Storytelling & Conservation Goals

How is storytelling beneficial to those communities with conservation goals?

Panel Discussion - November 2020

Through this discussion panel we look at how storytelling can drive change by safeguarding the rights of Indigenous peoples and their relation to conservation and global sustainability. Five speakers from different disciplines will be giving their experience on this topic and discuss its importance and future steps while answering the question: How is storytelling beneficial to those communities with conservation goals?

Dr. Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares

Dr. Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares is a post-doctoral research fellow at the university of Helsinki who carried out research on the role that Indigenous peoples have in global sustainability and looked into Indigenous storytelling in conservation practice.  He has conducted more than 28 months of ethnographic fieldwork amongst Indigenous peoples and local communities across much of the Global South, working in countries such as Bolivia, Costa Rica, Kenya and Madagascar. He also serves as an expert at the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and has received several awards, including Olli's Prize 2014 from the University of Helsinki and the Catalan Research Prize on Environmental Sciences (year 2015).

Dr. Jérémie Gilbert

Dr. Jérémie Gilbert is a legal expert on Indigenous peoples’ rights as well as a professor of Human Rights Law and associate expert member of the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP). As a legal scholar and activist academic, Jérémie has worked with several Indigenous communities across the globe and is currently involved in supporting litigations, providing expert witness statements, affidavits and supporting evidence gathering in several land claims for Indigenous peoples in their claims to land and natural resources in Namibia, Malaysia, India, Central African Republic, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania. Moreover, he regularly serves as a consultant for several international organisations, notably the United Nations.

Paula Alvarado

Paula Alvarado is the Head of Strategic Communications and Outreach at the Tenure Facility working alongside Indigenous peoples to secure their land rights helping protect biodiversity, mitigate climate change and reduce land related conflict. Paula has over 25 years of international policy, strategic and operational experience on human rights, sustainable development, public health, the environment and humanitarian responses in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. She is passionate about identifying local voices and bringing them to new spaces by crafting powerful storytelling for different media.

Nádia Pontes


Nádia Pontes is an experienced filmmaker and a multimedia journalist specialized in environment working with Indigenous communities and creating stories for the Deutsche Welle, China Dialog, and Brazilian TV and magazines. She is a grantee of the Rainforest Journalism Fund and Pulitzer Center and Berlin Science Communication Awards.

Abdel Mandili


Abdel Mandili founded People’s Planet Project with the aim to assist Indigenous communities in their battle against deforestation. He has focused on raising awareness of issues about climate change and Indigenous livelihood destruction through his work as a filmmaker. His most recent documentary ‘The Indigenous Quest’ is about the massive forest loss in Borneo caused by big multinationals to clear land for palm oil plantations at the cost of Indigenous customary lands. The film is awarded with a Special Mention at the Asia South East Short Film Festival, Winter 2018.