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Steering Committee and Secretariat





Dr. Mohammed Taghi Farvar. Based in Iran. A member of a Shahsevan indigenous tribe of nomadic pastoralists in Iranian Azerbaijan, Taghi is an interdisciplinary scientist and activist leader for the conservation of nature and the customary rights of indigenous peoples and traditional communities to govern their natural resources and to define and gain their sustainable livelihoods. Taghi is fluent in six languages, has lived and worked with indigenous peoples & traditional communities in the Americas, Asia, Africa & Europe. He is currently Chair of the Board of CENESTA (Centre for Sustainable Development) an Iranian founding Member of the ICCA Consortium, and is a member of the Council of Elders of UNINOMAD, another Member. Taghi has covered numerous positions in the international and national conservation and sustainable livelihoods arena, including Chair of the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic & Social Policy (2000-2008) and Vice-Rector of Bu-Ali Sina University in Iran. He has published extensively on community and collaborative management of natural resources and conservation with equity. Contact: 

Global Coordinator grazia 

Dr. Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, based in Switzerland, has been working on governance for the conservation of nature and community rights and responsibilities for nearly thirty years, often in close collaboration with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for which she developed the Social Policy Programme in the early 1990s and was Vice Chair of the CEESP and WCPA Commission for twelve and eight years, respectively. She is currently Global Coordinator and Strategy Advisor for the ICCA Consortium; President of the Paul K. Feyerabend Foundation; member of the governing body of French National Parks and member of advisory bodies dealing with natural resources in various countries. Grazia’s years of research in solar physics (University of Florence and Stanford University, 1977-1983) and teaching in public health (University of California at Berkeley, National Institute of Health of Italy, 1985-1992) helped her to develop a keen interest for interdisciplinary initiatives. She has worked in over sixty countries, authored or edited twenty-five volumes of “collective thinking” and organised many international gatherings that fostered progressive steps in the policy and practice of conservation of nature—including the Streams on governance at the World Parks Congress in Durban (2003) and the World Parks Congress in Sydney (2014). In 2014 she received the Fred Packard International Parks Merit Award. Contact:

Treasurer and Member with special responsibility about Francophone Africa


Vololoniaina Rasoarimanana, based in Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar and Québec. Vololoniaina has been one of the earliest and most active Honorary Members of the ICCA Consortium. Deeply engaged to promote the recognition of the ICCAs of the traditional communities (fokonolona), of her native Madagascar, she has managed to catalyze the mobilization of fokonolona and supported the development of their national movement with uncommon strategic vision and technical skills. As person in charge of major initiatives in Madagascar, including the National Environmental Action Plan (which involved multiple technical and financial partners); the Rural Development Programme (funded by the Swiss cooperation); the new Intercooperation Association of Madagascar (supported by the European Union and bilateral donors); and UNDP GEF SGP Madagascar (for which she was a very active National Coordinator), Vololona has years of experience with national programmes and institutions, and multimillion dollar budgets, at the interface between environmental conservation, sustainable livelihoods, and local territorial governance. In the context of promoting shared governance of protected and conserved areas in West Africa, she has coordinated in 2016 the technical programme of the IUCN office in Guinea Bissau, and has now started to investigate ways to better recognize and support ICCAs in francophone West Africa in general. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about the ICCAs of indigenous peoples giovanni REYES 

Giovanni Reyes, based in The Philippines. Giovanni is a Sagada-born Kankana-ey Igorot from the Mountain Province in the Cordillera Region of Northern Luzon, Philippines. He studied political sciences and law, and earned a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the premier state University of the Philippines. He has recently been selected as member of the Global Environment Facility-Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group (GEF-IPAG) to represent the Asia Region. Previously, Giovanni directed the Presidential Task Force on Indigenous Peoples in 2000-2001 and was a Manager for Business Development of a major steel company for a number of years before dedicating himself entirely to defending the rights of indigenous peoples. Since 2009, he has been Secretary-General of the National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines (KASAPI Inc), a Member of the Consortium. He convened the founding congress of the Philippine ICCA Consortium (Bukluran ng mga Katutubo Para sa Pangangalaga ng Kalikasan ng Pilipinas), which also became a Member of the Consortium. At present, Giovanni is engaged in a major GEF initiative focusing on the appropriate recognition and support to ICCAs in the Philippines. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about the ICCAs of local communities  Dominique 

Dominique Bikaba. Based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Dominique is a founding member and Executive Director of Strong Roots Congo, a conservation and sustainable development NGO based in eastern Congo (DRC) which is Member of the ICCA Consortium. For twenty years, Dominique has been designing and overseeing conservation and sustainable development initiatives that aim to balance the needs of humans with those of forests and wildlife and to integrate the knowledge of local communities and indigenous peoples into effectively conserved areas (officially protected or not). His professional experience as an independent consultant has been solicited in and outside the DRC by national and international organizations. Dominique has written and co-authored articles, chapters and teaching materials on topics related to the relationship between local communities and indigenous peoples and conserved areas, the preservation of great apes and natural resources governance and management in general. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about legal issues (collective rights & responsibilities, security of ICCA defenders, etc.) José Aylwin 

