Johana Deza

Lead Specialist, Conservation Areas

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Johana Deza has 15 years of experience in conservation and sustainable development. As Lead Specialist in Conservation Areas, she provides strategic advice on area-based conservation and facilitates lesson-sharing across the network to achieve the post-2020 area-based conservation targets, such as Target 3 (30x30). In addition, Johana is working with countries on advancing enabling conditions for Project Finance for Permanence as key to advancing policy and financial for effective and sustainable conservation area systems.

Before joining WWF-US, Johana worked at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) advising area-based conservation initiatives to increase landscape connectivity and resilience to climate change of people and nature. Before that, she worked for seven years at WWF-Peru leading its strategy of landscape planning, fostering coordination among Latin American countries, the establishment of conservation areas, and the recognition of indigenous territories.

Johana has a Master’s in Sustainable Development with a specialization in Ecology from KU Leuven in Belgium and a Bachelor’s in Biological Science from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Peru. Her master's thesis assessed the enabling conditions for co-management in protected areas in South Africa. Additionally, she studied specialization programs in Public Policy and Environmental Management.

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Lead Specialist


  • MSc. – Sustainable Development, KU Leuven (Belgica)
  • BS – Biological Sciences, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Peru)

Areas of Expertise

  • Area-based conservation
  • OECMs
  • Landscape planning
  • Conservation planning
  • Climate resilience
  • Sustainable development