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María Verónica Bastías González

Regional Development Coordinator Latin America & Caribbean

María Verónica, our Regional Development Coordinator for Latin America and Caribbean, is based in Chile; she has studied Architecture and Anthropology, and completed postgraduate studies in Development and International Cooperation in Chile and Norway. Mave, as she likes to be called, brings more than 20 years of experience in development, working across all South America, Central America and the Caribbean on humanitarian assistance, indigenous peoples and children’s rights, international cooperation, natural resources and environmental issues, land use management, and institutional strengthening. Often invited to universities worldwide and global conferences to speak on the topics of Democracy and Development in Latin America, Mave has written several academic articles and book chapters. She speaks English and Spanish (her mother tongue).

At her previous role, Risk Management and Climate Change Coordinator of ACHNU (Chilean Association for Cooperation with United Nations), she was responsible for coordinating in Chile the GNDR’s flagship programmes Views from the Frontline and Action at the Frontline. Mave was one of the founders of the Chilean Humanitarian Aid Network and she has been an active participant of several regional networks and platforms involved in risk management. Earlier, at her previous roles for international NGOs, she was responsible for coordinating humanitarian assistance across Latin America after disasters (earthquake, floods, volcano eruptions and violence conflicts). From 2005-2007 she acted as an Advisor to the Chilean and Ecuadorian Parliaments on Indigenous Rights, Infrastructure and Development.

Why I joined GNDR

I live in a beautifully diverse region with 570 million people that speak more than 600 languages. Many of them belong to indigenous peoples that make 66% of the population in Bolivia and 40% in Guatemala. African descents are also numerous among the LAC population. At present, close to the end of the Millennium Development Goals, I believe it is important to remark that the unbalances and inequalities of the wealth distribution across the region are mainly linked to gender, ethnic and land ownership issues, and are some of the challenges to achieve a sustainable development in the region, beyond the fighting against poverty.

All the countries in the LAC Region are exposed to the climate change consequences and its most vulnerable population are those for whom development has been scarce with. Disaster Risk Reduction is a key part of Sustainable Development, and it is also related to climate change and social vulnerabilities. It is emerging strongly in the post-2015 agenda, because the enormous impact of disasters delays progress for people. In this sense I am happy to join the GNDR team, especially in a moment that is important to influence the global and regional agendas on their scopes and goals. I want to invite those of you all around our region, who share these development perspectives and challenges, to join our network to participate and contribute with their voices and the most vulnerable in their countries, for a common and better future in Latin America and the Caribbean region, and all over the world.

Everybody is needed is this process, as an individual, as a group or an institution from the civil society; all together,  GNDR is a committed channel that connects people and organizations and contributes to build bridges, search for paths and walk them together for safer and better lives for all in our regions. I will be waiting for your call (Go to Contacts page for details).

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