Prof. JosĂ© Aylwin, based in Chile, is a human rights lawyer specialized in indigenous peoples’ and citizens’ rights in Latin America. He is currently acting Co-Director of the Observatorio Ciudadano (Citizens’ Watch), an NGO promoting the respect of human rights in Chile, Member of the ICCA Consortium. JosĂ© has worked closely with different indigenous peoples in Chile and Latin America and published extensively on indigenous peoples’ land rights, conservation, globalization and human rights– regionally in general and in Chile in particular. If you read Spanish, please see his excellent work Los desafĂ­os de la conservaciĂłn en los territorios indĂ­genas en Chile where he discusses ICCA examples from all over the world and advocates for a much stronger engagement of indigenous peoples in governing lands and resources for conservation in Chile. He also co-authored a recent joint publication of the Observatorio Ciudadano and the ICCA Consortium Cuestionando los enfoques clĂĄsicos de la conservaciĂłn en Chile: EL aporte de los pueblos indĂ­genas y las comunidades locales a la protecciĂłn de la biodiversidad, which reflects on dominant patterns of state and private conservation and the need to recognize ICCAs in Chile. JosĂ© is a legal collaborator of the International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA). He currently teaches at the School of Law at the Universidad Austral de Chile, in Valdivia. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about ICCAs and gender issues VIVIENNE 2 

Vivienne Solis Rivera, based in Costa Rica. Vivienne is a biologist with extensive experience of interdisciplinary and inter-institutional initiatives for conservation of nature and the sustainable use of biodiversity. A founder of Coope SoliDar, a cooperative of people who appreciate differences and share strong values in solidarity, Vivienne delights in working with communities to support them in the sustainable use of wildlife and other natural resources, often via co-management and community governance. In the last several years, she has focused on community governance of fisheries in Central America. A long time member of IUCN CEESP, Vivienne is currently an Honorary Member of the ICCA Consortium. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about South Asia aman 

Aman Singh, based in India. Founder of Krishi Avam Paristhitiki Vikas Sansthan (KRAPAVIS)— a Member of the ICCA Consortium—Aman has overseen the regeneration of over 125 Orans (community conserved areas) in Rajastan (India) and taken steps to influence policy changes and legislation in the state. Working on research and documentation about the Orans, Aman has written extensively on community conserved areas, ecology and pastoralism and received numerous awards and recognition in India and abroad. Among his current initiatives are the organisation of Sodhyatra (customary travelling for documentation of the Oran), whereby local village youth is involved in the documentation of traditional knowledge for conservation and sustainable livelihoods. Aman has also been conducting training, developing documentary videos and setting up an Oran Resource Centre. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about East and South East Asia thomas 

Thomas Jalong, based in Sarawak, Malaysia. Thomas belongs to an indigenous ethnic group in Sarawak. For more than 30 years, he has worked closely with communities to promote recognition and protection of land rights, traditional resource use, human rights and environmental conservation in Sarawak and Malaysia, notably by strengthening networks and alliance-building among indigenous peoples at the local, national and international levels. He was until recently an executive council member of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), as well as a Member of the Central Executive Committee of Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS), a national network of indigenous peoples of Malaysia. Thomas is a coordinating committee member of various local networks in Sarawak that advocate for the recognition and protection of indigenous customary rights to lands and resources and for the promotion of culturally-appropriate, socially just and environmentally sustainable developments. Thomas currently serves as an indigenous peoples’ focal point for Asia and member of the Coordinating Committee of the GEF CSO Network. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about Central and West Asia gh 

Ghanimat Azhdari, based in Iran. Ghanimat is a young indigenous Qashqai professional, specialising in Participatory GIS (Geographical Information Systems). Her work with indigenous peoples and local communities in the context of the defence of their own territorial rights has mostly taken place at Cenesta, a founding member of the ICCA Consortium. Ghanimat helps communities to develop the GIS maps of their territories, ancestral domains and ecological assets; to understand trends of change; and to identify threats to their territorial integrity, such as land invasions, occupations, land use changes and land allocations by government agencies. Ghanimat is also active in ethno-botany (she is contributing to setting up a national tribal herbarium in Iran) and rangeland studies, providing inspiring leadership to youth and women scientists in WCPA and other groups. Ghanimat represents UNINOMAD/CENESTA in the Steering Committee of Global Platform of Indigenous and Community Lands (LandMark). Ghanimat obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources, specialising in Rangelands and Watershed Management at Shahid Chamran University, Ahwaz, Iran. She achieved the third rank among some 900 people who took the entrance examinations for a Master of Science Degree in Rangeland Management in the top national university in Iran (University of Tehran). Contact:

Member with special responsibility about Northern Europe and Russia


Dr. Aili Pyhala, based in Finland. After years of working and living in Amazonia and Africa and gaining direct experience working with protected areas, indigenous peoples, participatory processes and social and environmental justice issues, Aili has moved back to Europe where she currently pursues her research interests in indigenous peoples’ knowledge and rights, alternative education, conservation psychology, global responsibility, human-nature relations, and cross-cultural notions of wellbeing. She has researched and worked with a number sustainability and wellbeing indicators, and has close to twenty years of experience evaluating development cooperation projects worldwide. A trained permaculturist, fluent in 8 languages, and with professional experience in 25 countries, she enjoys teaching, facilitating events, and promoting cross-cultural communication and exchange. Aili is an Honorary Member of the ICCA Consortium. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about Southern Europe and the Mediterranean antonino 

