Mauricio Castro Schmitz

Leader of strategy of Healthy Agricultural Systems in Latin America, The Nature Conservancy

Mauricio joined the Conservancy in 2003 to become part of the Developing Strategies Group. He was based in Cartagena, Colombia for 10 years and moved to the US in 2013, to fulfill different global roles, serving central science and conservation functions in various evolving capacities. In the Conservancy’s Central Science Group he took the lead in measures training and support for programs globally. He became part of the Chief Conservation Office’s Conservation Strategies team, a unit that focused in supporting the Conservancy’s strategies globally through strategy review and development, planning and peer input. At present he serves as Lands Manager for Latin America focusing on TNC’s climate resilient agriculture strategy in the region.

Before working for the Conservancy Mauricio worked for WWF for seven years in conservation planning, forestry and certification areas, served as chairman of the international board of directors of the Forest Stewardship Council and worked as a consultant for projects in Southeast Asia and South America. He begun his conservation work in his early years as co-founder of a national NGO in Colombia in 1984, Herencia Verde, an organization that later became a national leader with projects in the Andes and Pacific regions of the country. During the last years of his undergraduate study he coordinated a research group on forest restoration processes of Atlantic forests in Brazil with practical results in improving conditions of water reservoirs for energy production in the state of São Paulo.

Mauricio holds a forestry degree from Brazil’s University of São Paulo and a Masters of Science degree from the Wageningen Agricultural University in The Netherlands.