Dr. Gonzalo Castro de la Mata
Executive Director of Earthna: Center for a Sustainable Future
Dr. Gonzalo Castro de la Mata is the executive director of Earthna, Qatar Foundation’s sustainability center. Dr. Castro de la Mata is an ecologist recognized as a global leader in the promotion of sustainability, with emphasis on innovative free market solutions to environmental issues.
Prior to joining Qatar Foundation, Dr. Castro de la Mata was the managing director for External Affairs with Pluspetrol, the largest private gas and oil company in Latin America. From 2014 to 2018, he was the chairman of the World Bank's Inspection Panel in Washington, where he ensured compliance with the Bank’s environmental and social standards. He was also the founder of Ecosystem Services LLC and the managing director of Sustainable Forestry Management (SFM) for the Americas. Prior to that, Dr. Castro de la Mata was the head of Biodiversity at the Global Environment Facility in Washington, the largest source of funds to address global environmental challenges, and a Lead Environmental Specialist at the World Bank in Washington.
Dr. Castro de la Mata has been involved in the founding of leading international conservation organizations, including Wetlands for the Americas (today Wetlands International) and American Bird Conservancy. He has served as a member of the Accreditation Panel at the Green Climate Fund, as chair of the US Ex-Im Bank’s Independent Advisory Panel on Development Issues in South-Central Peru, and as a high-level international expert engaged by the United Nations to assess the social end ecological impacts of the Barro Blanco Dam in Panama. In 2021, he was appointed as a Counselor of Honor for the Supervisory Council of Wetlands International, and as a member of the Independent Oversight Advisory Committee of the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the period 2022 to 2024.
Dr. Castro de la Mata has appeared in numerous publications in topics related to ecology, environment, mining, oil and gas, and sustainable development, and is a regular editorial contributor to El Comercio in Lima, Peru, and Diario Altavoz. He has published over 250 articles in scientific journals, magazines, and book chapters. He is the author of two books.
Dr. Castro de la Mata received a Ph.D. in ecology and population biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1988, and M.Sc. in Biophysics (1985) and B.Sc. in Biology (1983) degrees from Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, Peru.