Maria Elena Mesta is an experienced Mexican policy expert specialized in the areas of sustainable forest management, sustainable tourism, climate-friendly agriculture, as well as incentives for carbon markets. She is currently Executive Director of the Mexican Council for Impact Assessment (Comimpact), Focal Point of the Mexican Earth Charter Network in Mexico City, senior consultant for the Mexican Island Territory Conservation (ISLA) under the GEF project “Kuxatur: Integrating Biodiversity to Tourism”, and Vice-president of Legado Sustentable A.C.
After graduating in Law from the Universidad Panamericana and a Masters in Public Administration from the National Institute of Public Administration (INAP), she specialized in the ecological area with a Diploma in “Ecological Law” from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and “Industry and Environmental Legislation” from the Universidad Autónoma de México, a Diploma in Project Management from CEDEC, and a Course in Environmental Conflict Resolution from the Universidad para la Paz, in Costa Rica.

Her environmental involvement includes 28 years of experience in National Resource Management and conservation project management in governmental, academic and civil society organizations, and 13 years of experience in negotiation, drafting of agreements, formulating and evaluating strategies and projects aimed at the development and effective implementation of environmental policy instruments and sustainable development projects. She also participated in developing partnerships with communities, governments, civil society organizations and universities and has worked on forest and soil management and environmental legislation.

Her lines of work are Environment and Sustainable Development, Human Rights, Biodiversity Conservation, Climate Change, Tourism, Urban Development, Mining, Development, implementation and effective enforcement of Environmental Legislation, Development of norms, standards and criteria for sustainability, public participation, citizen participation and social participation, Results Based Management and evaluation of environmental policy instruments, and development of sustainable tourism management instruments.