In her current role as the Indigenous & Communal Lands Strategy Director, Paulina collaborates with the Conservancy’s field programs to promote social policies related to indigenous people, human rights, livelihoods, and governance. Prior to her current role, she served as the Western Amazon Program Coordinator, and was responsible for overseeing projects in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela—including the management of USAID-funded Indigenous Landscapes project in Peru and Ecuador. Paulina has also worked in the Conservancy’s Quito office where she managed the Condor Bioreserve Parks in Peril project with five partners over 5 years and managed a $7.5 million budget.
Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy in 2001, she gained most of her field experience working with local people in Ecuador’s national Parks with Ecuadorian non-profits Natura and Antisana Foundations. Paulina specialized in training and social science research, focused on achieving participatory conservation. From 1998 to 2001 she collaborated with The Nature Conservancy in a Project called Local Participation in the Management of Protected Areas (PALOMAP) by conducting field research to evaluate how the different types of community participation were beneficial to conservation projects. Her continued interest in participatory conservation led her to create a new organization with other colleagues called Grupo Randi Randi, to consolidate community conservation initiatives, with a strong gender focus.
An Ecuadorian national, Paulina has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (University of Waterloo, Canada, 1990) and has been deeply involved in community conservation and protected area management for over 15 years, with particular expertise in participatory approaches to biodiversity conservation, community development, and gender.