About us

Impulsouth is an alliance of organizations working collaboratively to increase knowledge and capacities on climate action in developing countries.

The initiative aims to promote south-south cooperation to strengthen the southern engagements with the Paris Agreement in a way that is reflected at the 2023 Global Stocktake.

Impulsouth focuses its action in six countries – Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Madagascar, Niger, Uganda and Zambia – and pursues to strengthen the role played by young climate leaders through research, training and innovation.

Therefore, Impulsouth is supporting country research around climate change, is building capacity through a virtual training course for young climate professionals and is launching a solutions lab to tackle key climate challenges in each of the countries.

Avina is a Latin American foundation founded in 1994 that promotes sustainability through collaborative processes of change, creating positive impact on a large scale. To fulfill its mission Avina works from the Global South (Latin America and Africa), in line with the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations, to advance innovations that promote the care of the planet and the well-being of all people.

As part of Canada’s foreign affairs and development efforts, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) champions and funds research and innovation within and alongside developing regions to drive global change. IDRC invests in high quality-research in developing countries, shares knowledge with researchers and policymakers for greater uptake and use, and mobilizes global alliances to build a more sustainable and inclusive world.

FLACSO Ecuador is an international public university committed to the development and strengthening of research and post-graduate studies in Social Sciences in Ecuador. It is a member of The Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO), an international organization that emerged at the UNESCO General Conference in 1956 with the aim to support social science institutions in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The United Nations University (UNU) is a global think tank and postgraduate teaching organisation. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through collaborative research and education, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States. Through postgraduate teaching activities, UNU contributes to capacity building, particularly in developing countries.

Research partners

Steering committee

Paula Ellinger
Climate action director
Fundación Avina

Relevant Academic degrees: B.A. in International Relations and M.A. in Development Studies.

Paula is the leader of the Impulsouth initiative and climate action manager at Fundación Avina, engaging with local actors, national governments and regional networks from the southern hemisphere. Paula is member of the Expert Peer Review Group of the UN Race to Zero campaign, as well as of the technical committee of the Climate Finance Group of Latin American and the Caribbean (GFLAC).

Ambe Emmanuel Cheo
Dr/ Associate Academic Officer
United Nations University – Vice Rectorate in Europe.

Relevant Academic degrees: PhD in Environmental and Resources Management

Emmanuel is Associate Academic Officer at UNU, where he is contributing in research, capacity building and outreach activities, especially focused on water management and climate action in Africa. Emmanuel is a member of the Consultative Group of Experts supporting developing countries to implement the Paris agreement, member of the Expert Peer Review Group of the UN Race to Zero campaign and a member of FAO Transparency network. 

Pablo Cabrera-Barona
Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) – Ecuador 

Relevant Academic degrees: PhD in Applied Geoinformatics.

Pablo is a professor at FLACSO Ecuador university. He is the director of the Urban Studies programme and Head of the Geo-Social Lab. Pablo has worked as researcher, lecturer and consultant around areas such as land use planning, health geographies and local development for different public and private institutions.

Erick Tambo
Academic Officer – Head of Program
United Nations University – Vice Rectorate in Europe 

Relevant Academic degrees: Doctorate degree in Computer sciences.

Erick is an Academic Officer – Head of Pan African Cooperation and Educational Technologies at United Nations University (UNU) and expert in information and communications technology for development. He supports the coordination of the Pan African Virtual and E-University. He has broad expertise in research management, educational technologies and innovation in Africa. 

Walter Ubal Giordano
Senior program specialist
International Development Research Center (IDRC)

Relevant Academic degrees: Master in Environmental Economics.

Walter is Senior program specialist at IDRC and a highly experienced project manager on natural resources management and environmental economics. Walter stands out for his expertise in sustainable development, program evaluation, international relations, Non-Governmental Organizations and policy analysis. 

Executive team

Jean Marie Vianney Ntayomba
Regional Focal Point for Africa at Impulsouth
Fundación Avina

Relevant Academic degrees: Doctorate in Public Administration and Policy and Master in International Environmental Law.

Jean Marie is an expert in policy analysis and government support. He worked with the UN for 11 years in policy analysis and community engagement in Rwanda, Liberia and Haiti. He acted as a District level Executive Council Chair in the city of Kigali (Rwanda), implementing national governance and decentralization policies. Jean Marie is passionate about public policies implementation focused on climate action and energy access in Africa.

