Susana Cardenas is an ecologist and natural resource economist currently working as full-time professor, researcher and Co-Director of the Institute of Applied Ecology at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador. She got her PhD in Ecology at UC Davis, it is a candidate MSc in Natural Resource Economics at UC Davis, and has an undergraduate degree in Finance and Economics at USFQ. Her long-term research goal is to integrate ecology, economics and environmental policy to promote sustainable development and management of key conservation areas. Currently, her research is focused on three main topics: a) application of ecological modeling and economic valuation methods to the conservation of marine endangered species and marine ecosystem services, b) tourism economics and monitoring of island ecosystems and protected areas; c) measuring sustainability indicators and outcomes at the local and national levels; and) conservation finance for long-term sustainability impact projects, mainly related to marine conservation initiatives. During the last 15 years, these research topics have been developed mainly in the Galapagos Islands, and other protected areas in mainland Ecuador working together with research and public institutions.
Session Organizer: USFQ
Session Description: The role of the private sector in meeting sustainable goals is crucial. Nowadays, private companies are key actors in promoting and implementing innovative projects and nature-based solutions that could help conserve biodiversity and, at the same time, promote social and economic benefits. In this panel, we will present interesting examples of private initiatives in Ecuador that have integrated sustainability. The main two goals of this panel are: a) to learn about real innovation and solutions proposed for sustainability in different contexts, and, b) to discuss lessons learned and challenges to integrate biodiversity and sustainability targets at the private level.