Empowering Change: The Vital Role of Women in Conservation and Economic Diversification

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Despite comprising a significant portion of the global conservation workforce, women continue to face systemic barriers that limit their participation and leadership opportunities in environmental initiatives. In light of these challenges, it is imperative to underscore the pivotal role that women play in driving forward conservation efforts and unlocking a wealth of innovative solutions to address the complex environmental challenges.

In the heart of Guna Yala, Panama, a story unfolds that exemplifies the transformative power of women in the realm of conservation and economic diversification. Here, indigenous women, harnessing their ancestral skills, embarked on a journey to intertwine traditional artistry with environmental stewardship through the creation of needlepoint Mola art masks. This initiative, born amidst the global upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic, not only provided a vital source of income but also championed sustainable fishing practices and marine conservation and supported environmental education efforts. The Mola masks, vibrant with marine motifs, became symbols of resilience, culture, knowledge and a commitment to Guna Yala’s well-being.

 

Besides this tale of artistic and economic innovation, research indicates that gender-balanced teams are more adept at generating innovative solutions. By empowering women as partners and leaders in conservation, organizations can effectively address complex environmental challenges. Daneira Brown, a young Guna woman and our very own Education & Outreach Officer in Guna Yala, has dedicated her life to marine conservation. Raised in the Guna tradition, Daneira’s bond with the ocean and its inhabitants, particularly the hawksbill turtles, inspired her to lead efforts in research and education within the Guna community of Masargandub. Her work, deeply rooted in her cultural heritage, emphasizes the critical role of local knowledge and engagement in safeguarding marine biodiversity. Coupling her local and theoretical knowledge from her current science degree, she is inspiring and now mentoring other youth – especially young women, and community members to study and steward sea turtles in her region. 

These narratives underscore a broader truth: integrating women into conservation projects is not simply about achieving gender equality but is fundamental to enhancing the efficacy, sustainability, and impact of these initiatives. Women, often at the forefront of livelihood activities such as handicraft production, small-scale fisheries production, and ecotourism, bring unique perspectives and solutions to the challenges of environmental conservation and economic development.

Reinforcing Social Equity and Empowerment

The success of the Mola art masks initiative and Daneira Brown’s conservation work exemplifies the importance of providing targeted guidance and support to women. By ensuring women’s active participation and leadership in conservation efforts, we unlock a vast potential for creative and sustainable solutions to environmental challenges that have a considerable replicative effect, inspiring and engaging others, that are the foundation for conservation movements.

By valuing and incorporating women’s knowledge and perspectives, especially in historically marginalized communities, conservation strategies become more comprehensive and effective. The case of Guna Yala vividly illustrates how indigenous women’s participation can lead to innovative approaches to conservation and sustainable livelihoods, fostering deeper connections between cultural heritage, their cosmovision of nature and environmental stewardship.

This unified approach not only amplifies the conservation message through a gender-inclusive lens but also fosters socially equitable economic opportunities. The active participation of women in conservation is a strategic move that bolsters the long-term viability of these efforts, as studies have shown that gender-balanced teams are more innovative and adept at solving complex environmental challenges. 

The experiences in Guna Yala serve as compelling evidence of the critical role women play in driving forward more sustainable and equitable conservation efforts. By recognizing and harnessing the unique strengths women bring to the table, conservation organizations worldwide can ensure that every contribution is valued, and every voice is heard. This is not just a call to action but a roadmap towards a more just and resilient future for our communities and the planet.

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Asistente de comunicación (Internship)

MarAlliance es una organización internacional sin ánimo de lucro registrada en EE.UU., Belice, Panamá y Cabo Verde, cuyo objetivo es explorar, facilitar e inspirar cambios positivos para la fauna marina amenazada, especialmente tiburones y rayas, sus hábitats críticos y las comunidades humanas dependientes. Nuestra misión es amplia y ambiciosa, y trabajamos en tres idiomas y en siete países de tres regiones. Ante el declive de muchas poblaciones de megafauna marina, estas especies necesitan una voz fuerte, eficaz y con base científica que las represente para ayudar a los socios dependientes a dar forma a las estrategias y acciones de gestión y conservación para invertir el declive.

Resumen del puesto:

Buscamos a un becario (6 meses) proactivo, con conocimientos digitales y excelente capacidad de redacción y edición de textos, que apoye la creación de contenidos escritos de alta calidad y recursos multicanal para difundir el trabajo que MarAlliance realiza a través de sus plataformas en línea (sitio web, redes sociales, boletín, entre otras) y fuera de línea, y que interactúe con nuestro público externo para contribuir a nuestros objetivos generales de comunicación y marketing. El Asistente de Comunicación dependerá directamente del Coordinador de Comunicación y Marketing, y trabajará en estrecha colaboración con el resto del equipo para apoyarles en los elementos de comunicación de su trabajo.

