Padu Franco

Bezos Earth Fund Program Manager for the Tropical Andes, Bezos Earth Fund and Re:Wild


M.Sc. (Summa cum laude), Evolution and Ecology (2007) Universiteit Leiden 

B. Sc. Biology (2003) Universidad del Valle 

Padu Franco serves as the dedicated Bezos Earth Fund Program Manager for the Tropical Andes, holding a joint role in collaboration with both the Bezos Earth Fund and Re:Wild. In this capacity, Padu takes on the crucial responsibility of steering the Bezos Earth Fund's investments towards propelling the ambitious 30x30 agenda across the countries of the Tropical Andes region, including Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. 

His role entails overseeing diverse investments, fostering collaboration, and forging connections across a wide spectrum of stakeholders. These stakeholders range from local organizations and Indigenous communities to governmental bodies and funders. This collective and cooperative approach stands as a pivotal catalyst to unleash conservation solutions at scale through the fusion of public and private funding.

Padu's journey, rooted in Colombia, began during his undergraduate years as he embarked on research and conservation projects in the Colombian Andes. After his studies, he dedicated over 15 years to the Wildlife Conservation Society, holding pivotal positions such as Country Director for Colombia and Regional Director for the Andes, Amazon, and Orinoco regions. Throughout these roles, Padu led an array of biodiversity research, conservation programs, and projects, all marked by a holistic and participatory ethos. His skills extends to nurturing cross-sector partnerships and fostering public-private collaborations in the pursuit of conservation.

In his home base of Cali, Colombia, Padu finds inspiration as a nature photographer. During his leisure moments, he finds joy during journeys with his family, and seizing every opportunity to engage in aquatic sports like kitesurfing.

Grantham, H. S., Duncan, A., Evans, T. D., Jones, K. R., Beyer, H. L., Schuster, R., Walston, J., Ray, J. C., Robinson, J. G., Callow, M., Clements, T., Costa, H. M., DeGemmis, A., Elsen, P. R. Ervin, J., Franco, P., Goldman, E., Goetz, S., Hansen, A., Hofsvang, E., Jantz, P., Jupiter, S., Kang, A., Langhammer, P., Laurance, W. F., Lieberman, S., Linkie, M., Malhi, Y., Maxwell, S., Mendez, M., Mittermeier, R., Murray, N. J., Possingham, H., Radachowsky, J., Saatchi, S., Samper, C., Silverman, J., Shapiro, A., Strassburg, B., Stevens, T., Stokes, E., Taylor, R., Tear, T., Tizard, R., Venter, O., Visconti, P., Wang S. & Watson J. E. M2020. Anthropogenic modification of forests means only 40% of remaining forests have high ecosystem integrity. Nat Commun 11, 5978.

Larsen, T. H., Brehn, G., Navarrete, H., Franco, P., Goméz, H. Mena, J. L., Morales, V., Argollo, J., Blacutt, L. & Cahnos, V. 2011. Chapter 3. Range Shifts and Extinctions Driven by Climate Change in the Tropical Andes: Synthesis and Directions. In: Climate change effects on the biodiversity of the Tropical Andes: an assessment of the status of scientific knowledge. Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research, Brazil.

Franco, P., Saavedra, C. A. & Kattan, G. H. 2007 Bird Species Diversity Captured by National Parks in the Andes of Colombia: a Gap Analysis. Oryx 41: 57-63.

Kattan, G. H., Franco, P., Rojas, V. & Morales G. 2004 Biological diversification in a complex region: a spatial analysis of faunistic diversity and biogeography of the Andes of Colombia. Journal of Biogeography 31: 1829-1839. 

Kattan, G. & Franco, P. 2004. Bird diversity along elevational gradients in the Andes of Colombia: area and mass effects. Global Ecology and Biogeography 13: 451-458.