Dr. Antonino Morabito, based in Italy. Antonino has passion and commitment for both nature and communities. Founder and soul of the Associazione Falchi of Italy—a Member of the ICCA Consortium– he has convened people from all over the Mediterranean determined to save birds of prey in a most vulnerable spot of their habitat, thereby defining a “habitat ICCA” that created its own community, rather than vice versa. His commitment to community conservation is grounded in extensive local, national and international work in Italy and abroad. One of the earliest Honorary Members of the ICCA Consortium, Antonino works for Legambiente, the largest environmental association in Italy. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about the Horn of Africa zta-pic2 

Dr. Zelealem Tefera, based in Ethiopia. Zelealem is a zoologist and environmentalist with a keen sense of social issues in conservation. An early Honorary Member of the ICCA Consortium, he is deeply committed to the ICCAs of Ethiopian highlands and, in particular, the ICCA of Guassa, which he has been supporting for many years. With his encouragement and advice, the Guassa Community Conservation Area Council (GCCA) – modern form of an ancient institution governing and conserving for centuries an extensive plateau in the heart of Ethiopia– is now a Member of the ICCA Consortium. Zelealem is keen to promote policy development in support of ICCAs in Ethiopia and has been carefully following relevant legislative initiatives. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about Eastern and Southern Africa patricia 

Dr. Patricia Chilufya Mupeta Muyamwa, based in Zambia, has been for more than 5 years Community Conservation Program Officer with The Nature Conservancy, for which she oversees programs in Western Zambia. She defended her PhD, from the School of Natural Resources & Environment of the University of Florida, on a comparative study on the democratization of community based natural resource management (CBNRM) in Botswana and Zambia. Her deep interest and commitment about CBNRM brought her to enhance advocacy capacities among NGOs and CBOs in Zambia. Ultimately, she works towards improved CBNRM policies and practices that offer enhanced community benefits from well-conserved communal lands. This is particularly important for the economically disadvantaged communities at the border with Kafue National Park where she seeks to strengthen local governance institutions for sustainable resource management. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about North America joe 

TuutaaqÊ·iisn̓apšiiƂ (Joe Martin), based in Canada, from the House of Ewos of Tla-o-qui-aht on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. A world-renowned master canoe carver and award winning host and ambassador for his home villages, Joe says: “I grew up at hoopitsaht with my family. My parents, grand-parents and extended family. Up to the age of 6 years, only in our language (Tla-o-qui-aht) then attended school where I learned English and Latin together. Growing up then my father and grandfather would take me with them, giving me no choice to go or not. It would be: “get ready ” we are going, hunting, fishing, trapping, or canoe building! Much of the time it was in our language. At the time, I did not like it. Today I realize how much I learned about the environment and cultural teachings that is so important to the responsibility to the future generations who will inherit this place and its richness. As I learned Mother Nature will provide our needs “but not for our greed”
 teachings of natural law! Growing up here in Clayoquot Sound, I have seen it change by tremendous resource extraction by multinational corporations, affecting the abundance of this once rich and diverse land, which was taken care of by my ancestors leaving it very rich for me and my children, but it has been a huge struggle to keep it that way because of foreign governments policies. Today I like to teach about our ancestors’ legacy and pass on the teachings wherever I am able to!” Contact:

Member with special responsibility about Mesoamerica and the Caribbean FELIPE GOMEZ1 

Felipe Gomez, based in Guatemala. Felipe is Maya K’iche’, renowned spiritual leader and coordinator of Oxlajuj Ajpop (National Council for Mayan Spiritual Leaders)— an organisation with whom he has been involved for well over 20 years and is a Member of the ICCA Consortium. He advises the Guatemalan Commission that deals with Sacred Sites— established after the end of the civil war that devastated Guatemala from 1960 to 1996—and the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative, another member of the Consortium. Felipe is an editor and author. Among his publications are the Agenda Socio-ambiental– Desde el pensamiento de los IndĂ­genas Maya, GarĂ­funa y Xinkas de Guatemala por los derechos de la Madre Tierra and a document on the governance, management and use of water in Guatemala. For a few years Felipe has been the Convener and Coordinator of the ComitĂ© Nacional Gobernanza Del Territorio Y Bienes Comunales (ICCAs Guatemala), which gathers genuine grassroots organizations fighting for the autonomous governance of their ancestral territories. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about the Amazon region of South America



RaĂșl Petsain. Based in Ecuador. RaĂșl is a leader and member of the Shuar Arutam People of the Cordillera del Condor in Ecuador—a member of the ICCA Consortium. In addition to teaching for 15 years in the national Bilingual Intercultural Education System, Raul has taken on a number of public functions for the state government, where he keeps demonstrating a strong commitment to his people. As a Shuar Arutam leader, Raul has promoted the full exercise of territorial and collective rights and the autonomy of his people as well as other nationalities in Ecuador. For instance, he has collaborated with the Interprovincial Federation of Shuar Centres and various indigenous nationalities in the Amazon region as well as in other regions in Ecuador. Raul has been an Honorary Member of the Consortium for a number of years and has taken part in several international events and General Assemblies of the ICCA Consortium. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about the Cono Sur region of South America jorge 

