caribbean reefs in 12 countries. For 12 years, she worked as a researcher and project coordinator in different NGOs in Costa Rica, directing projects related to the conservation and sustainable use of marine-coastal resources, the evaluation of the state of marine ecosystems in marine protected areas (MPAs), and the development of capacities in marine tourism guides and officials in marine monitoring and generation of ecological information applied to management. She has also participated in the processes of updating general management plans using the methodology of open standards for conservation. She worked for five years as a professor at the University of Costa Rica and the National University, teaching courses on general biology, ecological problems, and management and administration of MPAs. She has participated in national and international symposia and workshops on various topics related to marine ecosystems, coastal communities and climate change.

MarViva has had the opportunity to use scientific knowledge and information in a comprehensive and multidisciplinary way, thus bringing science to different contexts of civil society, from the legal field and marine spatial planning, to coastal communities, who are the users of the resources.

Currently, the planet is overpopulated and consequently, the demand for resources is increasing. Working in conservation represents a challenge, as it is the only way to mitigate the environmental problems we face today.

Cristina loves swimming, scuba diving, seeing new places and spending time with her family, especially her son.

“Look deeply into nature and then you will understand everything better.” — Albert Einstein

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MANUEL VELANDIA

COLOMBIA

SCIENCE COORDINATOR

Manuel is a geographer, with a master’s degree in geography from the National University of Colombia.

He has more than four years of experience in the environmental sector and in the management and administration of geographic information of the coastal marine environments of the Colombian Pacific. He has been a contributor to several publications such as “Towards the declaration of a new marine protected area (MPA) in the Gulf of Tribugá, Pacific North Chocó”, “Results of the Participatory Fisheries Monitoring for the Exclusive Zone of Artisanal Fisheries, ZEPA” and the “Coastal Marine Atlas of the Colombian North Pacific”, among others.

Since he arrived at MarViva, he has stood out for his creativity in the implementation of digital alternatives for the construction of tools to raise awareness about conservation issues; this is how he has developed the Story Maps (counted maps) of the Mangrove Management Plan of the Gulf of Tribugá and the declaration of the DRMI Gulf of Tribugá – Cabo Corrientes.

His work has been recognized nationally with the 2015 CCU National User Conference ESRI Award.

MarViva has given him the support to develop his creative potential and to work on innovative processes in line with the foundation’s mission. Likewise, thanks to his work, he has discovered new ways of seeing and relating to nature.

Because conservation is directly related to environmental sustainability, it guarantees the livelihoods of populations and seeks a balance between biodiversity and development. A geographic view of conservation allows the integration of all social, cultural and environmental spheres of the society.

In his free time, Manuel enjoys hiking through ecological trails and is always accompanied by his camera.

” In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty.” — Imbesi’s law on the conservation of dirt

“But you can get everything dirty without cleaning anything.” — Freeman extension.

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MARCO CASTRO

COSTA RICA

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS COORDINATOR

Marco is a geographer, with specializations in geographic information systems, conservation planning and strategies, and tourism geography. With more than 20 years of experience in the field of conservation, he has worked as a project coordinator and specialist in conservation and geographic

information systems for the OTS (La Selva Biological Station), the INBIO (Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad), at the regional level with the environmental organization The Nature Conservancy and for seven years in MarViva Foundation.

For Marco, understanding the causality of things is an important issue and that is why working for MarViva has been a gateway to learning and better understanding the natural and human processes that occur in our coastal and marine areas, as well as the interactions between processes beyond the coastline.

The possibility of contributing to political advocacy processes from a geographic perspective has been very enriching for his personal and professional growth, especially for the support he has provided to local, regional and national decision-making processes through the management of the marine-coastal space.

In his free time, he enjoys swimming, ecotourism and cultural tourism. He is always accompanied by a good coffee and a good wine; he enjoys watching wildlife and practices genealogy, his other hobby.

Marco is convinced that what is known and understood, is preserved, and that all resources in this world are finite. “Respect is the basis for changing the world.”

