Five Haitian environmental professionals have been selected as the first Yves Renard Fellows by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI). This nine-month fellowship will support their work strengthening sustainable livelihoods for biodiversity conservation in Haiti.
With this first set of Fellows, CANARI has launched its landmark fellowship programme to support Caribbean nationals pursuing a career in line with CANARI’s mission of promoting and facilitating stakeholder participation and collaboration in the stewardship of renewable natural resources in the Caribbean for sustainability, resilience, equity, justice and inclusive governance.
The fellowship programme is dedicated to its late co-founder Yves Renard, to continue his commitment to fostering a new generation of Caribbean conservation practitioners equipped with the skills, knowledge, tools and networks needed to address pressing challenges to Caribbean sustainable development.
Cletus Springer, Chair of CANARI’s Board of Directors, shared that, “I am immensely happy and proud that CANARI has started this initiative at this time. In many ways, it is one of the most natural and fitting things we could do to honour Yves’ imposing legacy of Impactful work. He had a deep love and an abiding interest in the region’s sustainable development; but having worked with him for many decades, in CANARI and PANOS Caribbean, I can safely say he had a very special place in his heart for Haiti and its people. CANARI has good reason to sustain this initiative.”
This first cohort of Yves Renard Fellows are supported through a grant to CANARI from the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative.
The five Haitians were nominated by civil society organisations (CSOs) they work with in Haiti which are delivering on-the-ground environmental conservation alongside supporting sustainable livelihoods of communities in Haiti – Coordination Régionale des Organisations du Sud Est (CROSE), Protection de la Biodiversité Marine (FoProBiM), Haiti Survie, Groupe d’action pour le Développement Durable et Intégré d’Haiti (GADDIH) and Action pour la Sauvegarde de l’Ecologie en Haiti (ACSEH).
The fellowship involves Fellows working over September-November in Trinidad and Tobago with CANARI to gain technical knowledge and skills, including in sustainable livelihood strategies and enterprise development for poverty reduction, stewardship and nature-based approaches to biodiversity conservation and climate adaptation, as well as use of cutting-edge information and communication technology (ICT) tools.
CANARI will also facilitate knowledge exchange among Haitian and Trinidad and Tobago CSOs through face-to-face and virtual meetings, field visits and ‘learning by doing’ on projects that are currently being implemented by the Institute.
In addition, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) will provide additional capacity building in sustainable development and biodiversity conservation, drawing on its global experiences.
Upon returning to Haiti, the Fellows will work with their colleagues to apply the skills and knowledge acquired during their time at CANARI. Each nominating CSO will receive a micro-grant to implement a concrete initiative in Haiti based on the learnings shared by the Fellows on sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity conservation.
The Fellows will also produce communication products on their experiences to facilitate knowledge sharing and exchanges about sustainable livelihoods for biodiversity conservation with Haitian stakeholders and the wider French and Creole-speaking Caribbean, including Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint Lucia.