Graphic design
Interactive media
Strategic communication

Carlos Pi  •  About me  •    CV   •


Head of Communications
Representative in Santa Cruz
Araucaria XXI-Galapagos National Park

Galapagos, 2006-2009

How does foreign aid for conservation and sustainable development work in practice? How do inter-governmental and international relations play out locally? How should good relations be forstered and project aims defined and achieved? How should its impact be measured and maximised?

These were some of the issues I was directly involved in during my three years working for the Galapagos National Park Service in the name of the Spanish government, through Araucaria XXI.

Araucaria XXI is the brand of the Spanish Government's biodiversity conservation projects through Latin America, managed through the Spanish international Aid Agency, AECID.

Spain's aid to Galapagos dates back to 1994, with the building of its iconic environmental interpretation centre in San Cristobal island.

From 2001, the Project grew to encompass conservation and sustainable development throughout the archipelago, reaching almost every aspect of civilian life in the islands: education, tourism, farming, renewable energy, waste disposal and recycling, and a long etcetera. It had an average annual budget of around $US 800,000.

Our national counterpart was the Environment Ministry and we worked locally through the Galapagos National Park Service.

I was the sole Project Representative for Santa Cruz, the most populated island, the epicentre of tourism and home to the National Park Service and Charles Darwin Foundation headquarters, as well was that of almost all other NGOs in Galapagos.

I was involved in all aspects of Project Management and acted as liaison with all local authorities.

I worked constantly towards improving the design of the project itself, from the definition of each Annual Strategic Plan to its execution, evaluation and most importantly its accountability, both to local stakeholders and withing the Spanish Aid Agency itself.

As Head of Communications, I was also in charge of one three main components of the project: Environmental Consciousness, which involved communication, environmental education and interpretation, and participation, and as such was directly responsible for an average annual budget of $US 140,000.

I took on a large part of the Institutional Support component of the project, helping the National Park Service and other organisations improve their profile through better communication, and continually supported the other project staff in their activities.

I was deeply involved in the stategic managing of the project as a whole, helping it gain a much more professional profile.

Spanish project staff
Araucaria XXI – 2007

As soon as I acquainted myself with the Project, Improving its management through better strategic planning and execution was one of my main aims.

A clear and well presented set of annual aims (above) and monthly monitoring of activities as they were being executed (below) was key to the Project's success.

Presentations were also important, especially to high level government representatives.

This is one of the first ones, designed for the annual gathering of all Spanish Internacional Aid Agency personnel in Ecuador.

In a world of bulleted Powerpint presentations, this was a breath of fresh air for eveyone.

In 2007 we were visited by Spain's First Vicepresident, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega.

We wanted to get the official presentations out of the way quickly, as soon as she arrived at Baltra airport (in the second photograph, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega is sitting next to Juan María Alzina, Spanish Ambassador to Ecuador).

I combined everyone's presentation into a single, visual delivery over which they could briefly introduce themselves and their work (in the third photo, I am helping Raquel Molina, Galapagos National Park Director, with her presentation).

Considering the number of people speaking, the result was a quick and informative affair.

Working towards full accountability and project exposure, I wrote, edited and designed a series of newsletters for the Project.

Anticipating the end of the project in 2009, I took the opportunity to include a short retrospective in four chapters (one for each four year period) of Spain's work in the islands since its beginnings in 1994.

In the context of public administration and NGOs, the newsletter stands out for its simplicity and accessibility, both in form and content.

In 2007 and 2008 I edited and designed the back pages of two newspaper supplements on the occasion of the national Environment Day, with an approximate readership of two million nationwide.

I also edited and designed the Project's Annual Reports.

In 2008 I was able to assign the necessary resources for an adequate design and printing of this document, its main source of accountability both locally, nationally and internationally.

This is something that almost never happens in the context of the Spanish International Aid Agency (AECID), where reports are simply typed out and sent by email, if they are circulated at all.

This year, I wanted to make sure we left a proper account of the work we had done, and set a new benchmark for future interventions.

I presented the document to Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Spain's Foreign Minister, during his visit to Galapagos in early 2009.

You can download it here.