July 13, 2020

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Marine Biologist from the EcolePratique de Hautes Etudes (EPHE) in Paris, with a Masters in Life and Earth Sciences Studies in Perpignan (France). Professional diver, with over 5,000 immersions in open waters. Sandra Bessudo is a professional strongly committed with the conservation of marine biodiversity and the protection of the environment. She was High Presidential Counselor for Environmental Management, Biodiversity, Water and Climate Changeto the President of Colombia until January 2012, when she took on the General Direction of the Colombian Presidential Agency of International Cooperation, APC-Colombia, government entity in charge of managing and technically coordinating all public and private non – refundable international cooperation received and granted by the country.

Since November 2014 Sandra Bessudo is the Director of the Malpelo and Other Marine Ecosystems Foundation, she is an active promoter in the establishment of the Malpelo Island Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, positioning the Sanctuary as an international model for marine conservation, recognized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a “Particular Sensitive Sea Area” and also declared a World Heritage Site under UNESCO. She has led several research projects on sharks using acoustic and satellite telemetry, and worked in the National Natural Parks Unit of the Ministry of Environment of Colombia. Hostess of the The Razor´s Edge, a cultural programme in National Television, she also collaborated with Ocensarecording underwater footage and serving as an advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Expolisboa 98. Having served as Coordinator of the Workshops and Conference Cycles in Colombia for the International Year of the Oceans, she has also worked as a Diving instructor and Master Diver. Sandra Bessudo has independently produced dozens of publications, videos and specialized documentaries. Among her awards, she was recognized with the Medal for Distinguished Services rendered to the General Maritime Direction, a distinction awarded by the Colombian Navy, the 2011 Biosphere Awareness Award granted by the Mayors of Cadiz (Spain) and Mariquita (Colombia) and the Environmental Civil Order Merit “Thomas van der Hammen” Grand Gold Cross Degree, awarded in the Colombian Congress by the Council of Environmental NGOs, along with many other recognitions that she has received in Colombia and abroad.

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