Sydney Nilan has lived and worked in Latin America off and on for the past five years. She has worked as an independent consultant in Mexico and Guatemala, and travelled throughout the continent carrying out community development projects in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Bolivia. She received her Masters in Development Practice from the University of Florida, where she was President and Fellow of the Tropical Conservation and Development program. Her focus is in community based natural resource management and planning.

Fernando “Pino” Rubio is a renowned Peruvian forester. A graduate of the National Agrarian University--La Molina, he has spent over 25 years living in different regions of the Peruvian Amazon studying Amazonian forests, their traditional uses, and local resource management systems. He has extensive experience in the design and application of participatory strategies for sustainable resource management and stewardship of protected areas, and has participated in the creation of legal instruments pertaining to local resources and land use management. His dynamic leadership of conservation efforts in Peru won him the honor of being the first ever recipient of the annual Parker Gentry Award for Conservation, given by the Chicago Field Museum.