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JUAN MANUEL DÍAZ

COLOMBIA

SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR

Juan was born in 1955, in Bogotá. He is the son of Spanish immigrants. He is a biologist who graduated from the University of Los Andes, Bogotá (1979), with a master’s degree (1982) and a doctorate (1985) in natural sciences from the Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany. He was researcher and coordinator of the Biodiversity Program of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Research – INVEMAR – (1986-2003), coordinator of the Conservation Biology program (2004-06), deputy director (2007-09) of the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute and associate professor of the Department of Geography of the National University of Colombia (2010-19). He was a consultant for The Nature Conservancy (2007-08) and the United Nations Development Program, UNDP (2009). He also participated as a representative for Colombia in the South American Committee of the global initiative Census of Marine Life (2004-09), and is a member of the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences since 2002. In 1994, he was awarded the National Prize for Marine Sciences of the Colombian Ocean Commission. His main areas of interest have been related to the biogeography of marine mollusks, the ecology of coral reefs and underwater meadows, and the conservation of biodiversity. He is the author of 65 articles in indexed journals, 11 chapters in scientific books, and 13 scientific and informative books. He has been linked to MarViva since 2010. He is married and has two daughters. He enjoys traveling, hiking and sailing in his expedition kayak.

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KELLY ROJAS

COLOMBIA

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Kelly is a social communicator and journalist with a master’s degree in organizational communication management. She has experience in public relations, communication strategies and outreach for resource conservation, and is passionate about working with communities.

MarViva has been a great learning center on environmental issues and conservation of marine resources, a way to get closer to the communities of the Pacific coast of Chocó and to learn firsthand the reality of many populations in the country. Thanks to her work with the foundation, she has been able to raise awareness among her family and close friends about the importance of the sea, its species and artisanal fishermen.

She is constantly updating on different news through social networks. She is always cheerful and loves music.

“Only when the last tree is dead, the last river poisoned, and the last fish caught, will you realize you can’t eat money.”

 

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MELISSA ÁLVAREZ

COSTA RICA

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Melissa is a journalist with a bachelor’s degree in media production and a master’s degree in digital communication from the University of Cantabria, Spain. She has more than 10 years of professional experience in public relations, strategy development and organizational communication. She also has experience in private companies, government and international cooperation agencies. Being part of MarViva is an opportunity and a challenge that she assumes with great enthusiasm since she combines in an integral way her passion for communication and respect for the environment. With her knowledge, she hopes to contribute to the work that the foundation does to conserve marine resources. She enjoys reading, music, exercising outdoors, and traveling to get to know new places and cultures. She also loves a good conversation with friends and family.

“Look deeply into nature and then you will understand everything better.” — Albert Einstein

 

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MAGDALENA VELÁZQUEZ

PANAMÁ

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Magda has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration, with more than 15 years of experience in marketing strategies and event coordination in companies such as McDonalds and Nissan. For more than nine years she has been working to help create marine conservation awareness.

Her work at MarViva has allowed her to learn about interesting topics such as the importance of sharks, and the need for the oceans to be protected from the bad practices of our species. She is happy to be part of a luxury team and considers her work to be fun and very enjoyable.

Passion is essential to develop this work because every day we see how we take advantage of our planet; being able to make a difference fills her.

“If you want to, you can.”

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VICENTE DEL CID

PANAMÁ

RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION MANAGER

Vicente is an engineer in agricultural development, with specialization in administration, project design and sustainable tourism management. He has more than 17 years of experience in the management and coordination of social development projects, microenterprises, and green businesses with national and international organizations.

His work at MarViva has allowed him to be more creative in producing ideas that contribute to the sustainable development of marine and coastal resources, which has allowed him to grow as a professional intrapreneur and social entrepreneur.

Vicente is passionate about working on conservation issues because he believes that if we do not conserve the natural environment, it will have direct effects on our lives. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking in natural areas, and responsible sightings of terrestrial and marine wildlife.

“An informed consumer has power.”

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ANA ÁVILA

PANAMÁ

PROJECT ASSISTANT

Ana has more than 15 years of experience working with NGOs in the environmental sector, and private and public sector associations and companies, providing administrative and logistical support for the development of projects with international entities such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the European Union.

At MarViva, in addition to facilitating and assisting with the work of the market management and other teams of the organization, her work has allowed her to put into practice her training as a sociologist through contact with members of coastal communities involved in tourism and fishing, local and national authorities, members of NGOs and representatives of the private sector.

She loves nature and believes that it marks our origin and provides us with life, food, beauty, mystery and adventure. Walking is one of her favorite hobbies, getting to know new places in her country, and going to the beach in the afternoons and enjoying the sound of the waves. Her greatest strength is her family.

A phrase she likes very much is Aristotle’s “In all things in nature there is something wonderful”.

 

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KATHERINE ARROYO

COSTA RICA

ADVOCACY MANAGER

Katherine is a lawyer with a specialization in environmental law, with advanced studies in climate change, international law and international relations. In 2016, she received the Fernando Soto Harrison Award, granted by the University of Costa Rica in recognition of the excellence of her thesis “Public participation in environmental issues: The case of the Councils of the National System of Conservation Areas”, which is considered the most outstanding graduation thesis of the School of Law in 2015.

