Community Environmental Leadership Exchanges


Global Environments Community Environmental Leadership Exchanges are peer-to-peer learning opportunities designed specifically to foster networking, mutual learning and exchange among emerging community professionals and practitioners. Dynamic leaders from specific regions convene to discuss ongoing actions and share strategies to protect and restore biodiversity, lands, waters and traditional foodways, and through these, culture and sovereignty.


WATCH THIS VIDEO: Introduction to Community Environmental Leadership Exchanges

from the first North American Community Environmental Leadership Exchange held in Capay Valley, California.

Videography by: Mateo Hinojosa, Inanc Tekguc, Nicola Wagenberg
Post production by: Susannah McCandless, Inanc Tekguc
Music by: Colin Farish

All rights reserved.

Upcoming events


Okanagan Environmental Leadership Camp 2017  – Glimpse Lake, on Syilx territory (Upper Nicola Band)

Reconnect, Revitalize, Reclaim: Okanagan Environmental Leadership Camp is a 7-day gathering (10-17 June 2017) for Indigenous youth 18-30 who are interested in building their capacity to advocate for and protect the lands and waters of their territories. GDF is co-organising this camp with IndigenEYEZ, an Indigenous youth empowerment organisation based in the Okanagan with years of experience working to positively transform relationships to self, community, and the world. The camp is also organised with the support of the Upper Nicola Band and the Okanagan Nation Alliance. For more information, visit the Okanagan Environmental Leadership Camp 2017 events page.


We are also currently planning the first European Community Exchange on Seed Diversity and Sovereignty, to be held in Autumn 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.


Past Events 

North American Community Environmental Leadership Exchange 2017 – Sonora, Mexico

This exchange, held in February on the theme “Collaborating for Change: Strategies for the Protection of Biocultural Landscapes.” provided a training, networking and discussion space for Indigenous community leaders in northwestern Mexico, in a context of rapid climate change and at a moment when adaptive community capacity to confront biocultural threats is crucial. 

Read a blog post on NACELE 2017



North American Community Environmental Leadership Exchange 2015 – Montreal Botanical Garden

NACELE 2015 2NACELE 2015 was held at the Montréal Botanical Garden (MBG) from 18-22 June 2015. Drawing from its location, the workshop carried the theme “Nourishing Relations: People, Plants and Place” and was designed to broaden and deepen participants’ knowledge, networking and communication skills through peer-to-peer exchange of cases and strategies, site visits to innovative tribal and collaborative initiatives and skill-building opportunities.

Indigenous environmental practitioners, scholars and activists from North American Native Nations shared insights and challenges from their work on wellbeing, connecting health, sovereignty and biocultural diversity.

More on NACELE 2015


North American Community Environmental Leadership Exchange 2013 – Capay Valley, California

NACELE circleIn October 2013, resource people Susannah McCandless (Global Diversity Foundation), Melissa Nelson (The Cultural Conservancy), Darcie Houck (GESA alumna, 2012), Octaviana Trujillo (Northern Arizona University; GESA Resource person 2011), and Robin Marsh (UC Berkeley) co-organised NACELE 2013 with assistance from Kaylena Bray (GESA alumna, 2013) and Inanc Tekguc (GESA alumnus, 2011). Led by GDF under the auspices of the Global Environments Network in partnership with The Cultural Conservancy, the workshop convened dynamic indigenous leaders from all over North America to discuss ongoing actions to protect and restore lands, waters and traditional foodways, and through these, culture and sovereignty.

The results of the 4-day workshop were presented at a participant-led panel, “From Conflict to Collaboration: Tribal Strategies for Resistance and Restoration” as part of the Indigeneity Program of the 2013 Bioneers meeting. NACELE received support from a Switzer Foundation Innovation Grant, The Christensen Fund, the Cultural Conservancy and Bioneers, in addition to the GDF Global Environments Summer Academy Alumni Innovation Fund.

More on NACELE 2013


Visit our GEN Events page for more details on past and upcoming GEN events, including our Community Environmental Leadership Exchanges.


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