Jorge Nahuel. Based in Argentina. Jorge Nahuel is Werken (speaker) for the Confederación Mapuche de Neuquen – an ICCA Consortium Member of which he was a co-founder. Jorge sits on the Advisory Body for on Indigenous Peoples’ policy of Argentina’s National Parks and is Treasurer of Human Rights Watch for Indigenous Peoples in Neuquen and has long experience on territorial rights of IPs, protected areas and conservation in the Cono Sur region. From 2000-2002 he was a member of the Co-management Committee of Lanin National Park and in 1996 Coordinator of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity. In 2007 he was very active in the Latin America Parks Congress in Bariloche, and in 2008 he coordinated the Indigenous Forum on Protected Areas at the IV World Conservation Congress in Barcelona. From 2012–2016 he was responsible for the Intercultural Co-Management Council, Nahuel Huapi National Park (Río Negro). Since September 2016, he has been representing the Nahuel Huapi Park in the ” Coordination Bureau of Nahuel Huapi Park and Lanin National Park” with the National Parks Administration Board of Argentina. Jorge has worked on development issues for the Mapuche communities and questions of natural resource policy, including the cultural impact of mining, oil and forest industries. He strongly supports self-governance of indigenous territories as a model for “conserved areas” to be recognised on the same level as state governed protected areas. Contact:

Member with special responsibility about Oceania and the Pacific emma 

Emma Lee, based in Tasmania, Australia. Emma is an Aboriginal woman from the Trawlwulway people of Tasmania, a PhD candidate with the Institute of Regional Development and first Indigenous PhD candidate across the history of the Cradle Coast campus of the University of Tasmania. She has written extensively on protected areas and Aboriginal people and has had a senior role in developing the first joint management agreement for Aboriginal people in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Emma is a member of the Australian World Heritage Indigenous Network (AWHIN) and a Honorary Member of the ICCA Consortium. Contact:



Sarahsmaller-964x1024  Programme Manager

Sarah Ryder. Based in Switzerland. Sarah has a professional background in financial management, commercial business and language training. Her experience was gained in the UK and Switzerland. After taking a break to raise her three children, she decided to put her business experience to good use supporting her growing interest in environmental conservation. She is British and grew up in various countries around Europe. Sarah has now lived in Switzerland for more than fourteen years. She enjoys walking in the mountains of Switzerland and taking in the beauty of her surroundings. Contact: and

bipsmall  Programme Assistant

Emma Courtine. Based in Ecuador. Throughout her Geography studies in Stockholm University (Sweden) and the Lumiùre University in Lyon (France), Emma got fascinated by the many bridges that still have to be built between social and environmental sciences. During her master degree she got interested in the ecosystem services of an urban river in Mumbai (India) and its links with its neighbouring communities, including the indigenous fisher folks named Kholis. She also worked one year with a French research program called Urban National Park in Emerging Countries (UNPEC). Emma enjoys climbing, hiking, practicing circus and impro-theatre.As her interest grew on indigenous peoples’ issues and their links with territory and nature conservation, she found that taking action with the ICCA Consortium appeared a perfect fit to her life. She is now Programme Assistant, Assistant to the President and in charge of the internet-based communication means for the Consortium. Contact:

Picture A Meiercut  Accountant

Anne Meier, based in the USA, is a Swiss Certified Specialist for Finance and Accounting holding an advanced certificate in management accounting. She graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a Bachelor in Sustainable Performance Management. During her studies, Anne developed an interest in ethics and sustainability issues and how the accounting function can assist an organization in achieving and measuring their sustainable goals.  As a professional accountant, Anne worked for small, medium, and large organizations in Switzerland and in the United States. She grew up in Switzerland and now lives in Southwest Colorado with her husband and their lovely dog. Anne is grateful to be surrounded by so much nature and wild life. In her spare time, she enjoys road biking, hiking in the Colorado Mountains, and listening to Bluegrass and Folk Music. Contact:

holly_bio_pic  International Policy Coordinator

Holly Jonas. Based in Sabah, Malaysia. Holly works for local and international non-profit organisations, focusing on leveraging law and policy to support Indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ territories and ways of life. Her background is in international environmental and human rights law, zoology, and cultural anthropology. She is a member of several volunteer networks and working groups, including in IUCN, the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment, and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. She has co-authored and edited articles, reports, and volumes on related issues. Contact: and

kim web site  Global Coordinator for Coastal, Marine and Island Environments

Kim Wright, based in Canada, has spent 20 years working on multi-cultural and multi-stakeholder processes to ensure adequate representation of all rightsholders and stakeholders in the governance of land and coastal environments. As a Sikh/Christian of mixed cultural origins she appreciates shared concerns and interests without a need to smooth differences and resort to compromise. She has studied natural environmental sciences and international human conflict and has been involved as an advisor and facilitator in many land and marine use planning processes with indigenous rightsholders. Most recently, she worked as a conservation advisor for two First Nations-led marine planning processes on the Pacific Coast of Canada, establishing measures for achieving CBD targets, including a network of marine protected areas based on First Nations’ marine use plans. As part of this process, in her role as Director of Marine Planning at the Living Oceans Society (ICCA Consortium Member), she introduced ICCAs as a fundamental component of marine and coastal planning. She works with the Consortium to provide support to indigenous peoples and local communities to continue to draw their spiritual, cultural and subsistence needs from the seas and oceans that surround them for generations to come. Kim lives with her husband and two children in Vancouver near the ocean. Contact:

biopic-tdalmassm  IT Manager

Dr. Tiphaine Dalmas. Based in Iran. Tiphaine was born in Morocco and grew up in French Guyana, Gabon and Mali. She then moved to France, where she graduated in Classics and Computational Linguistics while working in the IT industry as system administrator and web and software developer. After completing an Msc in Artificial Intelligence in Paris, she obtained a PhD scholarship in Natural Language Processing from the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Since her graduation, in 2007, Tiphaine has been a Research Associate for the University, and a private consultant for small and medium businesses in the area of knowledge management and information retrieval. In 2015, her personal interest in Persian led her to Iran, where she now works with the Consortium’s member Cenesta. Contact: 

