Happy Holidays from us to you! Wishing all of our wonderful women and supporters a WiNNing holiday season and new year!
The Women in Nature Network (WiNN) is connecting and empowering women to achieve sustainable management and conservation of our Earth’s natural resources. WiNN was founded in 2013 by 14 international conservation leaders with decades of experience in nature conservation and capacity building at the community level. Recognizing that women play a pivotal role in the field but are often isolated or ill prepared to take on leadership roles, WiNN is working to develop a global learning community of women in order to create and support a future generation of environmental leaders.
WiNN aims to connect women through four main programs:
Annual global networking event to exchange women’s experiences by bringing together international conservation leaders, WiNN members, conservation practitioners and students through symposia and workshops to strengthen their leadership skills and connect with other women.
Establishment of WiNN networks (national/regional/university/speciality etc.) following WiNN global networking events.
Mentorship program to connect women with established conservation practitioners.
Strategic grants and technical support for women’s conservation projects.
We welcome women from around the world to join us!
WiNN Mexico 2017: Connecting for Conservation
- A huge success!
WiNN's annual global networking event was held from August 9-12, 2017 at the beautiful Camino Real Sumiya Hotel in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The event was generously supported by the Alice C. Tyler Perpetual Trust and the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature (FMCN). The event attracted over 70 women, who heard from distinguished speakers and panelists, participated in four inspiring workshops, and networked during social events. We were honored to have Julia Carabias, former Secretary of the Environment, Natural Resources, and Fisheries in Mexico and now UNAM professor, as the event's closing speaker. Women from Mexico built new networks with WiNN members from Kenya, Vietnam, India, Argentina, Colombia, Guyana, and the US during the event. Read all about the event in the official event report here.
WiNN DC Holiday Gathering
WiNN members Leeanne Alonso, Irene Soler and Delphine Arri hosted a holiday gathering for DC area women on December 7, 2017. They were joined by friends and colleagues from DC area NGOs and the World Bank- several who are new to WiNN. We are always delighted to welcome new members to the network. Happy Holidays to all!
WiNN In the World
WiNN and the Tree Sisters Campaign
WiNN is excited to announce our new partnership with Treesisters. A UK-based charity, TreeSisters stands for reforestation, behavior change, and women’s leadership. They are committed to rapidly accelerating tropical reforestation by inspiring and channeling women’s nature-based feminine leadership into local and global action. TreeSisters invites you to join in their Journey to a Billion Trees campaign. This journey consists of a transformational series of interviews, global meditations, and invitations to ignite, empower, and catalyze readers to become a force of nature on behalf of nature. The goal is to plant One Billion Trees per year in the tropics. Join us and be inspired! For more information, please visit www.billiontrees.me, and help us to welcome this wonderful community into our network!
WiNN Connects with Women's Networks in London
Inspired and empowered by her involvement in WiNN Mexico 2017 as local coordinator, Mexican WiNN member Mireya Mendez de la Torre volunteered to represent WiNN on an Environmental Panel at “Filia 2017: Positive change for women and girls,” a "Feminism in London" event held in London UK on October 13-14, 2017.
This was Mireya’s first time in Europe so she was very excited about the opportunity. This year’s conference included a panel called “Women and the environment: a feminist perspective of the current environmental situation.” Questions discussed at the panel included: How does the natural environment affect women? Are women more affected by climate change than men? What is the role of women in biodiversity conservation? How does water scarcity threaten women around the world? How can women be empowered by the sustainable management of natural resources? Mireya says that this session explored “the relationship between gender and the environment, how the most pressing environmental issues are affecting women’s lives and, most importantly, how women are part of the solution.” Mireya was one of four panelists and gave a fantastic overview of conservation challenges and how women are a key part of the solution to an audience of over 50 women. See more about this event at feminisminlondon.org.
WiNN and GROOTS Kenya: Grants from the Global GreenGrant Fund!
GROOTS Kenya is thrilled to announce that we have secured funding for two of our women groups (IKOCHWA Women Group in Kakamega and Laikipia Women Development Initiative) from the Global GreenGrant Fund www.globalgreengrants.org.uk.
