Watch now: The Early Years of the Guardianship, with Richard Hollinger

Empowering Local Sustainable Communities

Jun 4, 2022

This webinar is part of the 26th Conference of the International Environment Forum (IEF). It will be a contribution to the Stockholm+50 International Meeting, with virtual and local events in Stockholm, Sweden, 1-5 June 2022 in collaboration with Bahá’í International Community, Swedish Interfaith Council, Bahá’í Community of Sweden and other partners. See more details on IEF website.

The panelists will discuss how local sustainable communities can be empowered with a culture of learning, adapting science for everyone, reading the local reality, and consulting to achieve resilience, regeneration, climate mitigation and adaptation, with panelists presenting case studies from around the world.



Judith Bakirya

Judith Bakirya is the managing director of Busaino Fruits and Herbs (BUFRUIT). BUFRUIT is an Agroecological enterprise, using permaculture principles, building on indigenous practices of working with the ‘village and farming as ‘forest’. Sitting on 1064 acres of land in Eastern Uganda, the farm strikes a balance between farming, nature, community, culture, education and tourism. Judith and the farm have won several awards among them the BBC World Service 2019 award as one of the “100” most influential women globally doing environmentally and climate friendly farming. She holds a Master’s degree in health and development from Birmingham University UK.


Kim Naqvi

Kimberley Naqvi (BSc Biology; MA, PhD Geography) is a development and economic geographer whose work focusses on the cultural foundations of economic practice. She teaches human geography at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC, Canada.


Willy Missack

Willy Missack is a National Project Coordinator of the Ecosystem Restoration and Sustainable Land Management in Tongoa Island in Vanuatu; He is Advisor to the Vanuatu Climate Action Network secretariat working with community based organisations (CBO) and Vanuatu's Negotiator on Loss and Damage. Willy was presented with a Queen’s Young Leaders Award in 2015 for his work to create a sustainable water supply in his community. His project expanded across the island and empowered young people to focus on water projects and to contribute to sustainability.


Wandra Harmsen

Wandra grew up in New England with deep roots in the Cape Verdean community of Southeastern Massachusetts. A retired educator, her interests include the study of the coastal environment of Cape Cod and Buzzards Bay as well as the human impact on the natural environment. Wandra is also a founding member of the Bourne – Wareham Race Amity Group and works in both Portugal and New England on issues of equity, diversity and access.


Neil Whatley

Agronomist, Researcher

Neil has 35 years of experience with crop-based agriculture and community development. He has worked with agronomy, applied research and rural development in Western Canada and overseas. Raised on a farm in Saskatchewan, after high school Neil co-managed the farm forseveral years. He worked as a rural developer and systems agronomist in West Africa and LatinAmerica. He managed the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers’ farmer participatory applied researchprogram. Neil worked with the government of Alberta for 13 years as a soils and cropsagronomist. Currently, he is a crop specialist with the Agriculture Research and ExtensionCouncil of Alberta and serves on the steering committee with the Rockefeller Foundationfunded Prairie Food Vision Network. Neil has a Bachelor’s degree (crop science) from theUniversity of Saskatchewan and a Master’s degree (rural social studies and empowerment-based adult learning) from the University of Regina. Neil is actively involved in Ruhi traininginstitutes.See Faculty Bio

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