Communications Officer

DĂ©borah David. Based in Ecuador. Born in Haiti, Deborah has over 16 years’ experience in international development and nonprofits in the US, Latin America and the Caribbean. She is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Haitian Creole and has recently began learning Italian. Throughout her career, Deborah has learned that the best way to help people and communities is to first understand their hopes and dreams; hence intercultural communications is her most developed skill set. She currently lives in Quito, Ecuador with her husband and two children where she is gaining knowledge more about sustainable development and conservation. Deborah holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Economic Development and a Master’s of Science in Administration from the University of West Florida. Contact:




salatou. Coordinator for the marine and coastal ecosystems of West Africa 

Salatou Sambou. Based in Casamance, Senegal. Salatou is a fisherman from Casamance, Founding President and now Technical Advisor of the of the Fishermen Association of the Rural Municipality of Mangagoulack (APCRM) one of the very early Members of the Consortium. The Association and its larger community are at the origin of the formal establishment of the ICCA named Kawawana—a coastal and marine area of 9,665 hectares fully governed, managed and conserved by local initiative. Kawawana is the first ICCA officially recognized in Senegal by regional authorities on the basis of the decentralization law, a feat that would have been impossible without Salatou’s vision, enthusiasm, determination and diplomatic abilities. The experience and capacities of Salatou are well recognized in the region and he has been organizing and attending a number of field exchanges and training initiatives in West Africa. He is currently engaged to assist the expansion of ICCAs in Casamance and the region at large “while maintaining their quality and integrity”, in particular through the promotion of appropriated forms of recognition and support. Salatou is the ICCA Consortium’s Coordinator for the coastal and marine environments of West Africa. Contact:

joseph bio pic  Coordinator for forest ecosystems in Central Africa

Joseph Itongwa Mukumo,  Based in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Joseph is an indigenous Walikale from the North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He graduated in Rural Development and is currently the coordinator of a Member of the ICCA Consortium: the Network of indigenous peoples and local communities for the sustainable management of forest ecosystems (REPALEF) in the Democratic republic of Congo. Since March 2012, he is also a member of the technical committee of the similar network that covers the whole of Central Africa (REPALEAC). In addition to creating his own organization, Shirika La BAMBUTI, whose work he coordinates in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Maniema, Joseph has been director or coordinator of several local or provincial organisations defending human and indigenous peoples’ rights. As such, he assured a number of times their representation in international meetings of the UN, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Bank. Contact:

alexis-small Coordinator for the Sahel region

Dr Alexis Kabore. Based in Burkina Faso. Alexis is a sociologist from a peasant family in a small rural village. He studied in Geneva and Ouagadougou and owns a PhD in sociology, with specialisation in protected areas, community forest and fauna reserves. He is Executive Director of the Burkina Fauna and Development Association, which he founded in 2004. He has work experience with decentralised local authorities, governmental services and international organisations and protected areas such as the WAP (W-Arly-Pendjari) and PONASI (PÎ-Nazinga-Sissili).  Alexis is Professor and Researcher with the Pr Joseph Ki-Zerbo University in Ouagadougou. Contact: 

christian_chatelian_bio_pic   Co-coordinator for West and Central Africa

Christian Chatelain. Based in France. Christian is a “chercheur d’APACs”—a student and explorer of ICCAs and an advocate for their appropriate recognition and support. An agronomist and a protected area advisor, he has over 25 years of experience in Africa and Europe as an independent consultant in co-management of natural resources in forest, dry land and coastal environments. Christian has been engaged in numerous field-based research and conservation initiatives on shared governance of natural resources, community management and participatory management end evaluation. His advocacy work for ICCAs went on for several years as part of his volunteer contributions as member of the Commission on Environmental Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) of IUCN. Since 2009 he has been supporting the endogenous process of establishing the first ICCA in Senegal. Christian is a father of three adolescents, a mountain lover and climber, a member of the “Collectif ProMontBlanc” engaged in the cross-border protection of the Mont Blanc, acts as Co-coordinator for French-speaking Africa together with Salatou, Safouratou and Joseph, and assists Sergio in his work in Southern Europe. Contact:

Vincent 2016 Coordinator for East and Southern Africa

Vincent Ziba.  Based in Zambia.  Vincent has been active for over a decade on issues related to community- based natural resources management. He has studied crop sciences, organic food certification, business administration, forest governance and tropical forest sciences. Through his leadership of the Zambia Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) Forum he was been twice voted Best Environmental Activist in Zambia (in 2013 and 2014). He was the main litigant on a campaign against mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park by an Australian company and managed put a stay in the high court; has worked in senior managerial positions for the Zambia office of Oxfam UK, the Southern Alliance For Indigenous Resources (SAFIRE) , WWF and FAO Forest and Farm Facility. Vincent is a founding members of the Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN), a board member of the Natural Resources Consultative Forum (NRCF) and Secretary of the Board of the Southern Africa Community Based Natural Resources Management Forum (SACF).  He brings to the Consortium a rich and needed experience in networking and policy analysis.  Contact:


sergio  facilitator for national ICCA networks and responsible for the Global ICCA Registry; Coordinator for the Mediterranean region.

