Ricardo Navarro, D.Sc.

Ricardo Navarro founded the Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology (CESTA)—El Salvador’s largest environmental NGO—in 1980 to address his country’s acute social and environmental needs following a protracted civil war. As president of CESTA, Dr. Navarro worked in partnership with urban and rural communities to promote community-based strategies for reversing past environmental destruction and preventing future degradation, using a variety of innovative, sustainable technologies.

Dr. Navarro has also served as the president of Friends of the Earth International (FOE). These two organizations now work as one (CESTA-FOE) in El Salvador.

In 1995 Dr. Navarro received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for his outstanding contributions to sustainable development. He received the Global 500 Environmental Prize in 1997, an award launched in 1987 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP, 1972) to recognize and honor grassroots environmental and humanitarian achievement despite immense social, political and logistical obstacles.

Dr. Navarro studied in the USA at Purdue University (Indiana) and completed his D.Sc. in Technology and Human Affairs at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. He has authored numerous books and articles, and continues to educate and work with his fellow Salvadorans to address social and ecological challenges. (Photo courtesy of Goldman Environmental Prize.)