Jay Mistry

Jay has more than 22 years’ experience in teaching, researching and building capacity for natural resource management with local communities. After achieving a BSc in Biology and PhD in Geography, she taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies, the London School of Economics and Birkbeck College. Jay is currently a Professor of Geography in the Geography Department at Royal Holloway University of London. Her particular interests include supporting local livelihoods and biodiversity conservation, local environmental governance, action research using participatory video and capacity building for natural resource management.

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Matt Simpson

Matthew is a consultant with over 20 years experience in delivering natural resource management and community related projects. He has managed projects in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and North America. Matthew’s expertise includes community engagement techniques and the design and management of natural habitats and resources to deliver multiple benefits such as livelihood support, biodiversity conservation, flood defence and water quality improvements. He is currently a manager of WWT Consulting that delivers wetland related projects around the world for clients ranging from communities to private companies to governments to international agencies.

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Andrea Berardi

Andrea has more than 20 years’ experience in teaching, researching and building capacity for enabling sustainable communities. After achieving qualifications in ecology (BSc), nature conservation (MSc) and environmental science (PhD), he has taught at the London School of Economics, University College London, Royal Holloway University of London, and The Open University. His work has engaged communities from the Borneo and Amazonian rainforests; the floodplains of the Mekong and the Guianas; the savannas of East Africa and Latin America; and the coastal regions of southern Italy and Wales. His main interests lie in facilitating grass roots approaches to ecological sustainability and social justice using an action learning process.

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Géraud de Ville

Géraud’s expertise lies in the use of communication to draw bridges between differing worlds, e.g. between research and policy, in order to facilitate cooperative and multi-disciplinary work and generate creative solutions. Enrolled at the Open University since 2012, he is currently completing his PhD thesis, investigating how information and communication technologies (ICT) interventions affect the well-being of indigenous communities in the North Rupununi, Guyana. He has presented his research at several international academic conferences and workshops, in Europe and in America.

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Celine Tschirhart

Céline has been carrying out research for over 10 years in South America, more specifically in the Amazon Basin. In Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, and more recently in the Guiana Shield countries, she has been focusing on how resource and land management in remote Indigenous communities can impact their health, and what levers can be activated to promote more sustainable health systems. After completing a PhD in health geography at Strasbourg University (France) investigating mercury contamination in communities of the Bolivian Amazon, she joined Project COBRA as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at Royal Holloway University of London. Since then, she has worked as a consultant looking at ways of preventing suicide epidemics in Indigenous communities of French Guiana. She believes in participatory approaches as a way of doing research ‘with’ rather than ‘on’ local communities.

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Lakeram Haynes

Lakeram Haynes has 15 years’ experience in community development and environmental management. He speaks Makushi and English fluently, and has strong skills in community facilitation and engagement, visual methods, environmental monitoring, and sustainable Indigenous resource management. He has had senior management and researcher roles in several projects, and his work experience and traditional foundation provide a strong base for continued leadership and commitment in the area of community-based natural resource management in the North Rupununi, Guyana.

He aims to see and contribute to the continued living in harmony by people with nature using locally owned solutions to address challenges. He is currently a Senior Councilor for Kwatamang Village and a member of the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB), a local Indigenous community-based organization.

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Andrea Borgarello

Andrea Borgarello holds a diploma in professional Photography at the Washington School of Photography, but also a PhD and 2 masters’ degrees in Development Economy. He completed his photographic education attending the workshops with Mary Ellen Mark and Bruce Gilden. He has over 10 years of working experience in Photography and Development within organizations such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Italian Government and various NGOs. He collaborated with various international and national magazines (DaysJapan, GEO France, L’EUROPEO).


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Elisa Bignante

Elisa has more than 15 years’ experience in researching and teaching in the field of development geography and in the use of participatory research methods with local communities in the Global South. After achieving a BSc in Economics and PhD in Local Development and Territorial Planning, she focused on Development geography working extensively in international aid projects in Africa and Latin America. She’s currently senior lecturer at the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society, University of Torino, Italy. Her particular interests include indigenous knowledge, social marginalities, health and wellbeing, international aid, natural resource management and the use of participatory visual methods to support local communities.

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Odacy Davis

Odacy has 15 years of experience working with government and conservations organizations focused on protected areas management, sustainable development and community-based conservation. Over the years she has managed several conservation projects and provided consultancy services to indigenous and mining communities in the areas of conservation outreach and biodiversity impact assessments. Odacy has been working with the Iwokrama Centre for Rainforest Conservation, coordinating the Cobra Project for three years. She holds a BSc in Biology and is currently pursuing an MPhil in Conservation Leadership at University of Cambridge, UK.

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Claudia Nuzzo

Claudia is a professional photographer with a Masters Degree in photojournalism from Naples’ Academy of Fine Arts (Italy). She has extensive knowledge in Participatory Photography (PP) and Participatory Video (PV) techniques and has been involved in several projects as a facilitator in Italy, Palestine and South America. She cooperates with different organisations and research projects which promote the use of photography and video to give voice to marginalised groups. Over the past two years, she worked mostly with young people in schools and arrest houses, using visual participatory methodologies.

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Deirdre Jafferaly

Deirdre Jafferally has 17 years’ experience working in community based wildlife management and conservation. Deirdre first started working at the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development, Guyana in the area of environmental monitoring. This has transited to a broader interest in community resource management issues. She was able to explore this interest during her extensive engagement with communities of the North Rupununi, Guyana in managing and conserving their resources especially in the area of fisheries management. Recently, Deirdre has focused her interest in community resource management and Indigenous knowledge in the pursuit of a PhD exploring the implications of socio-ecological changes on Indigenous knowledge and practices, and its impact on forest conservation. She holds a BSc in Biology and MES in Sustainable Development and Ecological Monitoring.

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Grace Albert

Grace Albert has 5 years’ experience in community development and visual methodologies. She speaks fluent Makushi and English, and has strong skills in community facilitation and engagement, visual methods, and her local Makushi traditions. Following a strong grounding in further education courses of natural resource management, wildlife management, agriculture , information technology, leadership and culture, she has worked for the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB), a local Indigenous community-based organization, in several roles. This includes as a radio broadcaster, a community film maker and most recently as a Community Research Assistant. With these experiences, Grace hopes to remain as a resource person for her community and is committed towards development of her homeland..

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Rebecca Xavier

Rebecca Xavier is a proud Amerindian woman, a descendant of the Wapishana nation. She has a sound primary school education, followed by experiences in the Wowetta Youth Environmental Club, and then further education at the Bina Hill Institute, Annai where she trained in ICT, agriculture, basic maths, English and leadership skills. She is fluent in Wapishana, Makushi and English, and has worked for the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB), a local Indigenous community-based organization, in different roles over the last twelve years. This includes in the North Rupununi Arapaima project, Participatory Video, the Makushi Research Unit, and Community Owned Best Practice for Sustainable Adaptive Management (COBRA) Project. These experiences have given her a chance to work with different group of Indigenous people in and around the Guiana Shield countries, and expanded her passion for community development and to be a resourceful person in her community.

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