Luis Enrique Sánchez graduated in Mining Engineering (in 1980) and in Geography (in 1984) both from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. After working for the Ministry of Mines and Energy, he under-took postgraduate studies in Mining in the École des Mines de Nancy, France and received his Ph.D. in the Economics of Natural Resources and Development from the École des Mines de Paris, France, in 1989. His thesis dealt with the roles of environmental impact assessment of mining projects. Having worked as an environmental consultant in São Paulo, he joined the Department of Mining Engineering of the Escola Politécnica, University of São Paulo, in 1990, teaching environmental planning and management. In 1996–7 he worked as invited lecturer with the Department of Geography, University of Montreal, Canada.
Professor Sánchez has published papers on subjects such as the effectiveness of environmental impact assessment, corporate strategies to tackle sustainable development challenges, environmental indicators, environmental liabilities, contaminated soils, caves and karst environments, the environmental impacts of mining, and acid mining drainage. He authored a book on environmental liabilities arising from decommissioning industrial plants (published in Portuguese in 2001 by the University of São Paulo Press, Edusp). He lectured at the UNESCO short courses on Geological Aspects of Environmental Protection, held at the State University of Campinas, Brazil, in 1995 and 2000, and wrote several chapters of the companion book (in Spanish).
He is a member of national and international professional organizations, including the International Association of Impact Assessment, where he acted as director from 1998 to 2001. He is also a fellow of Lead – Leadership for Sustainable Development. As a caver and environmental activist he participated in several campaigns in Brazil in the late 1970s and early 1980s