Interview Javier Mendoza

Last changed: 12 July 2021
Javier Mendoza COP22 UNFCCC

SLU alumni Javier Mendoza has almost 20 years experience of working in international environments with global issuses. His best advice to students looking for an international career is to never give up, no matter how difficult it is.

What are you working with today?
I work with Expertise France in Bogotá, Colombia, as National Coordinator of the Colombian Long-Term Strategy 2050 under the Paris Agreement.

Tell us a little about your background.
I am a biologist with an MSc degree in Management of Biological Diversity granted by SLU (CBM) in 2007. I have almost 20 years of professional experience, always dealing with environmental issues, especially public policy and international cooperation for biodiversity conservation and climate change.

My work and successful results include: Be the team leader for the formulation of the National Biodiversity Policy of Colombia (PNGIBSE); Be international negotiator in CBD, IPBES, and UNFCCC; Be the National Coordinator of Report Mechanisms of Colombia to the UNFCCC (National Communications, BURs, among others); and now, I am leading the process to formulate the LTS to accomplish the Paris Agreement of Climate Change. I am a lecturer about sustainable development and environmental issues at national and international levels.

How did your interest in international issues arise?
From the beginning, I became interested in the global environmental crisis, its causes and its consequences. Then I pushed myself on how to be an effective change actor. In this way, and after being part of a researcher at the National Biodiversity Institute of Colombia, I worked with the Ministry of Environment of Colombia. Later on, I had the opportunity to become part of the UNDP, and now Expertise France, always keeping in mind the global solutions become in national and local actions and decisions.      

What is it like to work with international development?
I think it is fabulous and exciting because you can put your knowledge and ideas to change the world effectively. It is imperative to break the inertia that the institutional and community systems currently have if we want to make all necessary changes to reach a carbon-neutral and resilient world which does not decrease human prosperity.    

Do you have any advice for students who are looking for an international career?
Never give up. Perhaps, it will take some time to find the right opportunity, but for sure, it will appear. And if someone is looking for a Master's or PhD studies, my advice is to have some previous working experience; you will squeeze better the opportunity when you can compare with the reality that you already know.  


Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth 

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