Indigenous Leaders Conservation Fellowship Programme

Conservation International Foundation


Grant amount: US $15,000

Deadline: Nov 2, 2018

Applicant type: Working Professional Postdoctoral Researcher Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Fellowship

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Preferred: Australia, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Fiji, French Polynesia, Gabon, Ghana, Guyana, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Liberia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Federated States Of, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Republic of, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna, American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands Other eligible locations: Anywhere in the world

Exclusive to minorities: Yes

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Overview:

About the Fellowship

The Indigenous Leaders Conservation Fellowship focuses specifically on supporting indigenous peoples and elevating their voices in the dialogue around climate resilience and/or conservation. The fellowship offers individualized support to fellows in an effort to enhance and expand leadership, as well as to provide learning opportunities and connections for personal and professional development. The fellowship strives to connect fellows to CI field offices, in order to support CI projects and programs and align with CI’s priority geographies. The fellowship includes the following elements:

  • Community-based climate resilience project or research: financial and technical support to enhance/build upon the fellow’s existing work/projects.
  • Mentoring & connecting: connections  to CI field offices/staff that can both support the fellow throughout the fellowship and provide CI with unique perspectives and insights. Where possible, connections and mentoring will also be fostered between the fellow and other indigenous leaders (such as previous fellows, CI’s Indigenous Advisory Group members and regional networks).
  • Skills-building/professional development: discretionary funds for the fellow to use for enhancing his/her professional skills and knowledge – such as technical skills, language classes or conferences.
  • Influencing others: use the fellowship as a platform to advocate for indigenous peoples’ active participation in environmental conservation – for example with organizations, local governments, at the community, national and regional levels.

Now in its eighth year, this fellowship program has worked with 17 indigenous and traditional leaders from 12 different countries.

Fellowship Focus

For the 2019-2020 fellowship year, the Indigenous Leaders Conservation Fellowship will support two distinct fellowship tracks:
  • Indigenous Women’s Fellowship: This fellowship focuses specifically on advancing indigenous women’s leadership in the climate and conservation space. Two fellows will be supported in this track.
  • Emerging Leaders Fellowship: This fellowship focuses specifically on identifying and elevating emerging indigenous leaders interested in applying traditional knowledge to climate and conservation solutions. Two fellows will be supported in this track.

Indigenous Women's Fellowship

Purpose: To engage, equip and connect indigenous women leaders for climate change resilience and conservation.

The fellowship at a glance:

  • Supports 2 indigenous women leaders from CI countries or priority land/seascapes and as nominated by an indigenous or traditional peoples organization
  • 18-months, part-time commitment (January 2019-June 2020)
  • $US 15,000 for activities and stipend
  • Four components: 1) community project/research, 2) mentoring/connecting, 3) skills-building and 4) influencing others

Rational for the fellowship:

Women around the world, and particularly indigenous women, are closely connected to their natural environment. In Africa, for example, women produce nearly 90% of food on the continent and can spend up to five hours a day collecting water and firewood. Likewise, in major fish-producing countries, nearly half of all women are engaged in the small-scale fisheries sector. And worldwide, women rely on gathering forest products for supplemental household food and materials for income generation.

Despite this close connection and associated ecological knowledge, women are too often left out of decision-making about, and management of, environmental resources that impact them – at the local, national and international scales. This is especially true of indigenous women who face a number of barriers including social norms, time constraints, educational levels, racial discrimination, and high rates of poverty.

While there are certainly examples of strong indigenous female leadership in climate resilience, there remains an overall large gap in participation and decision-making at all levels. This can lead to inequitable policies and initiatives at the local, national and international levels and can inhibit the success of climate and conservation efforts and continue to disadvantage indigenous women.

Aspiring women leaders need the financial and technical resources, relevant mentoring and learning opportunities, and exposure to leadership opportunities, to make their contributions heard. To help address this critical need, CI has developed this specific fellowship track.

Emerging Indigenous Leaders Fellowship

Purpose: To support emerging indigenous leaders to understand and communicate the valuable contributions of traditional knowledge systems in combatting climate change and biodiversity loss.

The fellowship at a glance:

  • Supports 2 emerging indigenous leaders, as nominated by an indigenous or traditional peoples organization
  • 18-months, part-time commitment (January 2019-June 2020)
  • $US 15,000 for activities and stipend
  • Four components: 1) community project/research, 2) mentoring/connecting, 3) skills-building and 4) influencing others

Rational for the fellowship:

Recent studies estimate that indigenous peoples manage or have tenure over lands and waters representing nearly a quarter of the world’s land surface. Within these lands and territories, indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge systems are increasingly being recognized for their value in ensuring sustainable management and use of resources. There is growing recognition that these knowledge systems need to be strengthened and enhanced to address the growing pressures that confront indigenous communities today.

The Emerging Indigenous Leaders Fellowship is designed to provide opportunities for emerging indigenous leaders to explore the contributions that traditional knowledge, including traditional knowledge systems or traditional languages, can make to the growing challenges of climate change and/or biodiversity conservation. The fellowship provides financial and technical resources, relevant mentoring and learning opportunities, and exposure to leadership opportunities, to make these important contributions more widely understood.

Fellowship theme for 2019-2020:

In the 2019-2020 fellowship round, Conservation International will focus on indigenous or traditional persons and organizations with an interest in marine issues, looking specifically at how traditional knowledge of marine ecosystems and traditional marine resource management systems can contribute to mitigating or adapting to climate change or slowing biodiversity loss.

Marine ecosystems provide numerous benefits to humankind, including the absorption of carbon, regulation of global temperature and local weather patterns, and harboring immense biodiversity. And yet despite these many benefits provided by marine ecosystems, they are increasingly threatened by the mounting pressures of climate change and biodiversity loss. The contributions of indigenous and traditional knowledge to address these challenges is not widely understood.

Focusing on marine issues in this fellowship round allows fellows to contribute to a growing body of evidence that indigenous and traditional knowledge and resource management systems have important contributions to make to climate and biodiversity challenges. The marine focus also aligns fellows to CI’s institutional prioritization of ocean conservation at scale. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Indigenous Women's Fellowship:
    • Eligibility:
      • The nominated fellow must be a member of an indigenous1 or traditional community.
      • The nominated fellow must be nominated by an indigenous or traditional peoples organization. This includes organizations composed of indigenous peoples or that have a track record of working with indigenous peoples.
      • Applicants from countries where CI has a field office or a priority CI land/seascape will be prioritized
      • Applicants must demonstrate existing leadership in climate change resilience or environmental conservation at the local/community level
      • Applicants must be able to clearly articulate how their work connects climate change/conservation with indigenous women’s leadership and gender equality
      • Nominees must reside in or work closely with the community.
      • Speak and write effectively in English, with phone/email connectivity
  • Emerging Indigenous Leaders Fellowship:
    • Eligibility:
      • The nominated fellow must be a member of an indigenous2 or traditional community.
      • The nominated fellow must be nominated by an indigenous or traditional peoples organization. This includes organizations composed of indigenous peoples or that have a track record of working with indigenous peoples.
      • While not a strict requirement, special consideration will be given to nominees from the following fellowship priority geographies:
        • Indonesia
        • Malaysia
        • Hawai’i
        • Philippines
        • Timor-Leste
        • Pacific Oceanscape countries
      • There are no age or gender requirements for nominated fellows.
      • Nominees must demonstrate existing leadership in climate change resilience or environmental conservation at the local/community level.
      • Nominees must reside in or work closely with the community.
      • Nominees must speak and write effectively in English, with phone/email connectivity