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IPCCA-Steering Steering Committee

A key output of the Lijiang Workshop was the election of a new IPCCA Steering Committee Chairs. This new Steering Committee was nominated and elected by the LA members at the meeting, and represents one of the key actions taken towards re-envisioning the IPCCA. These chairs were chosen as they represent some of the top leaders in the indigenous movement, and represent a wide breadth of knowledge and practice that will prove invaluable to the IPCCA's experience and future activities. We are pleased to now introduce you to the renewed IPCCA Steering Committee Chairs.

Aroha Te Pareake Mead

Aroha Te Pareake Mead is from the Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Porou tribes (Māori) of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Mead is the global Chair of the IUCN Commission on Environment, Economic and Social Policy and a Senior Lecturer in Māori Business, Victoria Management School, Victoria University of Wellington. She is also Programme Director of Māori Business, Victoria Management School, Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. She has been involved in indigenous cultural and intellectual property and environmental issues for over 30 years at tribal, national, Pacific regional and international levels.

Aroha previously worked as the National Policy Director for Te Tau Ihu o NgāWānanga - the National Secretariat for the three Māori/tribal universities: Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Te Wānanga o Raukawa, and before that she held managerial positions in Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry of Māori Development. She led the organization of the conference that developed the 1993 Mataatua Declaration on Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples; the 1994 Roundtable of Indigenous Peoples and Self-Determination; and the 6th International Conference of Ethno biologists as well as numerous, national, regional and international conferences on traditional knowledge, cultural and intellectual property rights, biodiversity and genetic resources. The most recent conference she led was Sharing Power: A New Vision for Development held in Whakatane, New Zealand, January 2011. A multidisciplinary conference that explored decentralisation in the governance and management of bio-cultural resources; enabling indigenous peoples and local communities to have greater rights and responsibilities in governance and management of the landscapes and ecosystems they live in and near; and looked at alternatives to the current capital based economic model that has created social and economic inequities and large scale environmental damage. Her current interests are in providing insights into new models of conservation and development.

Minnie Degawan

Minnie Degawan, a Kanka naey-Igorot from the Cordillera, Philippines. Finished B.S. Biology from the University of the Philippines but devoted her entire professional life to working with the indigenous movement, from being Secretary General of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), founding member of the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests (IAITPTF), active member of the Asia caucus during the drafting of the UNDRIP, then working with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to promote Convention 169 in Asia, then worked with Minority Rights Group, Int'l. in their regional programme on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples before rejoining the IAITPTF as Coordinator of their GEF-funded project on ensuring effective participation of indigenous peoples in the conservation of biodiversity. Served as steering committee member of The Forest Dialogue and now working as safeguards advisor for the Forest and Climate Initiative of WWF.

Mindahi Crescencio Bastida Muñoz

Mindahi Crescencio Bastida Muñoz holds a doctorate in Rural Development from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), University Medal of Merit; M.A. Political Science, Carleton University, Canada. Currently he is advisor of the Provost of UAM-Unidad Lerma. President of the Mexican Council on Sustainable Development and General Coordinator of the Otomi del Alto Lerma Regional Council. He was official Delegate of Mexico in the World Summit of Johannesburg (2002) and Delegate of Indigenous Peoples at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (1992). He has worked in the United Nations Environment Programme, in the SEMARNAT, and the Secretary of the Environment of the Government of the State of Mexico. He has been member of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America (CEC). Currently he is member of Steering Committee - Advisory Group of the Convention on Biological Diversity - Article 8j- of the United Nations. He has written extensively on the relationship between the State and Indigenous Peoples, intercultural education, intellectual property rights, and associated traditional knowledge, among other topics.In 2013, he was elected as Steering Committee member of the IPCCA.

Fiu Mata'ese Elisara

Fiu Mataese Elisara joined OLSSI as its Executive Director in February 2002. He came to the organization after spending over eight years (1993 - 2001) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Samoa, six and a half of those years as Assistant Resident Representative (1996 - 2001). Before joinning UNDP, Fiu was Director of the Department of Lands, Surveys and Environment in the Government of Samoa.

As an indigenous Samoan and a Pacific Islander, Fiu has lived in Samoa all his life and has represented the indigenous peoples in many of the global conferences since the UNCED in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In particular, Fiu has been actively involved in advocating the issues under the UNFCCC, UNDRIP and CBD to all sectors of the Samoan and Pacific societies with reference to protecting the rights of indigenous peoples and attempting to take advantage of every opportunity accorded to him to influence national development policies taking cognisant of these concerns. In 1990, Fiu was made a Fellow of the Commonwealth Foundation of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London for his professional contribution to the Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economists (CASLE).

Fiu is passionate about indigenous peoples issues, sustainable development and environmental concerns, and took up this post of Executive Director of OLSSI with the commitment to be more closely involved with communities in the protection of their rights, the wise and sustainable use of their natural resources, and the conservation of environment.

He is also strongly defending the existing cultural rights and customary land tenure system of Samoa and campaigning to protect its ownership as an inherent right of Indigenous Samoans and inalienable invaluable asset for the peoples of Samoa and local communities of the Pacific.

Marlon Santi

Marlon Santi is an indigenous leader from the Sarayaku community. He is now 40 years old but has been fighting against transnational companies since he was 12 years old. In 1992, he was part of the indigenous youth who marched to Quito for the land and for life. In 1999, he formed part of the indigenous struggle against petroleum operations in the south of the Amazon. From 2003 to 2005, he assumed the role of President of his community, reclaiming the rights of indigenous peoples. From 2003 until 2012 he coordinated the Sarayaku case in the Inter-American system of Human Rights and in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. From 2008 to 2012, he was elected as President of the great Confederation of Indigenous Peoples and Nationalities of Ecuador, CONAIE. Currently, he is part of the Amazonian communities in resistance to transnational, petroleum, logging, and mining companies. His studies only reached through secondary school, although he has completed international courses on public policy and law. He has also served as a consultant on the issue of environmental services.


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