New round of IUCN practitioner fellowships

22 August 2008 | News story

IUCN has been collaborating for several years with the Alcoa Foundation to provide Fellowships to mid-career professionals to support their research on issues relevant to the IUCN Programme. The 4th and final Round of “Practitioner Fellows” visited IUCN from 4 to 6 August. They presented their research plans to IUCN staff and learned about the IUCN Programme. Their respective research projects fit in very well with IUCN priorities, though of course each of their research projects is independent.

The five Fellows in this round include: Ms. Indah Budiani, from the Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation. She is working on a project to identify best practices and innovation of biodiversity conservation as means of adapting to climate change in forests, on small islands, and in agro-ecosystems. This work is highly relevant to both the IUCN Climate Initiative and the Forest Programme.

Eduardo Ditt, from the Instituto de Pesquisas Ecologicas (IPE) is working on the feasibility of standard procedures for monitoring ecosystem services projects in the Atlantic Forest. This will be useful support for the work IUCN is doing on the values of ecosystem services, under the leadership of Joshua Bishop.

Anil Nadesa Panicker, from the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, is exploring the biocultural heritage in conservation of 5 rare, endemic and threatened tree species of the Western Ghats of Kerala. All of these are on the IUCN Red List.

Jayant Sarnaik, from the Applied Environmental Research Foundation in India, is working on Resource assessment of high biodiversity value species wih a biofuel potential in Northern Western Ghats of India. His work will contribute to the IUCN activities involving biofuels, linked with IUCN’s Energy Initiative.

Diego Tobar Lopez, from CATIE in Costa Rica, is using butterflies as indicators of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes in Rio La Vieja, Quindio, Colombia, and Copan-Honduras. This will provide an indicator that we will find useful in our agricultural work, especially in collaboration with our Member, Ecoagriculture Partners.

A sixth Fellow, Joe Liebezeit, from the Wildlife Conservation Society, was unable to attend because he has already begun his research on evaluating the importance of the Teshekpuk Lake region of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, as a breeding ground for migratory birds.

These Fellowships provide IUCN with an opportunity of identifying promising new professional conservationists who should become part of the ever-expanding IUCN global network of expertise.

For more information please contact Wendy Price, wendy.price@iucn.org.