From August 2-4, 2018, 70 women will gather in north-eastern Guyana to connect and share their knowledge of nature and how to conserve it. Sponsored by the Women in Nature Network (WiNN), World Wildlife Fund Guianas, and Conservation International Guyana, the event’s theme is “Connecting through Community Conservation.” Women from indigenous communities in the hinterland of Guyana will join with women from Guyana’s government and NGOs, and women from seven other countries including India, Suriname, French Guiana, USA, Mexico, Chile, and Colombia.
This is a unique women-only event, designed so to provide an encouraging environment for open discourse among the women. Participants will explore how connections made during the event can empower them to do more toward conserving the natural resources of our planet.
The event features several prestigious speakers, including the Hon. Valerie Garrido Lowe, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Guyana and Jennifer Morris, President of Conservation International. The agenda includes presentations, panel discussions, workshops and round-table discussions.
Anne Savage, Conservation Director for Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, FL and Ana Isabel Olivar Alvarez from ASOARTESANAS in Colombia will lead a workshop to make eco-mochilas. Thirteen years ago, a group of 15 women began to create eco-mochilas, beautiful tote bags crocheted from recycled plastic bags as a way to generate a sustainable income while also protecting the critically endangered cotton-top tamarin (monkey) found only in Colombia. Led by Ana Isabel, ASOARTESANAS has grown to more than 50 local women that are the mainstay of the program and they have trained more than 300 women in the techniques of creating eco-mochilas from recycled plastic bags from around the world. Under Ana’s leadership these women have successfully pulled their families out of extreme poverty and decreased their dependency on forest products allowing cotton-top tamarins to thrive in the region.
Most important are the social networking events to be held in the evening, where the women can make connections with other participants. New ideas, projects and opportunities are expected to come from these new connections. One evening will feature a “Conservation Fair and Marketplace” where participants can display their information about their conservation projects or research, or can sell natural products or handicrafts that they make in order to support their local conservation efforts. This evening is bound to showcase a wide variety of interesting products and projects.
WiNN will be posting stories, photos and video interviews on the WiNN website and WiNN Facebook page during the event. We invite you to follow us to hear about the exciting work of these amazing WiNN women.
For more information, please contact:
Margot McManus, WiNN communications intern, firstname.lastname@example.org
Leeanne Alonso, WiNN Founding member, email@example.com