Sergio Couto GonzĂĄlez.  Based in Andalusia, Spain. Sergio is a Spanish biologist with a strong background on multidisciplinary, participatory and innovative approaches to the study, management and conservation of vertebrates and their habitats. Among his professional assignments, he worked as a technician for the European Commission and the Sociedad Española de OrnitologĂ­a (SEO/BirdLife) and as researcher for the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC), as consultant he worked on wildlife management, conducting wildlife inventories for both the governmental and the private sector in Spain. More recently, one of his key interests is creating tools to enhance the participation and commitment of rural communities on biodiversity conservation initiatives, and enhance the role and recognition of the commons in Europe. He sees ICCAs not only as embodying environmental, cultural and democracy values, but also as having potential to contribute to solving many of the environmental, economic and social challenges of our time. Recently Sergio led a national study on ICCA recognition and support in Spain and is one of the co-founders of Iniciativa Comunales (member of the ICCA Consortium), a network of local communities governing commons in Spain. He is a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy and works as independent consultant for several NGOs and institutions’ programs, including the European Commission LIFE program. Contact: and

The Americas and the Caribbean

carmen_miranda  Coordinator for the Amazon region

Carmen Miranda. Based in Bolivia. Carmen is Biologist, with a specialization in limnology and Protected Areas Management and has a Master Degree in Sustainable Development. Her work experience, for more than 20 years, has focused mainly on Protected Areas in Bolivia and other countries. For her achievements and experience she was granted the “Fred M. Packard International Parks Merit Award” as recognition of her contribution to protected area conservation and development for society. Carmen has extensive experience in institutional development, decentralization, environmental governance, planning and environmental policy and biodiversity conservation at national and local Amazonian countries mainly in Bolivia. She has developed several projects to strengthen local government bodies, in turn promoting inter-agency cooperation at various Levels, and has worked to promote community management and sustainable use of natural resources for local economic development with indigenous people of eastern Bolivia. She has produced several technical papers and methodologies for environmental management and protected areas. She is a founding member and President of SAVIA- Association for the Conservation of the Biodiversity and Sustainable Development (ICCA Consortium Member). She also made an important contribution to publications about different subjects oriented towards the conservation of biodiversity, protected areas and critical and/or priority ecosystems management. She authored, co-authored or edited over 20 books in the last 10 years. Contact:

 DSC_0225  Spanish Communication Specialist on ICCAs and Focal Point for the ICCA Consortium in Colombia

Carolina Amaya. Based in Colombia. A Honorary Member of the ICCA Consortium since 2010, Carolina has translated into Spanish a number of publications for the Consortium and UICN. She currently works as Chief Scientific Officer and Editorial Coordinator at Medical Intercultural Studies Centre (CEMI, a Member of the Consortium) and researcher of the Grupo de Estudios en Sistemas Tradicionales de Salud at the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotå where she works with an innovative training programme for intercultural health and legal agents throughout the country. For fifteen years Carolina has accompanied indigenous peoples in the Amazon piedmont and the Amazon basin through the study, strengthening and recuperation of traditional knowledge systems towards their full self-determination. She has also promoted intercultural processes in health and education, and supported the development of Life Plans. Carolina is also engaged and deeply interested in symbolic hermeneutics and qualitative inquiry methods. Contact:


 Coordinator for the Cono Sur and Focal Point for the Consortium for Latin America in general

Lorena Arce. Based in Chile. Lorena has been working with different organizations in interdisciplinary teams for rural development. She is an advocate for local and small scale solutions to global problems and believes that in ICCAs we can find great proved examples of that, which should be recognized and supported. Lorena has an academic background on economics and management, a master degree in social policies and recently finished her second master in planning and regional development. She has worked for NGOs, as a consultant in international organizations such as FAO, and in support to local governments and community-based organizations. Today she works as independent consultant besides her part time engagement with the ICCA Consortium. If you want to share information or support ICCAs in Latin America she encourages you to contact her. Contact:


 Coordinator for Mesoamerica

Albert Maurilio Chan Dzul.  Based in Mexico. Albert is a Maya from the municipality of Sanahcat in the Mexican YucatĂĄn, actively engaged with the Interdisciplinary Centre for Research and Alternative Development, U Yich Lu’um, AC. The Centre is composed by a group of dedicated indigenous youth who combine science and traditional knowledge to revalue and rescue the rich cultural and agricultural biodiversity of their Mayan ancestors. Albert is a biologist with a Masters in Management and Conservation of Tropical Forest and Biodiversity, from CATIE (Costa Rica). Albert has been an advisor for the Consejo Regional IndĂ­gena y popular de X’pujil (CRPIX), a social organization that works in Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico. He led training activities for indigenous communities and the design, management and implementation of projects dealing with community management, ecological restoration and ecotourism. Contact:

 Coordinator for North America Eli Enns. Based in British Columbia, Canada. Eli is a Nuu-chah-nulth Canadian political scientist focused in Constitutional Law, International Dispute Resolution and Ecological Governance. Co-founder of the Ha’uukmin Tribal Park in Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Eli is the great grandson of Nah-wah-suhm, public speaker and historian for Wickaninnish, Tyee Ha’wiih of the Tla-o qui-aht Nation. A proud father of five, Eli holds himself accountable to Future Ancestors and invests his time in several related capacities: Committee Member, Canadian Commission for UNESCO Man and the Biosphere National Committee; Plenty Canada, Nation Building Program Director; and Liaison for Ecotrust Canada’s Business Development Group. Through the natural education (Ha’hopa) provided by his elders, Eli has gained an appreciation for the profound simplicity of Hishuk-ish Tsawaak (everything is one and interconnected), applying this perspective in his life and work through the pursuit of common ground and alternative pathways to economic certainty, environmental stewardship and assertion of Aboriginal Rights and Title; Eli was a recipient of the 20th Anniversary Canadian Model Forest Achievement Award in 2012. Building on experience in a variety of community development areas at the Tyhistanis Equilibrium Community Development site in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and at Opitsaht in the Meares Island Tribal Park, Eli has developed an Indigenous Watershed Management Area Program with Ecotrust Canada offering services to First Nations across Canada. Contact: and