Cynthia Loría Picado
Programme manager
Fundación Avina

Relevant Academic degrees: Forest Engineer. Master in Development and Public Management & Leadership.

Cynthia is Fundación Avina’s manager in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, where she promotes sustainability through collaborative processes aimed to generate positive impact at scale. She also runs a regional migration programme and is the focal point of Impulsouth in Guatemala and Dominican Republic. Cynthia has worked as an expert and advisor in engineering, climate change, development, policy and leadership for the public and private sector, as well as for civil society organizations in different Latin American countries.

Andrés Mogro
Regional Manager of the Resilience and Climate Transition Programme
Fundación Avina

Relevant Academic degrees: B.A. in Business and International Relations and Master in International Relations, International Negotiations and Conflict Resolution

Andrés coordinates Avina’s Andes Resilientes al Cambio Climático project in Ecuador, which is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Before joining Fundación Avina, he collaborated with several international cooperation agencies on climate change-related issues, including the FAO, UNDP, and GIZ. Andrés has also worked with the national government of Ecuador, where he served as National Director for Climate Change Adaptation at the Ministry of Environment. In this role, he represented Ecuador on the Executive Boards of UNFCCC and the Green Climate Fund.

Milena Gramacho
Administration and Financial Coordinator
Fundación Avina

Relevant Academic degrees: Bachelor degree in Economics.

Milena works as Administration and Financial Coordinator for Fundación Avina for several climate action projects, including Impulsouth. Her main expertise focused on the administrative and financial area, involving credit analysis and cost control. Milena stands out for her leadership and collaborative experience, as well as her interpersonal skills.

Paula Bianchi
Communication Consultant of the Resilience and Climate Transition Programme
Fundación Avina

Relevant Academic degrees: Bachelor degree in Communication Sciences and Master in Law and Economics of Climate Change

Paula has over 15 years of experience working as head of strategic and organizational communication, as well as coordinating and managing projects related to climate change, science-policy interface and society, knowledge management and capacity building. She currently works as communications consultant for Fundación Avina and different projects in Latin America. She is a professor at Environmental Management Degree – University of the Republic. Also, Paula is completing a master ‘s degree in Law and Economics of Climate Change.

Nathália Rezende
Assistant project coordinator and south-south cooperation specialist
Fundación Avina

Relevant Academic degrees: B.A. in International Relations

Nathalia likes to be involved in actions that can bring a strong positive impact to society. After completing a 2-years internship in climate policies at GIZ she decided to focus her career on climate action. As an undergraduate student, she takes part in projects and research studies related to the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, especially in initiatives enhancing the contribution of Academia. She currently works as a consultant to enhance south-south cooperation between Impulsouth partners.


María del Pilar Bueno Rubial
Senior researcher-Professor
National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) in Argentina – National University of Rosario 

Relevant Academic degrees: PhD in International Relations, Master in Environmental System and Bachelor Degree in International Relations. 

Pilar works primarily on climate change governance and policies, leading environmental departments and climate initiatives in Argentina. She is a former Secretary of Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Innovation of Argentina and acted as climate change negotiator for Argentina, leading the G77+ China on adaptation. Pilar is a member of the Adaptation committee at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Solutions lab

Gaston Kremer
Programme managerWorld-Transforming TechnologiesRelevant Academic degrees: Bachelor Degree in International Relations. Postgraduation studies in Innovation Management and Climate and Sustainable Energy Finance

Gaston is a senior expert in strategic relations and social business. During most of his career he has been focused on supporting local communities in experimenting, developing and disseminating technologies for social impact. Gaston was one of the partners of an energy access and rural development social business working in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Uruguay. He is currently leading the implementation of projects to empower vulnerable women, accelerate climate action and promote innovative agriculture. He also works to promote innovation as a Research & Development coordinator.

Phumlani Nkontwana​​

Relevant Academic degrees: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Economics of Entrepreneurship.

Phumlani is an expert of Economics of Entrepreneurship and the founder and director of Fuata Africa, a data, research and advisory firm solving fragmentation of development data in Africa. He is also a senior lecturer at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town.
During his career, Phumlani has participated in multiple social change projects to enhance entrepreneurship-led development in Africa.