A social ecologist and expert on the social science aspects of conservation and development in Latin America has been named director of the Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI).
Eva Garen, who holds doctoral and master's degrees from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, was a technical advisor on REDD+ – a program in which developing countries would be paid to protect their forests-for Conservation International before joining ELTI.
"Eva will be an excellent leader for the next phase of ELTI where the emphasis will be on expanding our programmatic offerings and reach, further developing our leadership program, and making ELTI accessible to a wider audience through online learning and web resources," said Mark Ashton, Morris K. Jesup Professor of Silviculture and Forest Management.
With Conservation International, Garen designed and implemented training events and workshops in Madagascar, Kenya and Mexico, analyzing the social impacts of REDD+ programs and projects, and managing Conservation International's participation in the social and environmental soundness component of USAID's Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities Program.
She also helped implement the federal government's REDD+ strategy, particularly the agency's policies and practices related to social and environmental safeguards, for USAID as a science and technology policy fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences in Washington, D.C.,
She also has extensive experience with native species reforestation and land restoration, which she gained while conducting her postdoctoral research with cattle ranchers in Panama through PRORENA, a joint native species reforestation program of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). She designed and coordinated ELTI's Neotropics Training Program while based at STRI, where she designed and implemented field-based capacity-building courses and workshops for government officials, natural resource practitioners, indigenous leaders and rural landholders on tropical forest landscapes throughout tropical Latin America.