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Employee Spotlight: Carlos Rueda
Employee Spotlight: Carlos Rueda
News Apr 3, 2024

Join us as we spotlight the Earthwormer's driving environmental stewardship, forging a path towards a future where conservation and prosperity go hand in hand.

Employee Spotlight: Carlos Rueda, a Forestry Engineer turned Landscape Manager, whose solid commitment to forest protection, together with his team in Peru, helps propel Earthworm's efforts forward into the Longitudinal Landscape of the Peruvian Amazon. Collaborating closely with local communities, learn about how Carlos champions regenerative agriculture and smallholder resilience, driving positive change in the landscape. His personal story combines his passion for nature and his professional commitment to protecting the environment.

Carlos Rueda's Impact on Forest Conservation

Born in Lima, Peru, a city surrounded by desert, his passion for the Amazon began at the age of 14 during a three-day journey to Santa Maria del Nieva for social to remote communities. The massive trees, endless rivers, and vibrant rainforest sounds sparked something profound in Carlos, directing his life toward environmental stewardship.


Nature has always drawn me in, and coming from Lima, the capital of Peru, a city in the middle of the desert, anything with a hint of green has appealed to me. That's why the Amazon has always been an incredibly mysterious but fascinating landscape for me, with its large ancient trees being its main feature”.

Carlos Rueda, the Landscape manager for the Peruvian Longitudinal Landscape, part of Earthworm's landscape programme globally.

'I am a Forestry Engineer from the Universidad Nacional Agraria – La Molina with an MSc. in Environmental Management, with an emphasis in Conservation and Natural Resources Management at the University of Queensland, Australia. I possess a strong passion for forests and the environment, so I focus all my efforts on developing local solutions and the power of technology and sustainable value chains for solving environmental and socio-economic issues. I enjoy working with different stakeholders and decision-makers, including smallholders and rural communities, as they are key actors in the success of any project,' Carlos shares.

His lifelong habit of planting trees and collecting seeds wherever he goes is a living connection to a place he has visited or a person he has met, a tangible link to the memories and experiences he holds dear.

Carlos conducting a forest inventory in Ucayali.

'A curiosity of my life is that, as a young adult, I always planted as many trees as I could at home, in city parks (yes, sometimes without permission), in friends' houses, even when I travelled to some places. Kind of hoping to cross paths again and see how they grow and flourish. In return, I collect some seeds or little stones from the places I enjoy the most (yes, my collection is getting out of hand). For me, I am planting a connection with that place or that person for the future.

In the same way, thanks to my career as an environmental professional and through Earthworm Foundation's projects, I've been able to see different realities and generate connections with nature and people, which has allowed me to maintain a strong bond with the Amazon and focus more on impacts than only on activities or KPIs on the landscape, to create positive change ultimately. I'd love to see these "trees (efforts)" continue to grow roots over time."

Carlos plants trees with the hope of crossing paths with them someday, nurturing a vision for a greener future.

Carlos's journey aligns with Earthworm Foundation’s values. Working as a Landscape Manager at the Longitudinal Landscape, he oversees five projects in the Amazon of Peru and collaborates with a dedicated team – Patricia, Dick, Rolly, and Diana – to create a meaningful impact.

A Forestry Engineer with an MSc. in Environmental Management, Carlos channels his passion into practical solutions. Collaborating with diverse stakeholders, from smallholders to rural communities, he focuses on the power of technology and sustainable value chains to address environmental challenges.

His day-to-day work involves diverse tasks with his team in Tocache and Pucallpa, from GIS and HCS/HCV analysis, workshops and sustainability training with local suppliers, Holistic farm plans management and implementation with technicians and farmers and project proposal writing to obtain new funds to upscale the work in the landscape. Carlos finds inspiration in the collective effort of his colleagues, working towards positive changes.

"We carry out activities such as GIS analysis, training companies or cooperatives and farmers on sustainability, NDPE and diversification with farm management, field logistics for implementation activities, writing projects and proposals, helping to organise workshops and attending exciting meetings and conferences, both at home and abroad. Of course, we often travel to the landscape we work for and enjoy the beauty and the people we meet!"

Carlos with our team in Peru.
Carlos joins our team in Peru for Earthworm's annual 'Reconnecting Day,' an off-site team activity aimed at fostering connections among colleagues, embodying Earthworm's regenerative work culture.

Driven by his vision, Carlos aspires to foster a collaborative effort where each party acknowledges the significance of the forest and its people, contributing responsibly to a sustainable provision of goods for the world.

For him, the real heroes are the farmers who work the fields, and he advocates for a balance that rewards their efforts while achieving the broader goal of conserving forests and their species.

"My aspiration is that the private sector, the public sector and local farmers will commit themselves to recognising the importance of the forest and its inhabitants and that each of them will contribute, according to their respective responsibilities and needs, to a sustainable provision of goods for the world, that also gives back to the farmers who provide most of the effort on the ground to achieve the great goal of conservation. But above all, to enjoy what I do every day".

Carlos sees himself as a small but resilient link. He hopes that his efforts, like the trees he plants, will contribute to an unbroken chain, preserving the biodiversity and cultural heritage of the Peruvian Amazon.

'I believe I am a really small link in the great chain of actors involved, but I hope to be strong enough so that it does not break within my responsibilities'.

___________

Carlos Rueda is the Landscape manager for the Peruvian Longitudinal Landscape, part of Earthworm's landscape programme globally. In Perú, it is supported by Grupo PALMAS, Nestlé and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC); the local team collaborates with many regional and national stakeholders. The pillars of this work are the conservation of forests, smallholder resilience, regenerative agriculture, and the restoration and maintenance of degraded forests.

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