Earth3000 Founder and President Dr. Maritta Koch-Weser
Maritta Koch-Weser has a distinguished career spanning four decades in international development, as anthropologist, environmentalist, and social entrepreneur. She has extensive field experience in Latin America, South & East Asia, parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.
In recent years her work is focused on the Brazilian Amazon. Based on her lifelong experience in the Brazilian Amazon, she was invited in 2009 to lead a program on contemporary Amazonia at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Sao Paulo (IEA/USP) in Brazil – the “Amazonia em Transformação – História e Perspectivas” program.
This program now prominently features the Amazonia 4.0 initiative, in co-leadership with Professor Carlos Nobre. Amazonia 4.0 pursues operational pathways for an ambitious, just and sustainable standing-forest-economy, combining three lines of innovation: education for standing-forest business, through a Rainforest Business School Network; science-based development, through the Pan-Amazonian “Amazonia Institute of Technology (AmIT)”; and on-the-ground demonstration of high-tech economic development opportunities for forest-based communities, building off-grid laboratories and bio-factories.
In her early career Dr. Koch-Weser taught Latin American Anthropology and Applied Anthropology at George Washington University. In 1980 she joined the World Bank in Washington DC as one of the first social scientists in international development. Over the course of two decades, she developed innovative environmentally and socially sustainable project portfolios. She also had a key role in developing early environmental and social safeguards, operational guidelines and staffing, and institutional innovations.
At the World Bank Maritta Koch-Weser held leading managerial positions, most recently as Director for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development in the Latin America and Caribbean Region, before she subsequently became Director General of IUCN -The World Conservation Union in Geneva, Switzerland.
Since 2001 Maritta Koch-Weser has continued to support strategic innovations in governance for environment and development, as Founder and President of Earth3000, a non-profit organization (www.earth3000.org), among others through management of the Global Exchange for Social Investment (GEXSI) and active supervisory Board Engagements across a range of leading international environmental organizations, among them the German chapter of WWF.
She is also President of World Heritage Watch, an international platform serving some 200 Civil Society Organizations worldwide who engage in the conservation of their respective UNESCO World Heritage sites (www.world-heritage-watch.org).
Maritta Koch-Weser holds a Doctorate from Bonn and Cologne Universities, Germany, and an honorable Doctorate from Oxford Brookes University, UK.