Aina Brias Guinart

PhD candidate, Helsinki University

Project Info

Role Global Environments Summer Academy 2018 participant
Nationality Catalan (Spanish)
Current Location Finland
Specialisations Biocultural diversity conservation/education, Education, Participatory research and practices
Region of Specialisations Africa, Europe

Project Description

Aina Brias-Guinart (MSc in Environment and Development, 2014, Lancaster University) is interested in the social dimensions of conservation interventions.

Trained as a biologist at the University of Barcelona (2012), she soon became passionate about the intersection between environment and development. Her master thesis took her to Dhaka, Bangladesh (2014), where she experienced the challenges of doing research with uncertainty and working in a cross-cultural environment. Her restless attitude and her innate curiosity led her to live for nine months in the Dindéfélo community-managed natural reserve in Senegal (2015), where she coordinated a conservation education project. That allowed her to experience firsthand the complexities of “conservation interventions”, particularly those involving local communities.

In 2018, she became a PhD candidate at Helsinki University (Finland) and has the privilege to cycle to work every day. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the links between education and biodiversity conservation. She is particularly interested in how conservation NGOs implement education programmes in rural communities in Madagascar and how they affect local cultures, environments and knowledge systems. She strives to promote ethical practices in concrete and meaningful ways when doing research, and to bridge the gap between academia and practice. What she loves most about her work is the joy of sharing meals while conducting long periods of research in Madagascar.

Since participating in GESA 2018, she has been embracing life in a slow, caring and present way. She enjoys cooking as an act of love, hiking to reconnect to nature and doing theatre as a creative way of self expression.


Building bridges for collaborative action in environmental education amongst conservation NGOs in Madagascar

Aina Brias plans a two-day workshop for conservation NGOs to share expertise and learn from each other, with seed funding support from GEN.


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