Combining integrating ancestral knowledge with modern conservation strategies

Congratulations to FZS employee Isabel Porras Santa Cruz from Peru. She is among the winners of this year’s KfW Foundation grant. The grant is awarded to selected KFW Fellows of Frankfurt Spring School to bring their innovative conservation projects to life. The grant is a means of supporting biodiversity protection.

04/09/2024, Nils Elbert

Frankfurt Spring School is a conservation project management training course for young professionals in conservation careers or master students in related studies that takes place once a year in Frankfurt, Germany. The Spring School is supported by KfW Foundation among other partners. Every year KfW Fellows can pitch conservation ideas to a multi-disciplinary jury and have the chance to secure 50,000 EUR of funding for their project.

Isabel Porras Santa Cruz has been part of the Spring School Class of 2024 and amongst the winners of this year’s KfW Foundation Grant. She is working for FZS Peru and her winning project aims to address the challenge of integrating ancestral knowledge with modern conservation strategies. Focused on the Yine Indigenous people of Monte Salvado in Peru, she intends to document, analyse, and utilize traditional knowledge for conservation advocacy within the Peruvian Amazon rainforest.

Watch Isabel introducing the project

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Key activities include the development of a documentation and analysis system for ancestral knowledge, storytelling training for young and elder community members, and the creation of digital communication products to raise awareness beyond the community. The project emphasizes building leadership and communication capacities among young members to advocate for Amazonian forests and rivers conservation.

Peru’s Amazon region, recognized as a megadiverse area, faces significant threats from illegal activities leading to deforestation and loss of biodiversity. Indigenous communities like the Yine have coexisted with this environment for millennia, developing a profound understanding and sustainable management practices for its conservation. However, modern threats and the erosion of traditional knowledge among younger generations pose challenges to these practices’ continuity.

Partnerships with various organizations, including the Ministry of Culture, FENAMAD, and SERNANP, highlight the collaborative effort to support the project’s goals.

Additional grant winners of 2024 are Manjary Andriatsitohaina, who will support villages close to Marika-Natural-Park in Madagaskar to protect biodiversity as well as Penelope Konkola und Bester Muzeya from Zambia. They will support local communities near North Luangwa National Park to boost their food supply with fish farming and community gardens.

Partners and Donors of Frankfurt Spring School

The Frankfurt Spring School on Conservation Project Management was developed within a partnership of organizations linked to practical conservation, science and research or general management. In 2024 it has been supported by Wildlife Conservation Society, KPMG, KfW, KfW-Stiftung, WWF Deutschland, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Conservation International, Bio Frankfurt and the Metzler Foundation.


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