Santiago García Lloré has come to CSU from his home country of Ecuador twice to further his education and experience. He first came as a participant in the Center for Protected Area Management (CPAM) 30-day course on protected area management for Latin Americans. He then came back to CSU to complete the Conservation Leadership through Learning (CLTL) Master’s Program. Upon graduation, Santiago returned to Ecuador where he is now the National Director of Forestry in the Ministry of the Environment.

Santiago manages efforts to reduce deforestation, works with communities that rely on forest resources, promotes forest management practices at the national level, and is responsible for the national forests and protected vegetation system. He is also developing a national forest strategy to achieve net zero deforestation in Ecuador by 2030.

Much of Santiago’s time is spent representing the country of Ecuador during international conferences and negotiations, such as the United Nations Forum of Forests (UNFF), Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, and International Tropical Timber Organization. Santiago attended the Conference of Parties for the Convention on Biological Diversity in Cancun in 2016 and hosted an international forest event with the help of more than 20 non-governmental organizations in 2017. This May, Santiago is hosting a supplementary event during the 12th reunion of the UNFF to share the history of Ecuador’s success in reducing deforestation for the past 25 years.

Santiago’s experiences at CSU have prepared him to serve as the National Director of Forestry in Ecuador. His completion of the protected area management course provided him with skills and knowledge related to management of protected areas, and his Master’s degree provided him with a strong understanding of conservation and its many complexities, as well as leadership skills for collaborating with communities, non-governmental organizations, and other countries.

Santiago graduated from the CLTL Master’s program in May 2016 and completed the CPAM course in August 2011. CLTL and CPAM are part of the Warner College of Natural Resources within the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources.

Written by Terra Sampson