Passionate, Inspiring, Hopeful
I was introduced to CEC in the beginning of 2012 in advance of the World Congress in Jeju. I was so encouraged and inspired by the positive messaging and use of strategic communication as a tool to advance the conservation agenda – and through meeting so many inspiring, warm CEC members — that I was extremely grateful to have been allowed to join this amazing network of champions for change. I have learnt and shared so much as a CEC member.
I think that advancing the conservation agenda is not a single task, but rather it falls under a bigger agenda. In order to create a conservation-friendly world, we need to have a paradigm shift in the global human value system. This requires human beings to be more inward looking — rather than looking outward and comparing themselves to each other — to focus on what is important to lead a happy, healthy, and content life. Once this comes to fruition in a holistic manner, we would be able to define the parameters under which we can measure a successful society defined by contentment. The parameters of this would absolutely include valuing nature as a foundation for survival and prosperity.
With an academic background in natural science (zoology), environmental law, education, and learning, Dr. Justine Braby has focused her career in the field of environment and development, with a passion for communicating sustainability. Her work ranges from climate change to biodiversity, mostly in Africa and in the arena of development, implementation, and evaluation of programs/projects. Justine remains passionate about communication, capacity building, and education, as these are key to sustainable development. She has taught in high schools in South Africa and England, as well as a Masters-level course in Integrated Land and Water Resource Management at the University of Namibia. She has facilitated extensive communication and capacity building sessions in Namibia and beyond, and has been requested to give presentations on effective communication in various institutions and conferences (e.g. UNDP Namibia requested Justine to give a presentation to their staff; presentation and working sessions for African NBSAP coordinators in Ethiopia at a CDB Regional Workshop; various presentations at the IUCN World Congress on Communication). On behalf of CEC, in 2013 she provided communication training to Colombia National Park staff. In 2014, she will facilitate membership meetings in South America and Central America.
Previously, I worked for a Namibian-based environmental consulting company called IECN, the director of which is CEC’s Global Chair. During this time I worked on many different climate change projects, from leading the national youth action program on climate change in Namibia to developing the Vulnerability Assessment for Equatorial Guinea. I have worked on climate change and development projects in countries all over Africa, including Malawi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Botswana. In 2012, I was elected the Deputy Coordinator of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change, a youth network with 41 African member nations and over 1,400 members, and the voice on the climate change for African youth.
Much of my work involves facilitation, adult learning, and communication around climate change and other related topics such as sustainable land management and biodiversity. At this time I am advising the Namibia Nature Foundation, WWF Namibia, and the Conservancy Network of Namibia on methodologies for local vulnerability assessments in rural Namibia. In addition, in August and September I am assisting the CEC with facilitating membership engagement meetings in Central and South America. I will be giving an inspirational talk on communication conservation at the Festival Environmental Film Festival in Bachara, Colombia in September 2014.
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