Colombia & Peru

The institutions

The Team

Dr Andrew Jarvis, CIAT
ASSETS Country Coordination Colombia
Dr Andy Jarvis is the Director of the Decision and Policy Analysis Area in the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and is a Theme Leader on the CGIAR Research Program for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, based in Cali, Colombia.  Dr Jarvis has 10 years experience of scientific research in developing countries to support the goals of alleviating poverty and protecting essential ecosystem services.  His research has focused on the use of spatial analysis and environmental modeling to address issues such as agricultural biodiversity conservation, adaptation to climate change, and maintenance of ecosystem services.  Over the past ten years Dr Jarvis has published over 50 articles, book chapters or books, with over 20 of these in peer-reviewed articles published in international journals.  Dr Jarvis has also worked as a consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on developing climate change strategies to conserve agricultural biodiversity, and been a consultant on a variety of projects for the European Union, Global Environment Facility amongst others.  In 2003 Dr Jarvis won the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) C-8 Genetic Resources award for best research paper stemming from his work on conservation prioritization research for wild peanuts in Latin America, and in 2009 received the prestigious Ebbe Nielsen award for innovative research in bioinformatics and biosystematics.

CarolinaCarolina Navarrete Frias, CIAT
Policy Expert

Carolina graduate with honors from the International Relations Program from the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá in 2004. She also holds an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She joined CIAT in July 2011 as the DAPA Research Area Coordinator. She worked as Junior Researcher in the Research and Monitoring Center on Drugs and Crime at Universidad del Rosario leaded by Francisco Thoumi. She researched the impact of drug policies on human rights of rural settlers and also evaluated the effectiveness of crop eradication programs. She co-authored a Congressional Research Report on Drug Crop Eradication and Alternative Development in the Andes. She presented her work in Academic Seminars as well as in U.S. Congressional Briefings and lobbying. Carolina also worked as Official Development Aid Officer at the International Cooperation Direction in the Colombian Presidency. She was in charge of the negotiation, implementation and follow up of several development projects. Some of the main donors that were part of her portfolio include the Netherlands and Finland, which hold several environmental initiatives, including in the Amazon Region. She negotiated regional and national initiatives including the Regional Funds for the Environment, Renewable Energy and the Forests from Finland. Last, she also coordinated the International Relations Office at Universidad del Rosario where she promoted several academic collaborations between national and international actors.

f-gisella-nDr Gisella Cruz-García, CIAT
ASSETS Postdoctoral researcher

Gisella is a scientist at the Ecosystem Services Group, Decision and Policy Analysis Area in the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). She holds a PhD in Production Ecology and Resource Conservation and an MSc in Management of Agro-ecological Knowledge and Social Change from Wageningen University (The Netherlands). She received a BSc in Biology (Peru) and a BSc in Commerce (The Netherlands). She is the first ever UNESCO – L’ORÉAL Young Women in Sciences fellow for the Europe-North America Region awarded to The Netherlands (2007).
Before joining CIAT, she worked as lecturer at the Social Sciences Department of Wageningen University for more than two years. Her dissertation, conducted under the auspices of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), focused on the seasonal consumption of wild food plants by vulnerable rice farming families in Northeast Thailand, where these plants constitute a ‘rural safety net’ especially during lean seasons. She also developed a theoretical and analytical framework, supported by multi-facetted empirical evidence, on the spatial and seasonal complementarity of anthropogenic ecosystems and sub-systems, aimed at understanding the implications of wild plant gathering for the food security of poor farming households. Dr. Cruz-García was profiled as an up and coming young scientist in Science magazine in 2009:


MarcelaMarcela Quintero, CIAT Peru
Ecosystem Services Expert
Marcela is the leader of the Ecosystem Services Group in the Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).



f-erwinErwin Palacios, Conservation International
Erwin is biologist at the National University of Colombia with master’s degrees in Applied Ecology and Conservation from the University of East Anglia, UK. Since 1998, Amazon Program Coordinator at Conservation International Colombia, and since 2000 director of the Biological Station Itajura-Caparú Mosiro. He is coordinator for the Andes region of the Primate Specialist Group of the IUCN and editor of the journal Neotropical Primates. He has researched aspects of ecology of several species of primates in the Amazon and over the past nine years has evaluated densities of about 24 species of large terrestrial vertebrates at 12 sites from the east of the Colombian Amazon and initiated a program for monitoring long term.

Video: The ESPA funded ASSETS Project

Statement from our Colombian colleagues (Video taken by Paul von Gardingen at CIAT in Colombia)


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