A Spotlight on Participants of the Fifth Global Gathering

By Carole Excell (Posted: October 27, 2014)

The Fifth Global Gathering of the Access Initiative in Bogotá, Colombia is fast approaching and we are excited to be convening a diverse group of civil society and community leaders from around the world. We look forward to sharing successes, challenges, and ideas around how information and technology can be used to better protect forests and improve community rights. The Access Initiative Secretariat is pleased to spotlight five participants of this year’s Global Gathering who are engaged in a variety of issues around forests, governance, community rights, and data. Rika Fajrini, Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (Indonesia) Rika Fajrini earned her bachelor degree at law from Universitas Indonesia majoring in law and social welfare. During her career at the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), she has been involved in several programs related to capacity building for environmental law enforcers such as the Environmental Judges Certification Program (in cooperation with the Indonesian Supreme Court and the Ministry of Environment), Public Information Service Training for District Courts, and Biodiversity Case Management Training for Judges and Prosecutors. Her published work with ICEL includes a study regarding corporate criminal liability on environmental cases. Currently, Rika is the Project Manager of the Strengthening the Right to Information for People and the Environment (STRIPE) Phase II project with The Access Initiative Secretariat. She will be involved in ICEL’s upcoming research on communities’ rights over biodiversity and genetic resources. She is excited to meet fellow TAI partners in this gathering to expand her horizons on forestry issues and to get insight about best practices and strategies to use information, data, and technology for community advocacy. Alice Thuault, Instituto Centro de Vida (Brazil) Alice is currently coordinating the Forest Transparency Initiative at Instituto Centro de Vida in Mato Grosso, Brazil. She has been involved in the Governance of Forests Initiative since its beginning and through her work as a researcher and public policy analyst, she advocates for better access to forest information in order to promote social control and improve forest management practices. She is also coordinating ICV’s monitoring of illegal logging in the state of Mato Grosso with the support of Global Forest Watch. She graduated with a degree in political science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Rennes, France in 2005. She also holds a Master’s degree in Development Anthropology from the Aix en Provence (Aix-Marseille I) University (2007). Terry Parnell, Open Development Cambodia (Cambodia) Terry Parnell has almost 30 years of experience in the development and humanitarian relief sectors. Much of her career has focused on land and natural resource rights issues in support of rural and urban poor, primarily in Cambodia. In 2012, she initiated Open Development Cambodia, an open data website illuminating development trends. She is now managing its federated expansion across the Mekong region. While she has Master’s degrees in both Agriculture Education & Extension and Education Psychology, Parnell has tended toward holistic and interdisciplinary approaches which have required her to continually expand her skills and have exposed her to a wide range of development options and tools. She has worked in ten countries on three continents and has contributed to international land rights and open knowledge gatherings. In addition to English, Parnell speaks Khmer and basic Vietnamese. Ejas Ricardo Patrón, Gobierno Territorial Indígena (Nicaragua) Ejas Ricardo Patrón is an indigenous Mayangna. He currently works with the Territorial Government of Mayangna Sauni As in the municipality of Bonanza in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region of Nicaragua. He is engaged in the development of projects related to the protection of the land and biodiversity of the 1,638,100 square km territory of the Sauni As Mayangna Territorial Government. The Mayangna forest reserve is known as the lung of Central America. Mr. Patrón graduated from the School of General Psychology in the American University in Managua, Nicaragua. Today he works to defend his ancestral Mayangna heritage. Gill Conquest, Extreme Citizen Science, University College London (United Kingdom) Gill is a PhD student in the UCL Department of Anthropology and a member of the Extreme Citizen Science research group. Her research involves a detailed ethnographic investigation into the use of digital technologies to enable grassroots participation in natural resource management regimes across a range of global settings. By taking a comparative, multi-sited approach she will look at how the Extreme Citizen Science methodology differs from participatory methodologies that are already in practice, what factors influence the relative success of these methodologies in terms of the strength and meaning of local participation in each case, and what are the key challenges to ensuring a high level of engagement across different social groups and settings in complex, multi-stakeholder scenarios. Gill has previously worked on a range of projects promoting technological solutions to improve the engagement of marginalized groups for education and disability NGOs in the UK and overseas. She holds an MSc in Anthropology, Environment and Development from UCL. Follow us at the Global Gathering on Twitter: #TAIGG