Center for Environment, Climate Action and Peace in South America

About us


We are an independent think and do tank on issues related to environment, climate action, security and peacebuilding in South America. Our mission is to contribute to public policy, environmental governance, peace and cooperation through transdisciplinary research, evidence, advice and dialogue.


We are a reference in the production of knowledge, sustainable and innovative practices and building intersectoral bridges within the fields of environment, climate change, security and environmental peace in South America.


Environmental and social sustainability and resilience

Recognize the 9 "Planetary Limits" (Rockstrom, 2009)of Earth system, as the thresholds that humanity should not cross to maintain sustainable living conditions and contribute with nature so it can recover its capacity to regenerate itself.

Transparency and ethics

Report and conduct research assertively and programmatically, based on evidence and science. Always ensure the well-being of society, biodiversity and ecosystems.

Culture of peace

Generate ideas, attitudes and behaviors that reflect respect for life, human rights and nature, and the rejection of violence in all its forms.

Climate action

We understand climate action to mean concrete actions to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

Gender equality

Aware of the gender gaps related to climate change, we seek to mainstream and encourage women for greater participation and leadership in climate action.

Environmental equity

Promoting climate and environmental justice as a cross-cutting theme in our actions.

Intercultural and intergenerational dialogue

We encourage the integration of an inclusive environmental dialogue and horizontal exchange between countries, cultures and communities, considering the voices of different generations on an equal footing.


Michelle Fiol

Founder and President of EcoPaz South

Michelle is a specialist in the fields of security, international relations and cooperation, with a focus on natural resource conflicts, environmental risk management, sustainable development and peace building mainly in South America and Switzerland. She holds a Master’s degree in Defense and Security Policy obtained in France and is preparing a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Geneva.

She has worked for the Ecuadorian government for more than 10 years as a senior civil servant and project manager. Her main skills are: strategic planning and advice, program and project management, development of public policies and operational tools for their implementation.

María del Mar Martínez

Co-founder EcoPaz South

Bachelor in Economics with an M.A of Development, Major in Environmental, Agrarian and Food Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies-Erasmus University of Rotterdam.

She has international experience in governmental and non-governmental institutions as Water Knowledge Management Consultant, Technical Specialist in agricultural sustainable production programmes and as Environmental Economics Analyst.

Her work and research have been focused on the global water and food systems and their transboundary challenges.

Ana Belén Sanmartín

Co-founder EcoPaz South

Bachelor in Economics with a double degree in Economics, Law and Management with an MSc of Development Economics from the University of Sussex.

Development Economist with experience in the public sector, consulting, and academia. Interested in macroeconomics, conflict, rural development, and economic and social inclusion issues.

Advisory Board

Ximena Buitrón Cisneros

Member of the Advisory Board of EcoPaz South

Ecuadorian biologist. Consultant and international advisor, expert in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, with more than 25 years of professional experience in the development and implementation of regional and national programs and projects of TRAFFIC, IUCN, GITEC, OTCA, HIVOS, EcoCiencia, Corpei, CyD Certified, leading several initiatives and actions with focus in monitoring wildlife management and trade and supporting the development of policies, regulations, standards and related good practice tools.
Current member of the Medicinal Plant Specialists Group (MPSG) of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and member of the FairWid Foundation Board of Trustees, member of the Scientific Committee of the Foundation Conservation and Development, Bolivia – FCDB and, consultant associated with BYOS: Environmental Solutions, Ecuador.