Sergio Couto

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"From the ICCA Consortium (an international organization working on supporting Areas and Territories Conserved by Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples) and Iniciativa Comunales (an organization working at Spanish level on the support and recognition of communities commonly governing natural resources).

My main work is supporting local communities governing natural commons (common governance of natural resources) in Spain (through "Iniciativa Comunales") and at global level (through "the ICCA Consortium"). My work focuses on enhancing the quality of the communities' governance, promote the environmental, social and economic values of their work, and providing tools and support to achieve their goals.

Based in Andalusia, Spain. Sergio is a Spanish biologist with a strong background on participatory and innovative approaches to the management and conservation of natural resources and biodiversity. Initially, he worked as field biologist for several companies and NGOs as the Sociedad Española de Ornitología (SEO/BirdLife) and as researcher for the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC). As consultant he worked on wildlife management, conducting wildlife inventories for both the governmental and the private sector in Spain. More recently, one of his key interests is creating tools to enhance the participation and commitment of rural communities on biodiversity conservation initiatives, and enhance the role and recognition of the commons in Spain and Europe. He sees the commons not only as embodying environmental, cultural and democracy values, but also as having potential to contribute to solving many of the environmental, economic and social challenges of our time. Sergio is Regional Coordinator for Europe of the ICCA Consortium and one of the co-founders of Iniciativa Comunales, a network of local communities governing commons in Spain. He is a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy and World Commission on Protected Areas and works as independent consultant for several NGOs and institutions’ programs, including the European Commission LIFE program." (