After a decade of experience, she has recently worked in areas such as sustainable development, green growth, international trade and climate action. She has also mediated in the process of inter-institutional coordination of the Costa Rican environmental sector, in view of the country’s incorporation into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. She has also coordinated volunteer projects in Protected Wildlife Areas and their surrounding communities.

For her, it is important to study the relationship between environmental and economic policies, and how these can be mutually supportive. MarViva has allowed her to work in favor of the right to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment, promoting the improvement of our environmental legal framework, encouraging the sustainable use of ecosystem services of marine-coastal resources, supporting the generation of sustainable productive activities and calling for responsible consumption habits.

She enjoys music, practicing the guitar, studying international politics and getting to know different places.

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ALBERTO QUESADA

COSTA RICA

REGIONAL MARINE POLLUTION ADVISOR

Alberto is a political scientist from the University of Costa Rica, with an MBA from FUNDEPOS, and is currently a student at the Faculty of Law of UCR. Working at MarViva has allowed him to channel his values with his professional practice. It has also allowed him to grow professionally in an area that he is passionate about, where he also creates synergies between his studies and his previous professional experiences.

He is passionate about working in conservation because for him our passage through the earth is instantaneous, we are guests and as human beings we have a social function to protect the environmental conditions that allow us to live, and beyond that, to ensure that these conditions are maintained for future humanity. For Alberto, working in conservation is the best way in which one can fight to guarantee a space of dignified development for all, to impact society in a positive way.

He enjoys going to the movies and listening to music and playing musical instruments such as the guitar. He likes reading genres such as science fiction and detective novels and discussing national and political reality.

“If I am to live, it will not be by begging.

for my culture and for what I believed

If I must fall, it will be at least fighting

because they don’t hijack my freedom.”

 

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FÉLIX FONSECA

COSTA RICA

COMMUNITY ADVISOR

Felix Fonseca is a professional in social sciences, a student of law (bachelor’s degree) at the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, with a humanistic and ethical formation, an environmental conscience and great social responsibility.

He has experience in business plans, international cooperation and project development, with three years of experience in working with various community organizations in Costa Rica. He also has teamwork skills, excellent interpersonal relationships and a vision on social and environmental protection and is working in communities with social and environmental problems.

Over the last two years, he has served as the President of an ASADA and as a consultant for community organizations of the Nicoya Peninsula, mainly ADIs and ASADAs.

“The MarViva Foundation has allowed me to develop in a work environment that has taken me to new frontiers of knowledge and learning for a better development in my professional and working life.”

For him, it is important to conserve coastal marine resources because they provide an enormous biological wealth for our planet, and they are also sources of food and livelihood for coastal peoples.

I love coffee, the environment and reading. I like to spend time with family and friends.

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TANIA AROSEMENA

PANAMÁ

ADVOCACY MANAGER

Tania is a lawyer with a specialization in maritime sector development and has postgraduate degrees in environmental impact assessment and higher level didactics, and technical training in ecology and project management.

She has more than 15 years of experience in the environmental legal field, both in the nongovernmental sphere and in civil society organizations at the local and international level.

Promoting actions for the improvement of regulations and processes, as well as promoting bridges between the different actors involved in the management of marine and coastal resources is part of her work at MarViva.

Tania is very aware that achieving a better environment and the sustainability of natural resources is a challenge that concerns us all, and she is enthusiastic about MarViva continuing to contribute to the protection of the marine and coastal resources of the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

“Knowing and appreciating what our seas offer us, allows us to value and take responsibility for our environment.”

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ESTEFANÍA RODRÍGUEZ

COLOMBIA

LEGAL ADVISOR

Stefania is a lawyer from Universidad de Los Andes, with professional experience in environmental, maritime and natural resources governance law.

At MarViva, she is responsible for the promotion of public policies and regulations to strengthen the regulatory framework that protects marine-coastal spaces. Her work as a legal advisor includes the development of participatory, inclusive and community-based strategies for the protection of protected areas, the training of decision-makers and the promotion of sustainable productive alternatives. MarViva has been a great school for understanding that the environmental problems that afflict marine ecosystems are unprecedented collective challenges that require not only knowledge but also will and multi-sectoral collaboration.

She believes that humanity is at a key moment, in which the entire political and institutional scaffolding must be oriented to establish a development model that promotes healthy and resilient oceans. She is particularly interested in continuing her professional career to support intersectoral processes for the effective protection of the environment and the consolidation of sustainable consumption and production models.

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a reflection of what we are doing to ourselves.” — Gandhi

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