Type: Non-profit, non-governmental organization

Mission: To contribute to the development of knowledge, values and responsible behaviors consistent with environmental conservation and sustainable development, with emphasis on legislation, education and communications.

Scope: Regional, national and international.

Email: info@vitalis.net

Web Site: www.vitalis.net

Twitter: @ONGVitalis

Address of National Head Office: Centro Profesional La California, Suite 9-8, Av. Francisco de Miranda, La California, Caracas – Venezuela

P.O. Box: Apartado 61580 – Caracas 1060 – A.

Telephones and Fax: (58) (212) 271.9610 y 271.5420, Fax (0212) 271.5561.

Action Areas: VITALIS directs its efforts towards the following nine main agendas:

  • Communications
  • Environmental Education, Citizenship and Social Responsability
  • Environmental Law and policies
  • Community Development
  • Ecoeficiency and Clean Production
  • Environmental Goods and Services

The main activities within each agenda include:

Information and Communications

    • Design and development of informative and/or educational environmental campaigns (i.e. the campaign on illegal trade: “Your home is not their home”)
    • Environmental pages in different national mass media
    • Columns in national and international magazines
    • Web site (www.vitalis.net)
    • Radio program (Conciencia Global)
    • Production and direction of international TV programs (i.e. Actualización de Maestros (AME) with the Universidad Metropolitana for Direct TV).
    • Annual national environmental report:: ‘Environmental Balance in Venezuela’ (‘Balance Ambiental de Venezuela’ – 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
    • Annual environmental calendars and planners
    • Use of social networks (twitter and Facebook)

Environmental Education, Citizenship and Social Responsability

    • Environmental School Calendar, educational program for teachers of elementary school, allowing the training of more than 10,000 teachers, and supporting more than 5 million children nation wide.
    • Raising of environmental awareness among rural and urban communities in areas of high biodiversity (i.e. in the Amacuro Delta, Los Roques and Canaima)
    • Citizens of the World (within the framework of Earth Day Network)
    • Creating key capacity groups involved in situations of environmental conflict (i.e. Canaima)
    • Strengthening Botanic Garden and Zoo Management.
    • Specialized training in environmental science for teachers, municipal employees and workers in specified areas
    • Organization and coordination of specialized workshops, seminars and courses (i.e. ABC of the ONG, Ecology for Lawyers, Environmental Law, Planification of Programs of Environmental Education and Use of institutional communication, etc.).

Environmental Law and Policies

    • Formulation and analysis of legal instruments: resolutions, laws and regulations
    • Analysis of the legal framework in strategic development areas
    • Development of environmental policies
    • Specialized legal assessments in environmental matters
    • Environmental Gazette on the Web
    • Electronic Forum: Project of the Organic Law for the Conservation of the Environment and Solid Waste and Domestic Waste.
    • Annual seminar and congress on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development.

Ecoeficiency and Clean Production

    • Supporting companies in the design and start-up of initiatives to achieve competitive advantage directed towards greater production of materials and energy with minimal environmental impact (i.e. Espiñeira, Sheldon and Associates Ofc. de Maracaibo, World Bank Headquarters (Caracas) and Universidad Metropolitana)
    • Environmental awareness among employees and their communityies in relation to ecoefficient environmental best practices.
    • Promotion of the achievements and benefits of clean and responsible production in the business sector
    • Network of a Clean Production within the countries of the Convention Andrés Bello (Founding member of Venezuelan Chapter)
    • Waste management and the national recycling program
    • Annual Ecoeficiency Award

Community Development

    • Development of environmentally friendly values and behavior
    • Environmental decision making and conflict resolution
    • Community participation in watershed management

Environmental Goods and Services

    • Planning and management of protected areas (i.e. Management effectiveness of protected areas)
    • ‘Enhancing our Heritage Project’ (´Mejorando Nuestra Herencia’) for the conservation of historical sites together with UNESCO, INPARQUES, indigenous communities and UICN
    • Integrated Water Resource Management (Jointly with GWP and AVEAGUA)
    • Economic valuation of natural resources and environmental services
    • Support in specific integrated environmental assessments

Given its social approach, VITALIS favors projects that benefit the citizens and develops, assists and promotes environmentally sustainable solutions to problems linked with, among other issues, the unsustainable use of natural resources and a lack of awareness of their importance to human populations.

