Creating opportunities for indigenous leaders and scholars to explore solutions to the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss.
Strong leadership and technical skills are essential elements of land stewardship and community development, and critical to policy engagement. Therefore, Conservation International (CI) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) have joined together to sponsor the Indigenous & Traditional Peoples Conservation Fellowship. This fellowship will provide opportunities for leaders and scholars from indigenous and traditional peoples communities and organizations to explore solutions to the impacts of climate change and the threats to ecosystems and biodiversity that are affecting their lands, communities and livelihoods.
It is essential to support indigenous peoples, local communities and their representative organizationsin their efforts to build their capacity in these areas; increased capacity fosters the knowledge and skillsrequired to engage in all aspects of ecosystem health and development, from local to global action.
Indigenous peoples’ knowledge together with biodiversity and climate-related science can helpcommunities face increasing threats on their lands and territories and confront the impacts of climatechange and biodiversity loss. This year long fellowship aims to provide space for dialogue to respect,recognize and incorporate traditional knowledge in local efforts and take advantage of the scientificinformation available at many institutions and universities.
The program has two categories candidates may apply for:
- Biodiversity Conservation, which includes: management of community conserved lands/indigenous territory/ community managed marine areas, traditional knowledge, or issuessurrounding access and benefits sharing.
- Climate Change, which includes: community efforts to engage in ecosystem based adaptation,or the role forests play in climate change mitigation.
This year, three fellows have been chosen from more than 140 applications. They come from around theworld, and bring a diversity of experience, knowledge and culture to the program. The 2012 fellows are:
Zenón Gomel Apaza, a small farmer in the rural community of Pucara, in the Puno region of Peru. Hespeaks Quechua and Spanish, and has a MS in Agroecology with a major in biodiversity and rural Andeanagriculture, and also a MA in sustainable community development. Mr. Gomel Apaza is currentlypursuing a Ph.D. in natural sciences for development with an emphasis on agricultural productionsystems. With the non-profit organization Asociación Savia Andina Pucará (ASAP), which he foundedmore than 15 years ago, he is developing measures to strengthen the capacities of indigenous peasantcommunities in Andean agriculture, the protection of biodiversity and the environment. ASAP is also isworking on generating proposals for policy guidelines based on traditional knowledge to incorporateinto policies on regional and national climate change issues. For these efforts in 2006, Zenon GomelApaza was awarded a Rolex Award for Enterprise, under the environmental issues theme, so far the only Peruvian who has earned the award.
Ikal Angelei, an indigenous activist from the Lake Turkana region of Kenya. She speaks four languagesand has a MA in Public Policy. After completion of her undergraduate studies, she was employed inthe in the banking sector, but at the same time embarked on small community activities working withher ethic community on issues of education and women's education. With a growing interest in seeingthe sustainable growth of her ethnic community, Ms. Angelei expanded her interest in the region toinclude neighboring communities and expand the focus of her involvement into natural resources andenvironmental justice. With this newfound passion, Ms. Angelei founded Friends of Lake Turkana, a Community Trust thatwas established in November 2008 and registered through the Trust Act in October 2009. Its focus isto promote Environmental Justice, Resource Rights and Community Rights within the Lake TurkanaBasin. In this regard, FoLT focuses on increasing Lake Turkana basin communities' participation inenvironmental policy protection, sustainable management and use of natural resources as well asincreased participation of communities' in the development and governance of their resources.
Diana Nascimento, a young indigenous student from the Paraná state of Brazil. She is currentlycompleting her degree in Environmental Management, with a focus on costal environmentalmanagement. She was awarded a seat at the Federal University of Paraná-UFPR, which offers sevenseats for indigenous students from all over Brazil. After graduation, she intends to return to hercommunity with the scientific knowledge she has gained at university and work in conjunction withthe traditional knowledge she and her community already possess to contribute to environmental andcultural enhancement of the Kaingang peoples.
Thank you for your interest, but we are not currently accepting applications for the next round ofnominees. When the application process is open, it will be announced on this website. Please checkback periodically for updates.