Julia Carabias Lillo, former Environment Minister, Mexico

Julia Carabias Lillo coordinated a research and rural development programme in extremely impoverished peasant communities in the four regions of Mexico called the 'Integrated Use of Natural Resources' (PAIR the acronym in Spanish).

She was a member of the Commission for Developing Countries and Global Change, which published the report For Earth's Sake during the 1992 Conference on the Environment and Development in Brazil sponsored by the UN. Carabias is currently a member of several consultative councils and forms part of the academic councils of various national and international organizations, such as member of the Board of Directors of Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD International) until 2001, the Scientific Committee of SCOPE from1994 to 2000, and at present she is a member of the National Steering Committee of LEAD Mexico, member of the Board of Directors of the World Wildlife Fund, and of the Resources for the future.

In February 1994, Carabias was named President of the National Ecology Institute, then a decentralized agency of the Social Development Ministry. In December 1994, she was asked by the then President of Mexico to form part of his Cabinet as the Minister of Fisheries. That same month, the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries was created with Carabias as Minister. She served in that position for six years until the end of the administration in November 2000.

In 2002, she was named Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and is serving a term of four years. She continues to be a member of the Faculty of Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) coordinating a new Masters Degree programme in Restoration Ecology, and she is President of the NGO Centro Interdisciplinario de Biodiversidad y Ambiente (CEIBA).

Carabias is the author of numerous scientific articles on botany, ecology, natural resource management, ecological restoration and conservation. She is also the co-author of Ecology and Alimentary Self-sufficiency, Rural Production in Mexico, Ecological Alternatives, and Natural Resource Management and Rural Poverty.