The positive transformational experience of Global UGRAD gave me the opportunity, for the first time, to be immersed in an environment of cultural and intellectual diversity. These interactions were the foundation that has allowed me to hone in on the soft skills needed to establish good rapport with different people under different circumstances.
After my undergraduate level concluded, I have been working in different types of institutional settings, covering a range from multinational corporations to social enterprisse (B Corporation), with the aim to promote harmony between human systems and natural spaces. Public and private sector representatives, indigenous communities, small landowners, and local entrepreneurs were some of the stakeholders I frequently had to interact with in order to move forward with conservation initiatives in nature. In these processes, the respect and mutual collaboration were essential to consolidate the work and to have tangible results.
At this moment, I am working as Forest Specialist for the National Forest and Wildlife Service of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation in Peru by assessing and authorizing access and management of timber and non-timber forest resources in the jurisdiction of Cusco. Similarly, I am moving forward two entrepreneurial initiatives to change the business landscape in forested landscapes, to make them more fair and equitable for all the people involved. The former is based on rural tourism with the most disadvantaged communities, which has, I believe, the most transparent benefit-sharing mechanism in Peru. Its name is ‘We live in community’. And the latter, ‘Bosqueros’, is committed to building sustainable, unique fair-trade value chains of non-timber forest products while stimulating reforestation and contributing to a sustainable economy with standing forests in the Amazon.
Written by Marco Antonio Bustamante Yupanqui, Global UGRAD 2011-2012 at Colorado State University