SECRETARY OF THE BOARD
Astrid Vargas is a conservation biologist with a proven track record in setting up, developing, leading and monitoring environmental conservation programs, conducting scientific research, developing and running educational and training programs, fundraising, plus developing and reviewing conservation policy.
From 2011 She worked for Tompkins Conservation as a Conservation Director for Europe. The Tompkins Conservation Land Trust and Conservación Patagónica manages a range of environmental projects that include ecosystem restoration, biodiversity and species recovery, self-sustaining agro-ecology, alternative energy, community and economic development, the development of national parks as tourist destinations and the political and policy implications arising out of all these activities.
Astrid’s career has spanned many countries and species, with demonstrated skills to manage across disciplines and within highly charged political atmospheres across different cultures. She has served as a central figure in the recovery of two of the world´s most endangered mammals: the Iberian lynx in Spain and the black-footed ferret in North America. This work has earned her international recognition, including awards such as the Environmental Career Achievement Award granted by the Andalusian government. She was selected by El País as one of the top 100 people of the year across Spain and Latin America.
Astrid currently works as a Senior Strategic Advisor for Commonland; an international organization established to restore degraded landscapes worldwide, with the aim to deliver social, natural, financial and inspirational returns. Commonland creates restoration partnerships between local stakeholders, expert professionals, business parties and investors. Together, these stakeholders co-develop and implement a landscape restoration plan, based on sound business cases delivering four returns in three zones. She is the founding member of 'Alvelal', a grass-roots landscape restoration initiative that aims at regenerating 630.000 Ha of degraded landscapes in the high plains of Granada, Almería y Murcia in Spain.