Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet.
‘Uo ‘ia i ka ‘aha ho‘okahi. Interweave the cordage into one.
The ‘Ōlelo No‘eau (Hawaiian Proverb) above highlights the value of cordage in ancient Hawai‘i as it was used to manufacture implements for contracts, ceremonies, fishing, canoe-making, construction, clothing, weapons, and recreational activities. Strong cordage was made by twisting plant fibers together, and specific plants were used for their strength, flexibility, and non-slip qualities. Strong cordage is often used as a metaphor when weaving various knowledge systems to plan resource abundance and adaptive strategies for present and future generations. With this philosophy as a foundation, Conservation International is launching an international program focused on transforming the way knowledge systems are understood, recognized and utilized for ocean resilience and management. This program will contribute to the recent and evolving international recognition of interweaving indigenous knowledge systems with western scientific approaches that implement solutions to some of the world’s most critical ocean challenges through principles of intergenerational equity, reciprocity, and kinship.
In addressing numerous challenges of ocean conservation, the private and public sectors currently rely heavily upon western scientific approaches as an exclusive knowledge system to inform analysis and decision-making. Consequently, indigenous ecological knowledge is often overlooked, dismissed, or incorporated only as a minor component of decision-making. Worse it can be used to falsely ‘rubber-stamp’ poor decision-making based on faulty interpretation or misappropriation of indigenous knowledge. Contrary to those missteps, indigenous knowledge systems have been proven useful for understanding the potential of certain adaptation strategies that are cost-effective, collaborative, and resilient. Given that, both knowledge systems can bring different complementary benefits and value to foster effective ocean conservation and management that would otherwise have been unachievable or less effective. By interweaving complementary elements of indigenous knowledge and western scientific systems, CI is developing the next generation of holistic science approaches that simultaneously address ocean resilience while also improving intergenerational equity in the way knowledge systems are recognized, communicated, and utilized.
The new Knowledge Systems program will be housed in CI's Center for Oceans and will work closely with the Center for Communities and Conservation, Moore Center for Science, and CI’s field teams to explore, document, and develop the science, solutions, partnerships, and field examples needed to bring this innovative approach to the world’s decision-makers. The fellow will also engage closely with CI’s broader family of indigenous fellows working in sites globally. The Indigenous Knowledge Systems Fellow will lead development and strategic implementation of the Knowledge Systems program across CI, build and advance critical collaborations among indigenous communities, western trained scientists, government and conservation organizations; provide critical technical expertise and support across CI, particularly to CI's field programs; and, lead the day-to-day operations of the program. The Indigenous Knowledge Systems Fellow will be at the forefront of developing an intergenerational equity framework for deploying indigenous knowledge for application globally and to influence policy development to protect environmental commons.
CI is seeking a unique individual to fill the role of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Fellow. The fellow will come to the position with the capability of understanding both indigenous knowledge and western science knowledge systems, with an emphasis on ecology. In addition, the fellow will have an appreciation of the immense potential of interweaving both knowledge systems to address ocean challenges across the globe with a strong drive to utilize these knowledge systems to build ocean resilience while supporting adaptative and abundance strategies for coastal communities. The fellow will embody a strong commitment to bio-cultural management and social-ecological concerns globally, particularly including the importance of healthy marine ecosystems for abundant coastal communities. The ideal applicant will have indigenous knowledge expertise, proven literacy in western ocean science approaches, and a solid working knowledge of resilience thinking and intergenerational equity approaches and principles. The fellow will also ideally have experience working with indigenous communities, governments, and academia. Additionally, the capacity to develop strong collaborations with a broad range of institutions and individuals is essential as the fellow will be a key contact for the nascent Knowledge Systems program as CI builds collaborations with indigenous communities, leading academic institutions, government agencies and non-profits.
The location of the position is negotiable, but preference will be for co-locating with relevant programs and partners (initially in Hawaii).
International travel approximately 25% of the time.
Normal office environment.
To apply for this position please submit a resume and cover letter.
See all Conservation International Career Opportunities HERE
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