Empowering women in scientific and technological areas is one of the SERVIR-Amazonia Program’s cross-cutting themes. To this end, a new workshop was held last August on the “Empowerment Women in Mangrove Forest Monitoring and Leadership”, hosted by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, and funded by the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience Program of the Arizona State University (ASU).
This event was attended by young professionals, who have been trained by the SERVIR-Amazonia Capacity Building Program delivered in the Caribbean and the Amazon. Its work is mainly focused on the conservation and protection of mangrove forests within these key biomes. A total of 14 representatives from the Dominican Republic (INTEC), Ecuador (Fundación EcoCiencia), Colombia (IDEAM, Colombian National Natural Parks System), Peru (Sernanp), Trinidad and Tobago (Institute of Marine Affairs), Surinam (CELOS), and Guyana (NAREI Institute) were brought together at the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT premises for three days on early August.
On the first day of the workshop, the experience of the Fundación EcoCiencia in Guayaquil, Ecuador, using the Manglee tool for mangrove monitoring was presented. This study analyzed the challenges faced at mangrove forests and the engagement of women in production activities related to these ecosystems. This presentation was an opportunity to introduce the methodologies used to conduct and monitor a gender analysis. In addition, a technical session was also held to demonstrate the use of drones to capture images, drawing considerable interest from the 14 participants.
Another area of work was the development of capacities through a leadership, empowerment, and soft skills workshop, where participants could exchange experiences and revisit their professional goals. These sessions featured a special contribution by Nancy Searby, the Capacity Building Program Manager for NASA’s Applied Sciences Program, who shared her own first-hand experience, packed with professional challenges. Her lecture inspired workshop participants to reach for their own goals.
This workshop coincided with the visit of NASA Administrator and former U.S. Senator Bill Nelson to the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, where he acknowledged the advances made by the SERVIR-Amazonia Program in its first five years of work. This activity offered a new opportunity to reconfirm the Program’s commitment to ensuring gender equity.