About - Inspiration 4 Action

I work with individuals, communities and organizations
to help develop creative ways of nurturing nature
and achieving regenerative change
in landscapes and communities

Astrid Vargas

Background

Biodiversity Conservation

I have dedicated part of my professional life to the recovery of three of the world’s most endangered mammals: the Iberian lynx in Spain, the black-footed ferret in North America and the golden-crowned sifaka in Madagascar.

I am currently focused on improving habitat at a large scale for the recovery of butterflies and other pollinators.

Landscape Restoration

Landscape restoration is a powerful way of fighting climate change. And it is rewarding and fun. I collaborate with organizations such as Commonland and Tompkins Conservation, that pioneer large-scale landscape restoration and conservation initiatives across the world.

With Commonland and other organizations, I have helped develop the ALVELAL initiative — a large scale landscape and community restoration program in Southern Spain.

Community Renewal

Inspiration 4 Action was born within the core of the ALVELAL community.

Alvelal is a bottom-up initiative that hopes to serve as a model for restoring degraded landscapes and ecosystems around the world.

I help facilitate processes of community renewal through collective leadership workshops, using art and creativity as important tools for transformation.

Leadership

Over the years, I have collaborated with governments, NGO’s, and private foundations in various countries.

Direction of conservation and restoration programs, managing across disciplines, and operating within highly charged political atmospheres across different cultures.

Selected Professional Experience

2017-Present

Founder, Inspiration for Action, Netherlands
Inspiration for Action develops creative approaches to help people revitalise their communities and landscapes.

2014-2017

Program coordinator, Commonland-Alvelal, Netherlands-Spain
Commonland is an international organization established to restore degraded landscapes worldwide using  a 4 Returns approach.

2012-2016

Conservation Director for Europe, Tompkins Conservation, USA.
Tompkins Conservation (TC) manages a range of environmental projects that include ecosystem restoration, species recovery, and the establishment of national parks in Chile and Argentina to protect biodiversity for posterity.

2003-2012

National coordinator, Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus) Conservation Breeding Program, Ministry of the Environment, Madrid, Spain.
The Iberian lynx ex-situ conservation program  provides animals for reintroduction and serves as a safety net for preserving the genetic diversity of this critically endangered species.

Selected Awards and Recognitions

Award for an “Outstanding Contribution to the Conservation of Nature"

ADENEX (Asociación para la Defensa de la Naturaleza de Extremadura, Spain), XXIII edition, 2009)

“Lifetime Career Achievement Award”

Government of Andalusia, Environmental Counsel, Spain, XV edition, September 2010)

“Nature Conservation Award – José Antonio Valverde"

AEFONA (Asociación Española de Fotógrafos de la Naturaleza), IV edition, November 2, 2007)

Selected Publication

Iberian Lynx Ex situ Conservation:

An Interdisciplinary Approach

Conservación Ex situ del Lince Ibérico:

Un Enfoque Multidisciplinar

Family, Friends and Musings

On a more personal note, I am a family person. I feel truly grateful for having such a fun and loving family and friends.

I’ve always had a passion for traveling and have done so extensively, often offering to work in places I wanted to visit – not as a tourist, but as a curious explorer offering volunteer work in return for the experience.

My zest for discovery is still very much alive.

Musings

On an even more personal note, here I share my first steps into drawing and painting, combined with quotes from authors I admire.