Senior Advisor, Social Policy
GONZALO OVIEDO is IUCN's Senior Adviser for Social Policy. An Ecuadorian national, Gonzalo is a familiar face in Gland, since he was working with WWF International as Head of its People and Conservation Unit prior to joining IUCN in March 2003.
An anthropologist by training, Gonzalo started his career working in educational projects with indigenous and rural communities of his home country, under several initiatives supported by international organizations, such as UNESCO and OAS, which sought to implement innovative and integral approaches to community education. This put him on contact with the many environmental challenges that indigenous and other marginalized communities face in developing countries. Later, he moved to the Galapagos Islands to work as the head of environmental education at the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Years later, working with organizations active in environment, development, and educational issues in Ecuador and Latin America, Gonzalo became increasingly interested in issues related to the social and cultural aspects of nature conservation, and concentrated on topics such as community-based natural resource management, indigenous and traditional peoples, traditional ecological knowledge, protected areas, environmental education, human rights, public participation, capacity building, and local governance. He wrote several books and technical reports on education and conservation.
In 1993, Gonzalo joined WWF International in Gland, where he was in charge of working with indigenous peoples and other community and social issues.
In IUCN, Gonzalo is dealing with the development and implementation of institutional approaches to improve the integration of social issues in IUCN's work. He provides advice to IUCN’s senior management, global programmes and regional offices on relevant issues of social policy, in particular on indigenous peoples, community-based management of natural resources, livelihood security, and socio-cultural and equity aspects of good governance at local, national and international levels.
Gonzalo's native tongue is Spanish, and he's at ease working in English and French.