Meet the Restoration Stewards

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Meet the Restoration Stewards 2022

Sergio Esteban Lozano Baez

Colombia

Mountains

Hidayah Halid

Malaysia

Oceans

Eka Cahyaningrum

Indonesia

Peatlands

Adrian Leitoro

Kenya

Drylands

Gabriela Gavarrete Juárez

El Salvador

Forests

Kandi

Kenya

Forests

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Sergio Esteban Lozano Baez, Colombia, restoring Mountains

As Wangari Maathai said “Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking”.

My name is Sergio Lozano-Baez, I’m from Colombia and I totally believe that forest restoration goes beyond planting trees. I have been involved in the challenging world of restoration since 2011, when I worked on the forest restoration plan for areas affected by alluvial gold mining in the Nechí river basin, Antioquia. Since then, my experience in different restoration projects in tropical ecosystems has increased.

In 2015 I started my PhD in Forest Resources at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Throughout my PhD experience I learned the principles of ecological restoration and importance of soil to recover the forests. I also improved my skills at scientific writing, publishing the results of my thesis in many scientific articles. In 2019, I started to coordinated my first restoration project with the NGO Selva – Research for Conservation in the Neotropics. This restoration project aims to restore 45 ha on the north of Tolima, Colombia, planting 25.000 native tree species in order to improve the habitat of two endemic and endangered bird species.

The Restoration Stewards program is the opportunity to grow and reinforce our project. Having been selected as the Restoration Steward for the mountain ecosystem brings me immense joy; I hope 2022 will be a year full of learning and lots of trees for the mountains"

Want to connect with Sergio? Follow him on: 

Instagram: sergio_ecores Twitter: @selvaorgco
Write to restorationstewards@gmail.com

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Hidayah Halid, Malaysia, restoring Oceans

“Vast green backyard at home and endless blue at my office. It’s the privilege that I wouldn’t trade in for anything else”

Hidayah Halid, a girl who grew up a daughter of a farmer in the small village of Nibong Tebal in Penang, her upbringing has been spoiled by daily golden sunset which profoundly give her tranquillity within nature. Following her naturalist quest, she discovered a new whole world below the surface and the journey has led her to pursue her career in protecting the marine ecosystem. Exploring nature has shown her the interconnectivity and complexity of each existing organism within nature and the marine ecosystem is intrinsically connected to the coastal community. Her passion is to preserve the ecosystem while protecting the well being of the coastal community. Living together with the coastal community of Perhentian Island has provided me the insight of local perception on their marine habitat and marine conservation. However, seeing the notable changes in the overall health condition of our reef, she felt the need of immediate intervention to minimize the impact of the ecosystem imbalance.

Restoring the landscape is one of the applicable approaches to help the ecosystem to recover from various degradation and for the ecosystem to become more resilient toward changes. Restoration is a process that needs constant momentum and collective efforts from each individual who benefited from the resources. Hidayah, through her organisation of Perhentian Marine Research Station (PMRS) has undertaken the responsibility to engage with stakeholder at every level to achieve sustainable resource management.

Therefore, as the 2022 Restoration Steward for Ocean Landscape, I would strengthen my advocacy in marine conservation within my coastal community via the local empowerment program of #AnakPulau whilst showcasing the beauty of Perhentian Island for its worth to be protected.

Want to connect with Hidayah? Follow her on:

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Eka Cahyaningrum, Indonesia, restoring Peatlands

Restoration of ecosystems has taught me that multidisciplinary knowledge and collaboration are necessary to achieve a successful project. 

I am Eka Cahyaningrum from Indonesia, a Restoration Steward for Peatland Ecosystems. I love exploring new places. Two of my favourite things to do in the forest are waking up early morning to observe primates while listening to the forest wake up, and putting on my boots at night to conduct amphibian surveys near the riverbanks and observe these beautiful creatures. 

I started my restoration path in 2019 when I joined the firefighting team in Kalimantan and saw the detrimental impact of ecosystem degradation. I then volunteered in a mangrove, seagrass, and coral restoration project, where I learnt about coastal ecosystem restoration.

In 2021, my friends and I decided to start our peat restoration project in Central Kalimantan, and since then I have been learning more about peatlands and its restoration efforts.

Our organisation is Himba Raya Indonesia (HIRAI). Himba means Forest in Dayak and Raya means great in Indonesian. Our hope is to restore large areas of degraded peatlands, provide sustainable livelihoods for local communities, and raise awareness about environmental degradation in Central Kalimantan. We aim to build community resilience to climate change through nature-based solutions and community empowerment.  

As a Restoration Steward for Peatlands, I would seek to further improve and expand my knowledge on peat restoration. Then with this newly acquired knowledge and network, I would support peat restoration efforts in Central Kalimantan.

Want to connect with Eka? Follow her on: 

Instagram: @Ikaa_cahya@hirai_foundation 

 Twitter: @e_cahyaningrum 

Write to restorationstewards@gmail.com

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Adrian Leitoro, Kenya, restoring Drylands

Adrian is an ecopreneur and avid conservationist. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management but left it all behind to pursue his passion for environmental conservation. Adrian was born and raised in national parks in Kenya as his parents were conservationists working with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) - the body mandated with conserving Kenya’s wildlife. His experiences growing up in protected areas and seeing the importance of healthy ecosystems shaped his shift to conservation and restoration in 2019.

That is why he co-founded Nature and People as One (NaPO), a local conservation initiative working at the forefront of community-led conservation in northern Kenya. NaPO, currently, partners with the indigenous Rendille and Samburu communities to conserve their pristine landscapes, biodiversity, wildlife & culture.

As the 2022 RS for the Drylands, he would like to restore northern Kenya’s dryland ecosystems in a way that increases the involvement of local communities and generates benefits for them for their sustainable management and conservation of these landscapes.

Adrian is also currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Climate Change Adaptation with a focus on Nature-Based Solutions at the University of Nairobi.

Want to connect with Adrian? Follow him on:

Instagram: @leitoro_adrian 

 Twitter: @leitoroadrian

Write to restorationstewards@gmail.com

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Gabriela Gavarrete Juárez, El Salvador, restoring Forests

Restoring ecosystems is to understand what the earth is asking of us, not only to satisfy the needs of humans, but for all species to coexist properly.

Gabriela Gavarrete is a young Salvadoran biologist who began her restoration work in deciduous forests that suffer mainly from wildfires in the dry season. Her interests are related to nature conservation, biological restoration and the scientific research of beneficial insects for ecosystems.

Since El Salvador is one of the most deforested countries in the region, Gabriela decided to initiate a restoration project in the city of Santa Ana, Cerro Tecana, which is a hill that is part of a biological corridor composed of a deciduous forest, which has suffered many years of degradation due to fires and poor agricultural practices of its inhabitants. Their main interest is to work with the communities and involve them in the restoration process through workshops and training to improve their agricultural activities and fire management, create a community plant nursery and establish a plantation with native tree species.

As Restoration Steward 2022 for forests, I would like to inspire more people to join in ecosystem restoration and be able to replicate my project in other areas where forest management is needed, as the best restoration initiatives are those born from united communities that have understood that nature's resources are present in all our daily activities and that we depend on them, it is our responsibility to protect and restore our ecosystems.

Want to connect with Gabriela? Follow her on:

 Instagram: @gabsbio 

Twitter: @Gabsbio

Write to restorationstewards@gmail.com

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Kandi

‘A society informed on restoration and conservation is one of the greatest hope earth has towards healing.’

Eva Makandi, commonly known as ‘Kandi’ is her name. Kandi is from Kenya and specifically, Meru County. She is a passionate sustainable community development and peace change agent who loves art and working with children in most of her community initiatives.  Kandi believes in, and champions education as her ultimate catalyst towards empowering and transforming communities in a bid of achieving sustainable development. 

Raised by her educationist and conservationist grandmother, she grew up loving nature and the serenity that came with it. However, this beauty has been fast fading in her Kiirua village. In a bid to reverse this, and bridge some of the socio-economic gaps in her community, she founded a community based organization; Light On A Hill (LOAH) in September 2020. Loah’s aims to transform community’s lives through empowerment. Under Loah’s restoration and conservation focus area, Kandi has been partnering with her community in restoring forests and the environment she grew up knowing so that the younger generations and those to come can have the opportunity to experience it and its ripple effect benefits.

As the 2022 forest R.S., I hope to educate, mentor and empower my community, specifically kids (5-14 years) to be stewards and champions of forests and environment restoration and conservation both locally and globally. I would also like to spark an undying light of sustainable restoration and conservation that will be amplified by present and future generations. 

