The end of May saw Communities, Conservation & Livelihoods – an international conference co-hosted by the Communities Conservation Research Network (CCRN) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Halifax, Canada – which provided a unique platform for celebrating how local communities around the world engage in environmental conservation and support sustainable livelihoods.
The conference brought over 400 participants together from a variety of backgrounds, including from Indigenous communities, academics, government, conservationists and students to exchange ideas and lessons learnt on how communities could be best supported through policy and practical programs – and build partnerships for the future.
“This conference is about people, place and looking towards the future. Most of the world’s solutions will be found at most local levels” – Kristen Walker, Chair of CEESP (IUCN’s Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy).
Focusing on the power of local communities to make a difference, the conference was packed with fascinating and thought provoking sessions including keynotes from speakers such as Fikret Berkes, and three major panels on:
presenting local community voices in Nova Scotia
highlighting indigenous voices on the environment and the economy
the importance of women in sustaining livelihoods and natural resource management
The conference also showcased a range of films, photo exhibits (including our One Square Meter), performances and artwork.
Some highlights from the three days:
With presentations from the founders and guest speakers, the session highlighted the importance of such an initiative and the main work streams under which interested collaborators can get involved.
One of our guest speakers unfortunately couldn’t make it, but sent us a wonderful video message to share with viewers: watch Avelino Rego’s video here.
Day 1 also saw the opening of our needle-felt celebration of mobile pastoralism, One Square Meter.
“It is rare to find platforms for the real guardians of nature to have their voices heard. This was one of them and we were honoured to have Venerable Bhante Metteyya and Elder Zenish, accompanied by Dr Gulnara, there with us.” – Liza Zogib, Director, DiversEarth.