Las funciones y responsabilidades incluirán, entre otras, las siguientes:

  1. Proporcionar apoyo creativo, editorial y operativo a los proyectos. 
  2. Apoyo en la organización, etiquetado y etiquetado del archivo fotográfico y gestión del archivo de vídeo.
  3. Gestión de la comunidad: Gestionar activamente los canales de medios sociales, así como identificar nuevas tendencias y oportunidades de colaboración. Generar reels y visuales.
  4. Apoyo en la redacción de artículos de blog (SEO) y contenido de boletines. 
  5. Ayudar a construir y desarrollar materiales, herramientas y acciones para campañas (online y offline).
  6. Ayudar en diferentes tareas relacionadas con la comunicación trabajando mano a mano con contratistas externos (desarrollador web, diseñador gráfico…) para mejorar el compromiso de las audiencias externas.
  7. Apoyo en la elaboración de informes de campañas y comunicaciones (Google Analytics, métricas de redes sociales, informes de marketing por correo electrónico).
  8. Como parte del Equipo de Comunicación de MarAlliance, apoyar al Coordinador de Comunicación y Marketing en cualquier otro proyecto de comunicación, coherente con las habilidades y experiencia del titular del puesto, en circunstancias no rutinarias.

Experiencia, conocimientos y aptitudes requeridos:

  1. Licenciatura en comunicación, periodismo, marketing o cualquier disciplina relacionada.
  2. Experiencia en comunicación digital o marketing.
  3. Pasión e interés por la naturaleza, la vida marina y la conservación.
  4. Capacidad demostrada para redactar y presentar comunicaciones creativas.
  5. Presencia y conocimientos de medios sociales y digitales.
  6. Capacidad para realizar múltiples tareas y detectar buenas historias.
  7. Capacidad para trabajar a distancia y cumplir los plazos establecidos.
  8. Conocimientos de diseño gráfico deseables, pero no necesarios.
  9. Conocimientos de edición de vídeo deseables pero no necesarios. 

Salario y prestaciones:

Estipendio durante 6 meses.

Idiomas:

Español, con fluidez en inglés

Localización:

Nacionales o residentes de Panamá, Belice, México, Honduras, Guatemala.

Este contrato será a distancia dentro de las zonas horarias de América, flexible, a tiempo completo y desde casa con hasta un 10% de viajes ocasionales locales e internacionales.

Cómo presentar la candidatura:

Por favor, envíe su currículum, portfolio si lo tiene, y carta de presentación a info@maralliance.org con “MAR-CA_Apellido” en el asunto antes del 21 de marzo, 2024. No se admiten llamadas.

Communications Assistant (Internship)

MarAlliance is an international non-profit registered in the US, Belize, Panama and Cabo Verde that aims to explore, enable and inspire positive changes for threatened marine wildlife – notably sharks and rays – their critical habitats and dependent human communities. Our remit is broad and ambitious, and we work in three languages and across seven countries encompassed by three regions. In the face of declines in many populations of marine megafauna, these species need a strong, effective, and science-based voice to represent them to help dependent partners shape management and conservation strategies and action to reverse declines.

Position summary:

We are seeking for a proactive, digitally savvy Paid Intern (6 month) Communications Assistant with excellent writing and copy editing skills, who will support the creation of high-quality written content and multichannel assets to broadcast the work MarAlliance does through its online (website, social media, newsletter, among others) and offline platforms, and engage with our external audiences to contribute to our overall communications and marketing goals. The Communications Assistant will directly report consistently to the Communications and Marketing Coordinator, and work closely with the rest of the team to support them on the communications elements of their work.

Duties and responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

  1. Provide creative, editorial, and operational project support. 
  2. Support organizing, labeling and tagging the photo archive and video archive management.
  3. Community Management: Actively manage social media channels, as well as identify new trends and collaboration opportunities. Generate reels and visuals.
  4. Support with writing blog articles (SEO) and newsletter content. 
  5. Help build and develop materials, toolkits, and actions for (online and offline) campaigns.
  6. Assist in different communications-related tasks working hand in hand with external contractors (web developer, graphic designer…) to improve the engagement of external audiences.
  7. Support in campaign and communications reporting (Google Analytics, social media metrics, email marketing reports)
  8. As part of the MarAlliance Communications Team, support the Communications and Marketing Coordinator with any other communications projects, consistent with the skills and expertise of the post holder, in non-routine circumstances.

Experience, Knowledge, and Skills Required:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, marketing or any related discipline.
  2. Experience working in digital communications and or marketing.
  3. Passion and interest for nature, marine life and conservation.
  4. Proven ability to write and deliver creative communications.
  5. Social Media and digital presence and knowledge.
  6. Ability to multitask and spot good stories.
  7. Capable of working remotely and meeting established deadlines.
  8. Graphic design skills are desirable but not required.
  9. Video editing skills are desirable but not required.

Salary and benefits:

Stipend for 6 month.

Language:

English, Spanish are mandatory.

Location:

Panama, Belize, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala nationals or residents. 

This contract will be remote within the Americas time zones, flexible, full-time and home-based with up to 10% occasional local and international travel.

How to apply:

Please send your resume, portfolio if you have one, and cover letter to info@maralliance.org with “MAR-CA_Last name” in the subject line by 21st of March, 2024. No calls please.