Day 1 - October 4: Introduction
After the safe arrival of community participants from 19 countries to the Community Poble, a two-day orientation session got underway. The objective was to introduce communities to the Equator Initiative and to each other. A team of three facilitators – comprised of Claire Rhodes of Ecoagriculture Partners, Annalisa Bianchessi of Rare Conservation, and Benson Venegas of the Talamanca Initiative – were on hand to guide the event.
As is customary in Equator Initiative-hosted dialogue spaces, communities introduced themselves to the room and shared their traditional form of greeting. Participants were able to give some background on their initiatives and the work that earned them the Equator Prize.
Community participants were then given a general introduction to the Equator Initiative and the Barcelona team by Ms. Eileen de Ravin, Manager of the Equator Initiative. The team, including translators, reviewed how each would contribute to making the dialogue space a success and gave some of their personal history.
There was then an introduction to the IUCN World Conservation Congress, and the topics to be discussed through the week. Communities were asked to work together to define some expectations. Among them, communities hoped to:
• Learn from one another in hopes of replicating best practice
• Gain recognition from national government and media
• Make linkages to donors
• Establish connections with the main players in the international community
• Receive recognition that can be leveraged back home
• Make connections with UNDP country offices
• Influence international policy-making