Asia and Oceania

Neema  Coordinator for South Asia Neema Pathak-Broome. Based in India. Neema has a Masters degree in Environmental Science and a post graduation diploma in Wildlife management. She is a member of Kalpavriksh (ICCA Consortium Member) and has been working on issues related to governance, management and conservation of biological diversity in India for the past decade with a particular focus on documenting and popularizing ICCAs. She has helped the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to draft a set of guidelines for identification and support to Community Conserved Areas in India. She is one of the coordinators of the Conservation and Livelihoods Group within Kalpavriksh and is actively involved in policy analysis and lobbying for appropriate changes in the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Indian Forest Act 1927, Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006 and other relevant Acts, policies and government orders pertaining to ecosystem conservation and local livelihoods. She has authored and co-authored a number of books, as well as conducting research and writing articles and papers on Protected Areas, Community Based Conservation, and the relationship between decentralization and conservation. Neema has organized workshops and held consultations at South Asia level, national level, and local level for a variety of actors on issues of local governance, self-rule, and community conserved Areas. Contact: and
sutej bio pic  Coordinator for East Asia Region

Sutej Hugu. Based in Pongso no Tao, Taiwan, Province of China. In 2000 Hugu co-found and was elected as first Chairperson of the Cultural Taiwanese Consortium: a local NGO that set out to work towards an integrated Indigenous Tao national identity. Since 2010 he assumed the position of CEO for the Tao Foundation, which became an ICCA Consortium Member in 2012. Hugu is currently championing a campaign to remove a nuclear waste repository that was “temporarily” established in Lanyu Island around thirty years ago. The island – better referred to as Pongso no Tao — is the ancestral domain of the Tao indigenous people which is claiming tribal sovereignty over it. Among Hugu’s other initiatives is the ‘Social Co-operative Business Movement’, which focuses on recruiting radical cooperative entrepreneurs and innovative managers to develop initiatives of sustainable livelihoods that conserve the bio-cultural diversity of Pongso no Tao. Contact:


 Coordinator for Southeast Asia

Tanya Conlu, on behalf of Non-Timber Forest Products – Exchange Programme for Asia (NTFP-EP), based in the Philippines. Tanya is currently the Conservation and Resource Management Coordinator of NTFP-EP, where she supports partner organizations and indigenous communities in making their forest-based enterprises sustainable, among other conservation measures. She has been working and volunteering for non-profit organisations for the last 16 years. Tanya owns a postgraduate degree in Environment and Natural Resources Management and has dedicated her life to conservation issues, particularly those involving forests, wildlife, and indigenous peoples. She has had primates and cetaceans for colleagues and is passionate about the great outdoors, does hiking, caving, snorkeling and kayaking. Contact:


 Coordinator for West Asia

Leila Vaziri Zanjani, on behalf of CENESTA, based in Iran. Leila has a degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Tehran and a Master in Landscape Ecology and Nature conservation from the University of Greifswald, Germany. At the end of her studies, Leila spent six months as an intern with the UNCCD in Bonn, Germany, where she started perceiving the gap between conservation of nature in theory (policies and “scientific views”) and conservation of nature in practice (real communities involved in sustainable use of natural resources in complex and all too real environments). Leila then decided to work with Cenesta, supporting diverse indigenous peoples and nomadic tribes in Iran. With Cenesta she hopes to learn as much as possible, and be as useful as possible, for real conservation. Leila is sharing with Ghanimat the role of regional coordinator of the ICCA Consortium for West Asia.  Contact:



dario-photo-1-1 Alert and SAFE Collaborator

Dr. Dario Novellino. Based in Italy/ Philippines. Dario is an anthropologist and defender of indigenous peoples’ rights. Most of his advocacy work has taken placed in Southeast Asia, especially the Island of Palawan (The Philippines), but he also lived with the Inuit people of Canada and other indigenous groups throughout Latin America and Asia, and contributed to the empowerment of local pastoralists in Central Italy. He is affiliated with the Centre for Biocultural Diversity University of Kent (UK) and received numerous international grants and awards for his extraordinary engagement with indigenous peoples. In 2013, he initially conceptualized the idea of establishing a dedicated fund for land-rights-defenders, which is now coming into being with the Consortium support as the SAFE initiative. In 2015, Dario was elected Executive Director of the Philippines-based Coalition against Land Grabbing (a Member of the Consortium). Contact:

rafaelaautre Collaborator for Brazil

Rafaela Nicola. Based in Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil).  Rafaela is an ecologist, with a Master in Ecology and Conservation (UFMS) and a specialization in Leadership for Transition (UNU/ILA). She is passionate about wetlands and livelihoods, dedicating the last 15 years to working as a social and environmental activist at the Plate River Basin and other regions of South America. She has been coordinating a number of regional initiatives that target the impact of major infrastructure schemes on local ecosystems, economies and societies, with special attention to local and traditional livelihoods. Rafaela’s work relies strongly on stimulating bottom-up approaches, synergies and collaborations between CSOs (civil society organizations) as well as multi-sectorial dialogues towards policy change. Currently, she works as an independent consultant for Both ENDS and for the Ecosystem Alliance Program. Rafaela is enrolled on the Right Livelihood Programme of Schumacher College, developed in partnership with the Gross National Happiness Center of Buthan. She is a founding member of the “Pantanal Network of NGOs and Social Movements” and the “Paraguay Parana Wetland System Alliance”. She is also a member of the World Wetland Network(WWN); Women in Action for the Pantanal (MUPAN); and Forum Suape – Social and Environmental Space, in Pernambuco/ Brazil. Contact:

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 Editor in English

Susan Crosby. Based in the USA. Susan volunteers with the Consortium as English language editor. She has been a Montessori teacher for most of her professional life and has taught in public bilingual schools in California for many years. She holds a Master’s in Spanish Language and Culture from the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain, and is a National Board Certified Teacher. Susan lives in Napa, California and teams up as editor with her good friend and advisor Lucca, shown in the picture with her. Contact:

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 Collaborator for communication issues

Alessandra Pellegrini. Based in Australia. Alessandra has always been in love with both science and humanities. In her quest for answers, she ended up a biologist, specialized in protected areas planning and management, got involved in the socio-territorial dimension of nature conservation. In all that, she learned that success, in attaining conservation objectives, can be a fortunate alchemy of knowledge, collective efforts and mutual recognition. In the last 20 years, Alessandra has lived and worked as a consultant or volunteer in West Africa, Mexico, Chile, Canada, China and Italy, gaining experience as project planner, team leader, researcher and facilitator in a variety of projects for the conservation of biological and cultural diversity and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods. Fluent in four languages, Alessandra is based in Sydney, Australia, where she is Honorary Associate at Macquarie University. Contact: and


 Collaborator for Latin America

Isis Alvarez. Based in Colombia. Isis is a Colombian biologist with a MSc. in Environment and Resource Management from the Free University in Amsterdam. Her work experience includes different local and international environmental NGOs in Latin America, Europe and Africa. Among others, she has been involved in projects such as the rehabilitation of confiscated capuchin monkeys in La Macarena, Colombia, and leopard-human conflicts in the Waterberg Reserve, South Africa. In 2005 she moved to the Netherlands to pursue her Master’s degree and later worked at the international secretariat of Friends of the Earth in Amsterdam. In 2011 Isis joined the Global Forest Coalition and is now actively engaged in campaigns and advocacy work mainly addressing gender aspects in forest management; she has played an active role during the SDG/post2015 negotiations with the Women’s Major Group on Sustainable Development (WMG). Contact: 

Octaviana Vihocencu  Collaborator for accounting

Octaviana Vihocencu. Based in Switzerland. Octaviana earned a Bachelor in Philology at the University of Bucharest, Rumania and has a professional background in the commercial sector and customer relations. Full-time mother, this is how she describes the very important relationship with her son: “I am trying to inspire my son with the moral principles that are at the basis of a harmonious life and will offer him satisfaction, power and, most importantly, happiness. I am teaching him respect for others, compassion, communication, dignity and morality— not just abstract words, but highlights of a beautiful and accomplished life.” Octaviana joined the ICCA Consortium as Accountant in the hope of putting to good use the knowledge accumulated while attending accounting courses, but also in order to gain experience while being a full-time mother. Octaviana has a passion for creating polymer clay jewellery, for travelling and doing Pilates. Contact:

biopic-lesle-jansen  Collaborator for South and East Africa

Lesle Jansen. Based in South Africa. Lesle is a South African attorney with a background in human rights. She worked for the South African Human rights commission prior to departing for the USA where she completed an LLM in ‘Indigenous Peoples in International Law’. Upon graduation she took up a project lawyer position with a public interest law firm called the Legal Assistance Centre in Namibia where she worked with San (Indigenous communities) land and human rights related cases for two years. She then went to Rome to contribute to her studies for an LLM in ‘Rule of law for Development’ and is in the process of completing her thesis. She is currently working with Natural Justice (ICCA Consortium Member) in the Southern Africa region on indigenous and traditional communities bio-cultural rights, with a particular focus on bio cultural community protocols. Contact:

iris  Collaborator for East and Central Europe

Iris Benes. Based in Croatia. a long-time Consortium collaborator Iris is office manager for BED, a grassroots NGO in Croatia that is Member of the Consortium. A professional background in law and interests in human rights and nature conservation have brought Iris towards her current engagement in civil society projects and initiatives. She is active in biodiversity and landscape conservation (especially floodplains), sustainable agriculture, traditional architecture, endogenous breeds and species, natural and cultural heritage, conservation law and policies and conservation advocacy. Contact:

marvin bio  Collaborator for Mesoamerica

Marvin Fonseca, based in Costa Rica. Marvin is an associate with CoopeSoliDar, an NGO working in support of conservation by and for local communities in Costa Rica. He is a professional in the area of geography and developed a rich experience in conservation projects; interdisciplinary and interagency definition of national policies; process and methodologies for local participation in the use and conservation of natural resources; the governance of protected areas in terrestrial and marine environments; and initiatives dealing with human rights and conservation. Marvin has work experience with governmental agencies in Costa Rica, teaches at the University of Costa Rica and is a Member of the Board of Directors of CoopeSoliDar. Contact:

For general inquiries, please contact Emma Courtine at: