Dr. Grethel Aguilar

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Dr. Grethel Aguilar is the Regional Director for International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for Central America, México, and the Caribbean. She is currently at Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as an associate research scholar and Dorothy S. Maccluskey Fellow in Conservation. She  is an author and co-author of numerous publications in the field of environmental  law and policy. Most recent publications include Governance of Shared Waters: Legal and Institutional Issues (IUCN-2009) and Forest Legality in Mesoamerica (IUCN-2015).


Dr. Grethel is a Costa Rican Lawyer with a Doctorate Degree from the University of Alicante Spain where she developed the thesis: "Legal Instruments for access to Genetic Resources and  associated traditional knowledge in indigenous territories" obtaining the title of Doctor of Law Outstanding "cum laude". Since 2005 she has been leading the work of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for Central America, México, and the Caribbean as the IUCN Regional Director. Since 2017 she also provides support to IUCN Regional office in South America.

Between 1992 and 1996 she formed part of the Costa Rican Environmental Law Center advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples and nature conservation. Between 1996 and 2005 she has worked as a consultant on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development for various organizations and governments; among them the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), The Central American Commission on Development and Environment (CCAD), The Ramsar Convention. Between 2001-2003, she provided expert advice on Access to genetic resources and benefit sharing to the Division of Environmental Conventions and to the Executive Director of UNEP. In the academic field, she has taught at the University of Costa Rica, the Latin American University of Science and Technology, The Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) and the Metropolitan Autonomous University of México. As Regional Director of IUCN, she seeks to promote and strengthen the mission of a just world that values and conserves nature.