Botanists, primatologists, marine biologists, political scientists, and anthropologists are a dynamic combination!

The International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) is holding its annual conference next week and a colleague from CoEB-UR, Maria Cristina Gallegos, and I hosted a pre-conference training session online yesterday. Participants joined from Myanmar, Bangladesh, Gabon, Vietnam, Portugal, Rwanda, and the U.K. The 3-hour applied workshop reviewed foundational understandings of what gender means in research and society, bridged this to scientific inquiry, and participants then applied this material to their conservation work in their home countries. Video of two of the three hours is available here but below is a video of just the slide presentation and key materials for anyone’s strategic use.

Here are the resources we drew from for the training. They include this PPT and group, paired, and individual activity sheets. In particular, the applied action plan for individuals maps out concrete steps we can all take to make our scientific work more mainstreamed and inclusive.

We were fortunate enough to have insightful engagement from participants. One emphasized that women’s “double burden” and disproportionately high amount of domestic work compared to men is too often used as an excuse for omitting women from research inputs and conservation roles. Another shared her experience of accounting for gender fluidity and non-traditional gender expression among her respondents in Colombia. The Myanmarese conservationists described their challenges in navigating traditional governance norms that favor men’s voices. We all agreed the field of conservation is on a path forward to improved inclusivity outcomes.

*María Cristina Gallegos is a Ph.D. student at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and a Research Fellow at CoEB-University of Rwanda. Her background is in strategic communication. She examines how communication interventions for social and behavioral change may influence the adoption of new environmental practices. She and I agree this material is open access and available for anyone’s use.