In order to reduce its administrative and operational costs, VITALIS operates with minimum administrative structure. Funds received for projects and programs are fully utilized for those ends.

Board of Directors 

Diego Díaz Martín, President and Executive Director

Biologist with a Masters degree in Environmental Management and extensive experience in environmental matters in Venezuela. Former Executive Director of FUDENA and the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Northern Andean ecoregional program. Lecturer in postgraduate studies at different national universities. Chief of environmental studies for Universidad Metropolitana (UNIMET) in Venezuela.

José Antonio Apostólico, Vicepresident

Graduate in public accounting with extensive experience in the Venezuelan private sector and associate of the company Espiñera, Pacheco and associates (member of PriceWaterhouseCoopers). Former Director at the Chamber of Commerce in Maracaibo.

Bernardo Soto Negrón, Director

Lawyer, specialist in corporate, mercantile and international law. Formen Member of the firm Ponte, Mossi, Soto and Associates. Legal Advisor at VITALIS.

Eduardo Ochoa Perales, Director

Graduate in Administration, specialist in material and financial resources. Employee at Financial Management Direction at SENIAT. Expert in security matters in tax forms.

Professional Staff

  • Legislation, Policies, Access to Resources and Biosecurity, Maritza Da Silva, Lawyer
  • Environmental Education, Citizenship and Social Responsability, Ester Monroy, Chemist
  • Community Development, Zoila Martinez, Biologist
  • Alejandra Ravelo, Journalis, Communications
  • Ecoefficiency and clean production, Vladimir Valera, Environmental Engineer
  • Carabobo Region, Zoos and Aquarium, Esmeralda Mujica, Biologist
  • Barinas Region, Botanical Gardens, Cecilia Gómez Miliani, Engineer, PhD.
  • Lara Region, María Eugenia Rinaudo, Educator
  • Zulia Region, Alonso Lizaraz, Biologist
  • Diego Gabriel Díaz Giammarino, Journalist, Coordinator of Electronic Communications)
  • Project Director: Yazenia Frontado, Chemical Engineer

Advisors

  • Liduvina Valderrama (Ecoeffiency)
  • Isabel Novo (Environmental Education)
  • Fátima Viera, Accounter (Tax Matters)
  • Jesús Salazar, Designer (Eeffective use of educational and informative messages)
  • Beatriz Leal, Quemist, Dioxinas y Furanos.
  • Leopoldo Molina, Electric Engineer, Eficiencia Energética
  • Oralyn Caldera, Sustainable Development
  • MSc. Felipe Baritto

Honorary Members

Liduvina Valderrama

Ana María Giammarino (†)

VITALIS is a proud member of

  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • Pacto Global de las Naciones Unidas
  • Red de los Países del Convenio Andrés Bello en Producción Limpia
  • Red Latinoamericana de Bosques
  • Earth Day Network
  • Global Water Partnership
  • Consejo de Manejo Forestal Mundial
  • Asociación Sudamericana para el Agua
  • Red Global 350
  • Red de Observadores del Fondo Ambiental Mundial

Recognition and Awards

  • “El Avila Mountain Award”, for “its excellent site vitalis.net”, awarded by Libertador Municipality (June, 2001)
  • Second place in the category “Popularization” of the William H. Phelps Prize, awarded by Baruta Municipality of Caracas (June, 2001)
  • “Environmental Organization of the Year 2002”, awarded by the Environmental Society of Miranda (‘Sociedad Ambientalista de Miranda’, SAMIR) (June, 2002)
  • Special Recognition of the National Award on Conservation “Enrique Tejera”. Sadarbol, 2007
  • Cross of the National Guard of Venezuela, for “merit in Venezuelan environmental management”, awarded by the Director General of the Environment of the National Guard.