The two groups will focus on conservation efforts as below:
Laikipia Women Development initiative Laikipia County is home to some of Kenya’s most beautiful rangelands and wildlife. The population consists of white settlers, conservationists who have leased most of the rangelands, indigenous pastoralist communities (Maasai, Samburu, etc) who live in group conservancies, and small holder farmers. For a long time now the area has witnessed resource based conflict, either human to human conflict or human-wildlife conflict. The pastoralist/farmers conflict is characterized by illegal land invasion in pursuit of pasture, the farmer/wildlife conflict is about trespassing and destruction of crops, and indigenous people (both pastoralists and farmers) and settlers have quite a tense relationship over control of the rangeland and other resources. It is a very complex situation. We are therefore hoping to use this grant to host women-led community dialogues on ways to reconcile the people, the wildlife and the sectors while nurturing local women conservation champions and peace ambassadors.
IKOCHWA group in Kakamega Kakamega is home to Kakamega Forest, Kenya's only tropical rainforest. It is said to be Kenya's last remnant of the ancient Guineo-Congolian rainforest that once spanned the continent. Flora found in the park include some of Africa's greatest hard and soft woods, and its wildlife includes a variety of primates. The forest is especially famous for its birds. Many local inhabitants rely on the forest to supply important resources, such as firewood, building poles, and traditional medicines. The region is a densely populated rural area and pressure on the forest resources is considerable. There are hiking trails in the forest that allow for forest walking, camping, hiking, primate watching, bird and butterfly watching, game watching and village walks. However, women have not engaged effectively in holding the government accountable on its conservation efforts of this forest. Indeed the forest has in the recent past experienced a lot of logging that is met with silence by the "rather assuming" local communities. The grant will entail a grassroots, women-led nature trail into the forest for 3 days, conversations with Kenya Forest Service, and development of a advocacy plan around which we hope to nurture grassroots conservation champions.
WiNN Mexico Network Established
One of WiNN’s key objectives is to create networks of women conservationists and natural resource managers around the world, particularly following WiNN global networking events. WiNN Mexico 2017 participants have committed to establishing a Mexico WiNN Network. They have created a Facebook page to stay connected through time and to have conversations with women within the Mexico and global WiNN network. They also agreed to hold informal meetings whenever WiNN members are in the same location. In addition, formal meetings will take place as side meetings within the framework of larger scientific meetings where WiNN members will attend. Connect with WiNN Mexico on the WiNN website here.
WiNN at the Latin American Society of Ethnobiology
One of our members, Bibiana Vila, in October went to Ecuador for the Congress of Ethnobiology during which the authorities of the Latin American Society of Ethnobiology (SOLAE) were renewed. In the new board that begins, Bibiana will be in charge of the gender issues of the society.
She has already made three decisions that have been accepted and will be implemented in the society:
In all the congresses of ethnobiology of the SOLAE, at least half of the lectures will have female lecturers.
The term “man” will be avoided when referring to human beings in all texts of SOLAE.
At the next meeting in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2019 there will be a round table or workshop entitled “Ethnobiology and Women’s Bodies, as researchers and as researched subjects.”
United Nations Gender Action Plan
Great news! The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has approved a Gender Action Plan. See the full resolution here!
Let’s think about how WiNN can engage with this initiative.
WiNN Women in the News
Publication of Second BAT Report in Guyana
WiNN members working in Guyana (Leeanne Alonso, Juliana Persaud and Aiesha Williams) are proud to announce the publication of field survey results from their second Biodiversity Assessment Team (BAT) expedition to the Potaro Plateau and Kaiteur National Park. The report was launched in Georgetown, Guyana on November 16, 2017. Read the report here.
Jessie’s research on acoustic monitoring was also featured in our May 2017 newsletter.
Congratulations to Purnima Barman!
In the last newsletter we wrote about Purnima, known as the “Stork Sister,” being awarded the “Green Guru” Award by the Balipara Foundation, recognized by the FICCI Ladies Organization, and awarded the Whitley Award for 2017. Well, our Stork Sister continues to be amazing and produce great conservation work, and she has also recently been nominated for the 2018 Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation! She has been nominated for her efforts to conserve the Greater Adjutant Stork in India. Purnima has worked tirelessly to create a campaign to ensure their survival and bring pride to villages that are home to these unique birds. We are so proud of her and wish her the best of luck with becoming a finalist, and hopefully the winner, of the Indianapolis Prize!
WiNN finally has our own website. Many thanks to Harvard College’s WiNN Chapter for developing a website for WiNN, especially to Jaelithe Virgin-Downey!
Visit us at http://www.womeninnaturenetwork.org
Contributions from WiNN members are welcome. We especially would like to feature 1) bios of WiNN members (1 paragraph and a photo) and 2) WiNN members’ personal stories- how did you get where you are today, what interested you in conservation, and where would you like to go from here! Please send your stories and bios to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WiNN Chapter at Harvard
Congratulations to the Harvard University chapter of WiNN for gaining status as a Recognized Student Organization! Student interest has catalyzed the success of this chapter and we look forward to the continuation of their work connecting and empowering students who are passionate about women's issues and environmental conservation. WiNN @ Harvard has also been communicating with students at several other universities about starting WiNN chapters at their schools.
