Germán Montero

Ashoka Fellow
Argentina
Fellow Since 2016
Related TopicsSocial Entrepreneurship

Citation

This profile was prepared when Germán Montero was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2016.
Introduction
Germán co-founded the Environmental South Association in 2007 to actively and respectfully reconnect people with nature in the rapidly urbanized cities in Patagonia. Through urbanization, younger generations of Argentinians are separated from a variety of natural environments. With an absence of lakes, parks, and forests there is a disconnect that has formed between the youth and the natural environment, which include plants and animals within them.

In 2004, Germán established the first ever urban nature reserve to counteract the environment degradation caused by the expanding city. His vision from the beginning was to involve the community in a participatory process in the creation and maintenance of these spaces. The stakeholders include members within the political system, social organizations, and schools. Through these “urban nature reserves” German has created pockets of conservation which have become a center for strategies and techniques that enable city dwellers to reconnect with the natural environment. This has led to change in the outlook of the community towards the natural environment.

Germán has created a change in the relationship between the community in these areas and the natural environment. What were once abandoned plots of land with mud and birds have now become sanctuaries for people to reconnect with nature. German reached out to friends and environment conscious individuals which eventually lead to a movement of creating these spaces with a goal of making the cities environment friendly.

In 2007, Germán and a group of friends founded the Environmental South Association. This group works with communities to raise awareness through education. Simultaneously, they are establishing a network of nature conservationists who are determined to spread the concept of urban nature reserves to other cities in Patagonia in both Argentina and Chile.

German believes environmental conservation can only happen when people who live in the city are activated and involved. For German and his team, it was understood that the participatory nature of the processes they have created, needed to be at the center of the framework in order to develop each initiative and create a generation of leaders of change in the environment field.
The New Idea
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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