Want to connect with Kandi? Follow her on:

Instagram: @thisis_kandi_e
Twitter: @thisis_kandi_e
Facebook: @Thisis Kandie

Write to restorationstewards@gmail.com

 

Meet the Restoration Stewards 2021

Grace Easteria

Indonesia

Oceans

Marlon Webb

Costa Rica

Mountains

Analí Bustos

Argentina

Forests

Frances Camille Rivera

Philippines

Wetlands

Charity Lanoi

Kenya

Drylands

Sumarni Laman

Indonesia

Peatlands

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Grace Easteria, Indonesia, restoring Oceans

Coral Reef Restoration Project in a Thousand Island

Coral reef rehabilitation in Thousand Island aims to restore coral reef cover that has been damaged as a result of human activities. Seeing that the Thousand Islands are coral islands, coral reefs are greatly significant in the coastal protection of the local community. Besides its ecological benefit, this project also provides income through restoration projects and tourism activities and helps boost up the potential of marine tourism in the Thousand Islands which was previously damaged by over 60%.

Instagram: @geasteria

Twitter: @geasteria

🎥VIDEO:


Get inspired by Grace's hope for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

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Marlon Webb, Costa Rica, restoring Mountains

Bosque para nacer Agua

Communities depend on the mountains in the area mainly for freshwater. However, the degradation of this vulnerable ecosystem is increasing. It is a fundamental need to restore this ecosystem and the society depending on it. That is why at Diwo, we partner with the Bruncajc Indigenous Women’s Group “So Cagru” to restore the Boruca mountains, conserve freshwater and preserve cultural heritage.

 Instagram: @marlonwebbcr@diwoambiental.cr

 Twitter: @marlon_webbc@diwoambiental

🎥VIDEOS:


Watch Marlon's day out on the field.

Get inspired by Marlon's hope for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

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Analí Bustos, Argentina, Restoring Forests

Proyecto Reserva Natural Monte Alegre

El Espinal is one of the most degraded forest ecosystems on the planet. We have lost much of its diversity and surface, while many people are not aware of its particularities and richness. At Monte Alegre, we work for the ecological and social restoration of our forests. Restoration must plant seeds in the earth, but it must also plant seeds in the hearts of people. This is the only way that can allow restoration results to be enduring over time.  

 Instagram: @li.bustos@proyecto.rn.montealegre

 Twitter: @bustos_anali 

🎥VIDEOS:


Watch Anali's day out on the field.

Get inspired by Anali's hope for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

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Frances Camille Rivera, Philippines, Wetlands

Community-based mangrove restoration efforts of unproductive fishponds

The restoration project for wetlands is to enhance the bottom-up restoration efforts through participatory and knowledge-transfer to the local communities and community environment officers on the suitable methods of wetland restoration by means of targeted areas and multispecies planting. One of the activities is to restore unproductive fishponds and other barren areas around the country back to mangroves so that the areas become fertile and productive to enable possible alternative livelihood to the mangrove-dependent communities.

 Instagram: @camzzrivera@mangrovesforourfuture

 Twitter: @frcamillerivera

🎥VIDEOS:


Watch Camille's day out on the field.

Get inspired by Camille's hope for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

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Charity Lanoi, Kenya, Drylands

Moilo Grass Seed Bank and Apiary

I would want to restore the degraded areas of Kuku Group Ranch through grass seed banks, tree planting, and beekeeping projects. The use of grass seed banks is our primary method of restoration for the project. Grass seed banks will not only benefit the women group economically, but also provide available pasture for livestock

 Instagram: @mwct_kenya

 Twitter: @charity_lanoi@maasaiwild

🎥VIDEOS:


Watch Charity's day out on the field.

Get inspired by Charity's hope for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

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Sumarni Laman, Indonesia, Peatlands

The Heartland Project

The Heartland Project focuses on different areas that are closely related to the Indigenous Dayak living system. First, the Tumbang Nusa village, located in Pulang Pisau regency, a source of hotspots for 23 years. The second area for the project is in Talekoi village, located in South Barito regency, which still has a lush forest, under the threat of forest fires. 

 Instagram: @sumarni_laman

 Twitter: @sumarnilaman

🎥VIDEOS:


Watch Sumarni's day out on the field.

Get inspired by Sumarni's hope for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

GENERAL INQUIRIES


Anna Bucci: a.bucci@cgiar.org

GLF Youth Coordinator

Supporting partners

Under the banner of Generation Restoration, the Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL) and the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) launched the Restoration Stewards program in 2020 to support and highlight the work of six young restoration practitioners and their teams, dubbed ‘Restoration Stewards’. The year-long program provides funding, mentorship, and training to deepen the impact of these projects.
In 2021, the Restoration Stewards and their teams will be supported to further develop their project and will become ambassadors at both global and local levels. Globally, the Restoration Stewards will share their journey in a series of vlogs and blogs documenting their stories of inspiration and challenges. Locally, they will spark a restoration movement, creating pathways to connect, share, learn, and act for more sustainable landscapes.