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Ramon Folch

President and founder

Doctor in Biology and Socio-ecology

Founder (1994) and president of ERF (Estudi Ramon Folch & Associats). Posts formerly held include president of the Social Council at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (2004-2008); secretary-general of the International Advisory Council of the Latin-American Forum of Environmental Sciences (La Plata, Argentina); Professor of that body’s UNESCO/FLACAM Chair for Sustainable Development (1989-2006); and vice-president of Barcelona City Council’s Urban Habitat Advisory Board. Folch’s field of expertise is regional, urban and energy research and management, all from a sustainable approach, an approach that he himself has helped to define and to develop, at both theoretical and applied level.

A member of the Spanish Section of the Club of Rome, in 1978 he was appointed to the Institute of Catalan Studies, chairing its Plant Ecology Section. From 1972 to 1977, he was secretary-general of the Catalan Institute of Natural History, and was its president from 1986 to 1990. He has taken part in numerous international technical cooperation operations in the fields of the environment and health (he founded and became the first president of the Inter-Hospital Consortium for Cooperation in 1981), mainly in Africa (Senegal, Chad, Ivory Coast, Congo [former Zaire], Madagascar and other islands in the Indian Ocean) and Latin America (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Cuba, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Peru and Paraguay). He is also former president of the administrative board of the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona (1980-1984).

Previously, he had been professor of Botany at the University of Barcelona (1968-1975) and director of the environmental services of Barcelona Provincial Council and the Catalan Government (1975-1982). He has also worked as an environmental management consultant for UNESCO, a member and general-secretary of the Spanish Committee of the UNESCO MAB Programme (Madrid and Paris, 1982-1994), a member of the UNESCO Rio Conference Monitoring Committee (Paris, 1992-1997), and incumbent of the Catalan Institute of Technology Chair for Environmental Metatechnology and Socio-Ecology (Barcelona, 1996-1998). He also represented Spanish environmental research before the European Union Commission on Agencies and Systems (Brussels, 1986).

In 1976, he was appointed as editorial secretary for the Llibre blanc de la gestió de la natura als Països Catalans (“White Book on Nature Management in the Catalan-Speaking Countries”, featuring pieces by around one hundred authors). Since then, he has written some thirty books and more than two hundred articles on regional development and sustainability. The most recent are: La sostenibilitat en l’era postindustrial (“Sustainability in the Post-Industrial Age”, 2011), a new edition of Ambiente, emoción y ética (“Environment, Emotion and Ethics”, 2012), La quimera del crecimiento (“The Chimaera of Growth”, 2014) and Ambient, territori i paisatge. Valors i valoracions (“Environment, Territory and Landscape. Values and Evaluations”, with Josepa Bru, 2016).

In 1990 he was awarded the Lluís Carulla Prize of Honour. He has also received the Narcís Monturiol Medal for Scientific and Technological Merit (1991), awarded by the Catalan Government; the Alzina Prize (1992) of the Balearic Ornithology and Nature Defence Group; and the Catalan Government’s Environment Prize (1995). Among other accolades, he also received the City of Barcelona Prize (2004) for the exhibition "Inhabiting the World" and was shortlisted in 2006 for the European Union’s Descartes Communication Prize. He has been an Honour Member of the Association of Economists since 2013. In 2020 he has been awarded the Nat Prize for his contribution to the spreading of Natural Sciences in recognition of his research, dissemination and defense of biodiversity and the environment both in Catalonia and internationally, for the creation of innovative scientific and educational tools at the service of naturalists and ecologists, and for the impact that his work has had in many professional fields and in raising social awareness on nature.

A selection of Ramon Folch’s latest educational articles, among other publications, are available at the following links:

Revista Mètode

El Periódico

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