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  • Writer's pictureTyzza Macias

Esteban Escamilla Prado: Leading the Charge for Environmental Cooperation and Sustainable Coffee

Photo: Courtesy of Commission for Environmental Cooperation

In the world of environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture, one name shines brightly as an inspiration - Esteban Escamilla Prado. A research professor and organic coffee producer, Esteban Escamilla Prado, Ph.D., is not just a pioneer in the field of organic coffee cultivation but also a dynamic force at the forefront of environmental cooperation in North America. 

Today, we embark on a captivating journey through the life and accomplishments of Dr. Esteban Escamilla Prado, a visionary leader who has not only cultivated exceptional coffee but also sown the seeds of positive change in our shared quest for a greener, more sustainable world. As he takes on the prestigious role of chairing the Commission for Environmental Cooperation's (CEC) Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) for 2024, we witness a remarkable individual whose passion for both the Earth and its people is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

A Legacy of Sustainable Agriculture

Esteban Escamilla Prado's journey toward becoming a leading figure in environmental cooperation and sustainable agriculture began with a passion for the land. As an agricultural engineer with an MA and Ph.D. in tropical agroecosystems from the Chapingo Autonomous University (UACh) in Mexico, Esteban's roots in agriculture run deep. His doctoral dissertation focused on the study of organic coffee quality in Mexico, setting the stage for his lifelong commitment to sustainable coffee production.

A Bridge Between Academia and Policy

Dr. Escamilla Prado's tireless efforts have not only contributed to the advancement of sustainable agriculture but also bridged the gap between academic research and policy implementation. As the research director at the National Center for Coffee Research, Innovation, and Technological Development (Cenacafé), he has been instrumental in shaping policies that promote sustainable coffee cultivation practices. His wealth of experience and expertise makes him the ideal candidate to chair the CEC's JPAC.

A Vision for Environmental Cooperation

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Its mission is to protect North America's shared environment while supporting sustainable development. Dr. Escamilla Prado's appointment as the chair of JPAC for 2024 is a testament to his dedication to this cause.

Jorge Daniel Taillant, CEC Executive Director, praises Esteban's commitment, saying, "He brings welcome energy to the CEC, to his peers, and his colleagues, through many JPAC and other CEC initiatives." Esteban's work transcends borders, advocating for environmental protection and sustainable practices in Mexico and North America.

Empowering Communities Through Education

Aside from his research and policy contributions, Dr. Escamilla Prado's commitment extends to education and outreach. He offers certificate programs on comprehensive sustainable coffee cultivation, organic agriculture, biodiversity, sustainable land use, and agroforestry. These programs empower small-scale and Indigenous producer cooperatives, equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed for sustainable agriculture.

A Global Perspective

Esteban's impact goes beyond North America. He is actively involved in international research programs aimed at improving coffee varieties' resilience to climate change in Mexico and several countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. His vision for a sustainable, supportive, and resilient agri-food sector resonates on a global scale.

A Champion of Organic Coffee

As an organic coffee producer himself, Esteban Escamilla Prado understands the intricacies of sustainable coffee cultivation. He is a founding member of the "Catuai Amarillo" cooperative and the Federation of High Mountains Specialty Coffees (Incafesam). These social enterprises export organic coffee to the United States and Europe, showcasing the potential of environmentally friendly farming practices.

Leading the Way in Certification

In addition to his coffee production endeavors, Dr. Escamilla Prado serves as the current president of the Steering Committee of the Mexican Certification Authority for Ecological Products and Processes (Certimex). His commitment to ecological certification underscores his dedication to promoting sustainable and environmentally friendly products.

A Call for Environmental Cooperation

In his own words, Esteban Escamilla Prado emphasizes the importance of environmental cooperation in North America. He believes that the 30th anniversary of the CEC presents a significant opportunity to strengthen North American integration and environmental cooperation while preserving the region's rich biocultural heritage.

In a world facing environmental challenges and the urgent need for sustainable solutions, Esteban Escamilla Prado stands as a shining example of what one passionate and dedicated individual can achieve. His journey serves as a reminder that it is within our power to make a positive impact on our planet. As Esteban takes the helm of the CEC's JPAC for 2024, let us all be inspired by his unwavering commitment to a sustainable and environmentally friendly future. He reminds us that through collaboration, determination, and a deep love for our shared planet, we can create a world where ecological harmony and human prosperity coexist. Esteban Escamilla Prado is not just a leader; he is an inspiration for a brighter tomorrow, showing us that the path to a sustainable future is not only possible but also worth every ounce of our collective effort.


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