Jamaican Professional Joins Second Cohort of Conservation Leadership in the Caribbean Fellowship Programme

Congratulations to Deonne Smith, the energetic Communications and Partnership Officer at the UN Environment (UNEP) Caribbean Sub-Regional Office in Kingston and a UN volunteer. She will join a number of other young Caribbean conservationists next week at the beautiful St. George’s University campus in Grenada as a Conservation Leadership in the Caribbean (CLiC) Fellow. Here is UNEP’s press release about Ms. Smith’s selection. I know she will truly benefit from this program in a lovely environment (I so enjoyed the BirdsCaribbean International Conference at St. George’s University in 2013). 

Local Professional Joins Second Cohort of the Conservation Leadership in the Caribbean (CLiC) Fellows Program

(Kingston, Jamaica- May 2017) – Deonne Smith, Communications and Partnership Officer and National UN Volunteer at the UN Environment Caribbean Sub-Regional Office in Kingston, Jamaica has been selected as a 2017/2018 Conservation Leadership in the Caribbean (CLiC) Fellow.

“This is an extremely exciting opportunity and I am honored to be among those participating in this program,” said Smith. “CLiC will broaden my knowledge of the varying conservation issues we face in the Caribbean and expand my expertise in developing public education, communication and other strategies to help address them.” The fully funded and highly competitive selection process yielded successful candidates from 14 countries.

Now in its second iteration, the strongly oversubscribed program – funded in part by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) with the support of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW; www.ifaw.org), St. George’s University (SGU) and the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) – CLiC creates an opportunity for up-and-coming Caribbean conservation professionals to gain invaluable first-hand skills and experience working with proven conservation leaders.

Deonne Smith.

In addition to three in-depth training sessions over an eighteen-month period, fellows will work in teams to design, implement and evaluate cutting-edge projects in biodiversity conservation in support of sustainable development in the Caribbean. They will have access to qualified training experts who will help guide them on this journey and who will provide one-on-one mentoring, networking opportunities and career development.

“This program directly addresses a succession crevasse across the Caribbean and Latin America by empowering a new generation of wildlife and conservation leaders who as today’s young leaders do not have adequate access to opportunities to experience and practice conservation in areas such as development, communications or grassroots activities,” said Kelvin Alie, CLiC Director and Vice President of Conservation and Animal Welfare at IFAW.

Andrea Easter-Pilcher, Interim Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, St George’s University, said that preparations were in high gear to welcome the new cadre of Fellows onto the St. George’s campus for their first in-person training that begins on May 21st. “It is a honor and delight to mentor and support the next generation of Caribbean conservation leaders,” said Professor Easter-Pilcher. Pilcher noted that alumni of the program have already gone on to work in senior positions in Caribbean conservation or internationally, including a United Nations appointment.

CLiC fellows come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences in the conservation field. Deonne joins the following 2017 fellows:

  • Devon Carter, Anguilla, The Anguilla National Trust
  • Zana Kristen Wade, Belize, The Biodiversity Finance Initiative
  • Mariana Gnecco,  San Andrés, Colombia, San Andrés Botanical Garden
  • Jhulio Samudi Frederick, Dominica, Dominica State College
  • Quincy Augustine, Grenada, St. George’s University
  • Kate Charles, Grenada, Ocean Spirits Sea Turtle Program
  • Shanell Cyrus, Grenada, St. George’s University
  • Christell Chesney, Guyana, Field Assistant
  • Govindra Punu, Guyana, Vector Control Services
  • Josue Celiscar, Haiti, Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine (FoProBiM)
  • Erika Gress, Mexico, National Commission for Natural Protected Areas
  • Joseleen Vargas Downs, Nicaragua, Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University
  • Tanja Lieuw, Suriname, National Institute for Environment in Suriname
  • Cathlene Trumpet, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Forestry Department
  • Renoir J. Auguste, Trinidad & Tobago, Dept. of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies (UWI)
  • Kimberley Chu Foon, Trinidad & Tobago, Asa Wright Nature Centre
  • Aliya Hosein, Trinidad & Tobago, Dept. of Life Sciences, UWI
  • Ashana Gibran, Trinidad & Tobago, Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Jemimah Rivera, Margarita Island, Venezuela, Biomarina Venezuela Group

The training workshop will run for three days starting on May 21st, 2017 immediately followed by a ten-day short course on Advanced Conservation Planning based on the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation.

About the Conservation Leadership in the Caribbean (CLiC) Fellows Program

The goal of the Conservation Leadership in the Caribbean (CLiC) fellows program is to have an established, sustainable Caribbean leadership/training program enabling effective regional networking and action to achieve sustainable conservation.  For more information, please visit    http://conservationcaribbean.weebly.com/.

St. George’s University in Grand Anse, Grenada, is a private international university offering degrees in medicine, other health sciences and business. It’s a beautiful campus! (My photo)


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