Thursday, 23 April 2009

A morning at Unesco

Paris, France

Beautiful spring days in Paris, which make me feel more like exploring gardens in bloom than spending time inside. I made an exception to visit colleagues at UNESCO, one of the institutions involved in creating the People and Plants Initiative (PPI) in 1992. I spent the better part of the years I lived in Paris, from 1988 – 1996, working as a field coordinator for PPI, a position that had me travelling to many parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific. My travels and interactions with colleagues and communities provided some of the inspiration for the creation of GDF in 2000.

At Unesco, I caught up with Meriem Bouamrane, a French-Algerian friend who draws on her training as an environmental economist in her role of programme specialist in the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences and Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme. She focuses on promoting broad community participation in biosphere reserves, from their inception through their implementation and management. She is using a methodology that analyses how Actors, Resources, Dynamics and Interactions (ARDI) can be brought together in successful negotiations on protected areas. We may explore how this approach can be integrated into our efforts to ensure the participation of Dusun and other indigenous peoples in the nomination of Crocker Range Park is Sabah, Malaysia as a Biosphere Reserve.