Sign up for the WiNN Mentorship Program
Would you like to be a mentor to an emerging conservation leader? Would you like to connect with an experienced woman who can provide advice and guidance on natural resource management or conservation? If so, WiNN invites you to join the WiNN Mentorship Program by adding your name at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VYYHTB8. From this survey, a database for mentors and mentees will be developed so that women can find other women to connect with, build relationships, and receive guidance. The mentorship database will be sent to all program participants and made available through the WiNN Facebook page starting February 2018. All are welcome. Sign up today!
Two postdoctoral opportunities are also available at the Smithsonian Institution's new Science Lab. One is focused on applying machine learning tools to collections data, and the other focuses on biodiversity genomics.
Find out more at http://bit.ly/2nj897Q.
2018 and 2019 WiNN Annual Events
Get prepared for the next inspiring WiNN Annual Global Networking Events to be held in Guyana in 2018 and India in 2019! These two events will include an exchange between women from India and Guyana, two regions where WiNN members are working closely with community based women. WiNN members from Guyana and India look forward eagerly to facilitating an exchange of ideas and approaches between their two countries and with women from around the world. More details and dates are coming soon!
Harvard College Conservation Society Careers in Conservation Conference
On Febuary 24th, 2018 HCCS will be holding their 3rd annual Careers in Conservation Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This is a conference for all interested students from Boston-based universities who are interested in professionally pursuing, as the title suggests, careers in conservation. It was created out of partnership with WiNN in 2016, and any WiNN women interested in connecting with young conservationists are welcome to join for a networking lunch, or simply to sit in for the speakers and workshops. To learn more, see Harvard College Conservation Society's website: http://www.harvardconservation.org/. We thank the Alice C. Tyler Perpetual Trust for their continued faith in WiNN and their support for these exciting upcoming events!
Meet Some of Our Women
Juliana has a Master’s degree in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford, UK. She started her career in biodiversity conservation at the Environmental Protection Agency in Guyana in 2008 and has over 8 years of experience working with indigenous communities, CBO’s and policy makers supporting the development of conservation-compatible rural livelihoods, natural resource management and expansion of the protected areas network in Guyana. She joined WWF-Guianas (Guyana Office) in 2015 as the Biodiversity Officer where she currently works contributing to the advancement of WWF’s goals under their forest, freshwater and governance programmes.
Indranee Roopsind is a Guyanese field biologist with over 15 years of experience working in forest systems and biodiversity of Guyana, with much of her efforts devoted to the villages and environs within the North Rupununi Wetlands.
Currently, Indranee is a Community Engagement Specialist with World Wildlife Fund in Guyana. She is part of a team that is engaged with indigenous villages within the North Rupununi, in the development of 10 year village development plans. These plans for the villages are being developed in the areas of environment, health, education, livelihood, governance and tradition and culture.
At present, Indranee is undertaking research for a MSc in Forest Biology at the University of Guyana. Her research is focused on assessing the impacts of changing resource use and techniques on the habitat use and population of the Giant Otter Pternonura brasiliensis in the North Rupununi Wetlands, in Guyana. Her first love is the Giant River Otter, and that is the driving force behind her having made the North Rupununi her home, where she hopes to set an example of there being no limits to what women can achieve for her 8 year old daughter Rachel.
As Vice President for Amazonia at Conservation International, Lisa works with seven CI country programs across the region in their efforts to conserve nature, mitigate climate change, support sustainable livelihoods and green development, and secure long term financing. Lisa also works across the Americas to link global development agency financing with country (field) program and governments. Over Lisa's quarter century of efforts to conserve the biodiversity of the Guiana Shield, she's led the design and implementation of programs to establish and manage protected areas, build capacity in governments and civil society, empower communities, access conservation finance and develop long-term financing mechanisms, climate mitigation and REDD+ initiatives, and sustainable enterprise. She graduated from University of Vermont.
We thank our generous supporters:
Alice C. Tyler Perpetual Trust
Header photograph by Angelica Torres
Special thanks to Olivia Velasquez, Sophia Mautz, Ayanna Dunmore, and other WiNN members at Harvard College.
Please email us at email@example.com to join our informal email list, or with any questions, comments, or submissions for our upcoming May newsletter.