Yolanda Kakabadse Navarro is former President of WWF, one of the world’s largest environmental organizations.
She achieved pioneering work at grassroots level towards sustainable development.
She was Founder and Chair of the Advisory Board of Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano, a regional NGO dedicated to conflict management in Latin America (1993-2006); Chair of the Scientific & Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility (STAP/GEF) (2005-08); and President of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) (2010-17).
She was a member of the Board of the World Resources Institute and the Board of Trustees of the Ford Foundation. She was the Joint-Coordinator of the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Environmental Sustainability. The Task Force focused on identifying ways in which the principles of sustainable development can be integrated into country policies and programs and reverse the loss of environmental resources.
She was founder and appointed executive director of Fundación Natura in Quito (1979-90), where she helped the foundation become one of Latin America’s most important environmental NGOs. She also coordinated the participation of civil society organizations in the United Nations Conference for Environment and Development (Earth Summit) held in Rio de Janeiro (1992).
She was appointed Minister of Environment for the Republic of Ecuador (1998-2000).
Yolanda Kakabadse studied educational psychology at the Catholic University of Quito, Ecuador.
She has received the Insignia of the National Order for Merit as a Commissioned Officer of the Republic of Ecuador (1990), the Global 500 Award of UNEP (1991), and the Golden Ark Order, bestowed by Prince Bernard of the Netherlands (1991). She received the Zayed Prize (2001) and a Doctor in Science (ScD) Honoris Causa from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom (2008).
Yolanda Kakabadse was a member of the Advisory Board of the Holcim Foundation from its inception as the Holcim Foundation in 2004, until December 2013. She was a member of the Concluding Panel Discussion at the Forum 2010,a member of the Global Awards jury (2012 & 2015), and a member of the Awards jury for region Latin America (2008).