Dr. Claudia Sobrevila is a Senior Environmental Specialist at the World Bank that she joined in 1992. She has dedicated her career to protecting the environment, especially national parks, biodiversity and endangered species and supporting indigenous peoples’ cause. Her work at the World Bank, The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International over the past 29 years has taken her to remote areas in more than 30 countries where she has conducted field work, organized workshops and advised governments, NGOs, grass roots organizations, and particularly indigenous communities on projects funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that support biodiversity.
Claudia’s most notable accomplishments were the establishment of one of the first private biodiversity funds in Latin America, FUNBIO in Brazil in 1996 and obtaining the approval of a complex and ambitious project, the ARPA project in the Brazilian Amazon in 2002. ARPA supported the creation of 46 new protected areas in the Amazon covering over 24 million hectares. The program is now preparing its third phase to protect 60 million hectares.
She is currently the Manager for the Global Wildlife Program, a partnership funded by the GEF, with various UN agencies, NGOs and governments in 19 countries in Africa and Asia to combat wildlife poaching and illegal trade and ensure the survival of elephants, rhinos, big cats, pangolins and great apes. She has written articles and papers on such topics as the illegal wildlife trade, climate change, biodiversity, and sustainable development.
She has also been invited to give keynote speeches at international Conferences in China, Ecuador, New York, Washington, DC, Hanoi and the United Nations.
Dr. Sobrevila holds a PhD in Tropical Ecology from Harvard University and a post-doctorate from the Smithsonian Institution. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese. In 1996 she became interested in Tibetan Buddhism, which she practices since then. She also participates regularly in ceremonies with Lakota elders that are teaching her the Way of the Red Road.
Nature is sacred. It has been respected by indigenous cultures around the world for millennia. There is nothing more important to reach peace and enlightenment at the individual and collective levels than to take care of Nature.