Currently Browsing Alumni of: Community Development

Marcela Aguirre

Name: Marcela Aguirre

Country: Ecuador

Organization: UNDP – BIOFIN Initiative

Title: Leading Expert in Ecological Economics

Specialty: Economics of Biodiversity and Climate Change, Environmental Policy, Social Economy and Local Development, Fundraising



My professional experience includes the development of conceptual frameworks, conducting of empirical research, design and implementation of policies, programs and projects, and work with multidisciplinary teams in both the public and private sectors. My interests are related to: fundraising, sustainable development, social economy, economics of biodiversity, economics of climate change and innovative environmental financial mechanisms.

One of my first jobs as an intern was for World Trade Center Quito. Here I became familiar with the functions of a chamber of commerce, focused in promote interchange and business development around the world. Further I could see in the US Embassy Quito the bi-national connection between productive sectors, in order to find appropriate technologies and markets for each case.

For the last seven years in National Environmental Fund (FAN), I have enhanced my understanding of the institutional, political, social and cultural framework in which an endowment operate. Currently FAN’s expansion strategy is focusing towards innovative partnerships including: local governments, private sector, rural communities and indigenous people’s organizations. Offering subaccounts to ensure the long-term support of: biodiversity conservation, water management, climate change mitigation and green business.

In this nongovernmental private organization one of my key responsibilities has been to mobilize financial resources from a variety of sources and collaborate in the involvement of a diverse set of stakeholders in the implementation. As a part of these activities, I have been appointed as representative to integrate advisory groups charged for the design of programs to assist the government of Ecuador with timely technical assistance that would support long-term processes of the national environmental authority (big-size projects GEF-PNUD, USAID, etc.) or attend requirements of international / regional conventions.

Also, I have been working with national and regional networks such as: Ecuadorian Consortium for Social Responsibility (CERES), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Latin American and Caribbean Network of Environmental Funds (RedLAC) and others, in order to identify opportunities for collaboration and maintain linkages.

Stellamaris Mutuli Mwania

Name: Stellamaris Mutuli Mwania

Country: Kenya

Organization: Human Needs Project – Kenya

Title: Manager-in-Training (Head of Bio-diesel)

Specialty: Sociology, Community Development



I was born and raised in Nairobi Kenya. Given that I was interested in environmental and community development issues ever since I was in high school, I choose to enroll in college to pursue a diploma in Social Work and Community Development. During my first year in college I had a chance to volunteer at Uzima foundation Africa an Ngo in Kenya, which targets to empower the disadvantaged communities. Through Uzima I have been able to interact with many slum-dwellers and have had many trainings in leadership and community development.

In 2010 I joined Human Needs Project Kenya (a pilot project) as a volunteer. The project aims to provide clean water, energy, and technology to slums around the world. Presently I am a manager in training in Human Needs Project; I have been in training since September of 2012 in order to manage the project as soon as it opens officially. Also I have been given the role of Head of the Bio-diesel Department. My career objective being to build community capacity and promote green technology, I decided to take the challenge even though science (Bio-diesel) is not my field of study. Currently I spend a lot of time researching and understanding bio-diesel as a source of energy given the fact that Human Needs Project centre will be using Bio-diesel for its day-to-day activities as its source of energy.

Bishnu Thakali

Name: Mrs. Bishnu Thakali

Country: Nepal

Region: Asia, South

Organisation: Women Environment Preservation Committee (WEPCO)

Specialty: Solid Waste Management/ Community Mobilization and Environment

Education Year: 2011

Moses Kofi Sam

Name: Moses Kofi Sam
Country: Ghana
Organization: Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana
Title: Regional Manager

Moses Kofi Sam is a Natural Resource Manager who obtained his B.Sc. (Natural Resource Management) degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST), in Ghana in 1990 and M.Sc. (Conservation Biology) from University of Kent at Canterbury (DICE), UK in 1997. He has two decades of experience in conservation and development and is currently a Regional Manager with the Wildlife Division of Forestry Commission of Ghana. His duties involve being responsible for all wildlife issues in the Central and Western Regions of Ghana, including oversight of 6 protected areas and one Ramsar Site.

Before his current position, Moses took part in several fauna and flora surveys, socio-economic surveys, and diverse ecological researches in wildlife, forest and community reserves in Ghana and other countries in West Africa such as Togo, Burkina Faso, Benin, Nigeria and Ivory Coast. Some of these surveys have been used in protected area planning and management, and development of PA protection strategies. He has been involved in the preparation of many strategic plans for species – elephants, primates and some carnivores, and loves pushing the idea of bi-national conservation agreement talks (wildlife corridors). Also Moses is an expert in human/wildlife conflict management. He is a Member of the African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG) of SSC/IUCN bringing the West African expertise to the group’s Human/Elephant Conflict Working Group. He is also the West African representative on the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for the “Monitoring Illegal Killings of Elephants” (MIKE), established by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna & Flora (CITES)

Moses has been part of several Environmental Education campaigns and has an excellent ability to work in rural areas, with NGOs & CBOs on NRM issues. Using participatory and collaborative NRM management approaches Moses has contributed to championing community-based natural resource management (including Community Resource Management Area concept) in Ghana, and encouraged the improvement of the livelihood of rural folks through the establishment of alternative/additional livelihood schemes.
Moses also expertise in natural resource project development, management, monitoring and evaluation involving amounts ranging from as low as US$10,000 to about € 7.8m from varied organizations such as the EC, GEF, IUCN and WWF.

Moses is a natural trainer and mentor, and lectures on part-time basis at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in park management, wildlife ecology as well as museum and zoo management.

An Thoai Tran Le

I started to work at Consultative and Research Center on Natural Resources Management (CORENARM) – a local NGO in Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam ( – in 2006, as an assistant for the project “Developing market of handicraft products for Paco women” funded by the World Bank. My main duties in this project were to organize workshops and training courses on sharing experiences and improving the skills of Zeng weaving (one kind of brocade) for Paco women, an ethnic minority in Thua Thien Hue Province.

At the end of 2007, when this project ended,  I was assigned to be in charge of the project “Capacity building in community forest management for people in Nam Dong district, Thua Thien Hue province” funded by the Ford Foundation, as an assistant cum financial officer.  In this project, I always worked with community people (Paco people, an enthnic minority of Vietnam) and joined in technical training courses on silviculture, building nursery gardens, and supporting farmers in the hamlets of the Thuong Quang commune. Also during this time, I was in the role of assistant and accountant in another project “Capacity building for agriculture staff in the A Luoi district”.

From 2009 to present, I am an officer for project “Improving livelihoods through sustainable land use for local people of the Nam Dong district, a mountainous area of Thua Thien Hue province” managed by CORENARM.  I am also a junior consultant for the Sustainable Rattan Project, coordinated by WWF since 2009.  My work in this project is to help to form 40 Rattan interest groups and then train local people in mountainous areas of Central Vietnam on how to manage their group and maintain their livelihoods that depend on Rattan. In short, I mainly work with ethnic minorities in remote areas of Central Vietnam in conserving natural resources and improving local livelihoods.

From 2010 to now, I am working as an research officer of Climate Change Department of CORENARM.

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