During the week of April 20th, the Smithsonian hosted a virtual Earth Optimism Summit to promote positive stories and initiatives involving our planet. This was certainly a timely event, and the workshops, talks and panel discussions were excellent.

GCC’s Program Director, Kate Vannelli, was lucky enough to be invited as a panelist for a Deep Dive session on capacity building in conservation. Kate is part of a conservationist network called WildHub, where conservationists can share expertise, challenges, and insights. All of the panelists featured in the capacity building session are members of Wildhub and work across the world on innovative conservation projects. Panelists included: Trang Nguyen (WildAct, Vietnam), Shaleen Attre (IndianSnakes, India), Eva Rehse (Global GreenGrants Fund, UK), Jessie Panazzolo (Lonely Conservationists,  Australia) and Sheherazade (Tambora Muda, Indonesia). The panel was moderated by Allison Catalano, Phd Candidate, Imperial College London, and organized by Thirza Loffeld, Community Manager, WildHub, UK. It was truly a global discussion!

During the panel, Kate introduced the long-term capacity building objective of GCC’s Future Rangers Program and discussed how GCC implements the process. Kate was also able to join the other panelists in answering questions regarding community engagement, conservation education and various related topics.

Overall, the session registered more than 300 sign-ups, and (due to the zoom capacity cut-off at 100 people), had 100 attendees. The link to the full recording of the session can be found here, as well as a larger overview of the Future Rangers approach that Kate wrote to accompany the talk, here.

Kate was honored to be featured on a panel with so many amazing women in conservation. Kate and the entire GCC are grateful to Thirza with WildHub for the great opportunity to join the global conservation conversation and spread the word about GCCs work around the world! The inspiring stories and initiatives happening in conservation right now are truly uplifting.

Recordings of the entire summit will be posted on the Smithsonians’ Earth Optimism website soon.

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