Rodrigo Botero García holds a degree in zootechnics from Universidad Nacional de Colombia and a Master’s in Sustainable Development of Agrarian Systems, agrarian and environmental sciences from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. His career has focused on the fostering of intersectoral territorial planning strategies for environmental management, and coordination between stakeholders, namely different level authorities, social organizations, and indigenous peoples.
From 2000 to 2010, as director of the Amazon Region at Colombia’s National Park authority, he coordinated the creation of protected areas alongside the National Hydrocarbons Agency and indigenous communities.
Since May 2011, as founder and director of FCDS, he has designed, developed, and managed projects that monitor deforestation and address the different drivers of the problem. These projects have addressed a variety of issues, including the formalization of property ownership; the substitution of illicit crops; and the implementation of agro-environmental programs, such as community forestry, for local people. He also works to foster dialogue and develop intersectoral work programs (on environment, transportation, or agriculture, for example), both in Colombia and in other countries with which the Amazon basin is shared.
In 2019 he was named one of the country’s 10 most outstanding leaders by Semana Magazine, thanks to his public condemnation and efforts to curb the ongoing deforestation of the Amazon. In 2021 he was nominated for the Mulago Foundation’s Henry Arnhold Fellowship and appointed as an Honorary Research Associate at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History.