Enhancing North–South Collaboration

Dialogue on Indigenous and Community Leadership in Conservation

Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST | In person at McGill University, 3644 Peel Street, Montreal and online on Zoom

Co-hosted by RRI, the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership (CRP), and the ICCA Consortium in partnership with the Canada Research Chair in Human Rights, Health, and the Environment


This in-person and virtual dialogue enabled Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendant Peoples, and local communities from the global North and South to share experiences, challenges, and solutions to the global biodiversity crisis. Participants highlighted their role in conservation globally; identified critical gaps and pathways to the realization of rights-based conservation in the context of the UN’s post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework; and strengthened an emerging solidarity movement for the advancement of Indigenous and community rights and self-determination, with a particular focus on enhancing North-South collaboration ahead of the CBD CoP15 in Montreal, Canada.


It is now widely recognized that Indigenous Peoples’, local communities’, and Afro-descendant Peoples’ collective guardianship over their lands, territories and resources is critical to realizing global climate, biodiversity and sustainable development goals. To support them in doing so, the world must accelerate investments in Indigenous and community-led conservation and the realization of their self-determined priorities, both for their communities and the pursuit of a more sustainable planet for all.

The full and effective realization of community-based land and territorial governance and self-determination remains a struggle everywhere. To achieve climate and conservation goals, the legitimacy, responsibility, authority, and capability of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to exercise their rights must be enshrined in law and realized in practice. The diverse experiences and shared goals of Indigenous Peoples and local communities worldwide highlight the opportunity to expand collaboration across the global North and South. By sharing the challenges, successes, and goals of rightsholders and sovereign peoples in diverse political and biophysical landscapes, Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendant Peoples, and local communities can build international solidarity for their leadership in conservation and set an agenda for the way forward.


  • 9:00-9:15 a.m. — Welcome & Land Acknowledgement 
    • Pamela Perreaultmember of Garden River First Nation in Ontario and Director of Firelight Group, Canada
  • 9:15-9:30 a.m. — Opening & Objectives of the Dialogue
    • Solange Bandiaky-Badji, Coordinator of the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), Senegal
  • 9:30-10:00 a.m. — Keynote speeches
    • Frank Brown, adjunct professor in resource and environmental management at Simon Fraser University, Canada
    • Cécile Ndjebet, African Women’s Network for Community Management (REFACOF), Cameroon
  • 10:00-11:30 a.m. — Panel discussion: Sharing experiences and raising ambitions
    • Pasang Dolma Sherpa, Executive Director of the Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Research & Development (CIPRED), Nepal
    • Stephanie Thorassie, Seal River Watershed, Canada
    • Aquilas Koko Ngomo, Communications Officer, National Alliance for the Support and Promotion of Indigenous and Community Heritage Areas and Territories, the DRC
    • Gustavo Sánchez Valle, Executive Committee of the Mesoamerican Alliance for People and Forests (AMPB), Mexico
  • 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. — Panel discussion: Challenges, threats and opportunities
    • Stanley Kimaren Ole Riamit, Indigenous Livelihoods Enhancement Partners (ILEPA), Kenya
    • Christiane Pankararu, Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), Brazil
    • Joey Owle, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, US
    • Paul Sein Twa, Indigenous Karen from Burma/Myanmar, co-founder and Director of the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN), Burma/Myanmar
  • 2:00-3:45 p.m. (in person only) — Breakout discussions: What does progress look like? Deep dive into multi-sector collaboration
    • Donors & Foundations: Terence Hay Edie, Advisory Manager, UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme, Switzerland & Casey Box, Director of Global Strategy, the Christensen Fund 
    • Governments & Public Sector: Pernilla Malmer, Senior Advisor, SwedBio (a programme at the Stockholm Resilience Centre), Sweden
    • Environmental NGOs & Allies: Pasang Dolma Sherpa, Executive Director of the Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Research & Development (CIPRED), Nepal
    • Gender Justice & Women Leadership: Wilma Mendoza, National Confederation of Indigenous Women of Bolivia (CNAMIB), Bolivia
    • Research & Academia: Frank Brown, adjunct professor in resource and environmental management at Simon Fraser University, Canada & Faisal Moola, PhD, associate professor in the department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics at the University of Guelph, Canada
  • 4:00-5:30 p.m. — Building a vision for global North–South collaboration, closing
    • Milka Chepkorir, ICCA Consortium, Kenya
    • Dr. Peggy Smith, Lakehead University and RRG Board Chair, Canada