Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica. Former: Vice-President, Conservation Policy, Conservation International (CI); lawyer, politician and conservationist; held various political posts in Costa Rica, including Director, National Parks Service. Founder and member of the board of many environmental NGOs in Costa Rica, in addition to several tropical research institutes. 2006, received the first annual Conservation Leadership Award from Blue Moon Fund. As Minister of Environment and Energy has been a pioneer in the development of payment for ecosystem services (PES). Understands the political preconditions necessary for successful implementation of PES systems that benefit local communities. Has met with environment, development and other ministries in the United Kingdom and in Europe to explain opportunities to leverage funding and create the mechanisms required for implementing effective PES programmes. Has curbed logging and deforestation trends to achieve a national net growth of forested areas through natural regeneration and reforestation. Also internationally recognized for promoting the concept of identifying and capturing the economic value of standing forests within protected areas, private forests and Indian reserves. This approach provides local communities with economic incentives to act as stewards of nature’s bounty, providing an attractive alternative to selling mineral and timber rights for short-term gain.