Three Cairns Climate Program for the Global South
The Three Cairns Climate Program for the Global South is an ambitious new initiative at the Yale School of the Environment aimed at supporting next generation leaders.
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Established with a historic gift from the Three Cairns Group, the program expands access to advanced education and training for qualified students and professionals committed to working to address climate change. The cornerstone of the newly launched Three Cairns Climate Program for the Global South is Three Cairns Scholars, which is focused on Global South students who are committed to combatting climate change in their home countries and region. As Scholars, students will receive tuition and non-tuition support designed to help them succeed in YSE’s master’s degree programs and when they return home to work on climate solutions. Applications are currently being accepted for admission to the 2024-25 academic year.
Three Cairns Fellows, another scholarship opportunity provided through the Three Cairns Climate Program for the Global South, supports mid-career environmental professionals seeking to enroll in one of YSE’s online certificate programs — Financing and Deploying Clean Energy, offered by the Center for Business and Environment at Yale (CBEY), or Tropical Forest Landscapes: Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Use, run by the Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI). Three Cairns funding also is supporting the development of two new online certificate programs with a focus on the Global South—one in urban climate leadership and one in environmental data science for climate solutions.
Please check back for news and updates about the Three Cairns Climate Program for the Global South at YSE. We look forward to updating you with the latest news on this transformational program and introducing you to inaugural Three Cairns Scholars and the second cohort of Three Cairns Fellows!
Three Cairns Scholars
For YSE Master's Degrees
Three Cairns Scholars enables YSE to meet 100% of the demonstrated tuition need for qualified students from the Global South admitted as master’s degree students to one of its regular degree programs. As Three Cairns Scholars, students also will have access to non-tuition resources, such as funding to support summer internships in their home countries, mentoring partnerships with YSE alumni, and career development opportunities and counseling that are designed to help ensure their success while at Yale and when they return to their home countries and regions. Three Cairns Scholars is not an independent course of study, but an enhanced scholarship opportunity designed to support the next generation of climate leaders in the Global South.
Three Cairns Fellows
For YSE Online Certificate Programs
Three Cairns Fellows allows YSE to expand access to two of its highly rated online certificate programs for mid-career environmental professionals — Financing and Deploying Clean Energy and Tropical Forest Landscapes: Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Use. Respectively, these year-long certificates develop capacity for leapfrogging transitions to renewable energy and for managing the areas of highest potential for natural carbon sequestration: tropical forests. Individuals seeking scholarship support as Fellows must apply directly to the Financing and Deploying Cleaning Energy or Tropical Forest Landscape certificate programs.
Meet the Inaugural Three Cairns Fellows:
Climate Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Communicators
From advancing renewable rural electrification in South Asia, to promoting sustainable agroforestry in Tanzania, to amplifying the voices of next-generation climate leaders in Kenya, these inaugural Three Cairns Fellows are tackling climate change in their home countries and throughout the Global South.
Restoring Degraded Landscapes
Japheth Orieny has seen firsthand how a top-down approach to land restoration can keep community members from being fully committed to conservation. An assistant director of communications for the Kenya Environmental Action Network, Orieny enrolled in the Tropical Forest Landscapes online certificate program to learn new ways to encourage stakeholder engagement and enhance fundraising efforts to get more community buy-in to climate action initiatives.Read More
Addressing Energy Needs in South Asia
As the manager of International Finance Corporation’s infrastructure portfolio in South Asia, Edore Onomakpome identifies and develops opportunities to finance decarbonization and climate initiatives, aligning her efforts with the World Bank’s mission to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. She says the Financing and Deploying Clean Energy online certificate program will help her examine the viability and financial sustainability of mini grids to address energy needs in underserved communities.Read More
Protecting African Woodlands
The Miombo woodlands in Central Africa is a biodiversity hotspot and key natural resource for local populations. Enver Mapanda, head of forestry operations for Green Resources in Niassa, Mozambique, is leading an effort to conserve and restore parts of the woodlands that are experiencing considerable degradation and deforestation. She enrolled in the Tropical Forest Landscapes online certificate program to help her develop new methods for preserving these vulnerable areas and achieve her “ultimate goal” of contributing to climate mitigation and adaption through forest conservation and restoration.Read More
Building a Climate-Resilient Economy in Rwanda
To help Rwanda meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 38% by 2030, CEO of the Rwanda Green Fund Teddy Mugabo is supporting stakeholders in green business development and capacity building initiatives. She enrolled in the Financing and Deploying Clean Energy online certificate program to gain new insights into the financing mechanisms that can support her country’s ambitious climate plan.Read More
Advancing Sustainable Agroforestry in Tanzania
The One Acre Fund provides financing and training to over 1 million smallholder farmers across six countries in eastern and southern Africa. In Tanzania, the Fund’s carbon projects leader Laura Orozco Romo designs and manages projects that support the country’s small farmers through agroforestry. The Tropical Forest Landscapes online certificate program is giving her a new perspective on the vital importance of community engagement in her initiatives, she says.Read More
Empowering the Next Generation of Kenyan Climate Leaders
Top-down approaches in conservation have led to the sidelining of Kenya’s youth and Indigenous populations in the decision, planning, and development process, says Peter Bulimo, global youth ambassador for the international non-profit Youth4Nature. To help equip the next generation of climate leaders with the skills they need to take action, he enrolled in the Tropical Forest Landscapes online certificate program.Read More
Moving Toward Clean Energy Security in Sub-Saharan Africa
For a decade, Fally Titikpina has worked on accelerating the transition to a clean energy future. The Financing and Deploying Clean Energy online certificate program has deepened her understanding of available clean energy technologies and provided insights on the levers of policy and finance that might be most productive. And she has put this information right back to work: “What really matters to me is to create hope for sub-Sahara African communities.”Read More
A New Perspective on Climate Adaption Efforts in Africa
Linda Ogallo, a climate adaptation expert in Africa, has seen the need for change — in how building resilience to climate change is approached and financed. The Financing and Deploying Clean Energy online certificate program is giving her “a new perspective on how things can be done differently,” from novel financing mechanisms to community-level interventions that bring stability in an increasingly unstable environment.Read More
“What restoration means to community members may differ from what it means to project implementors.”
Japheth Orieny — inaugural Three Cairns Fellow
Leading on Climate Change: Global South Alumni
Meet some YSE alumni from the Global South who are making an outsized impact. Through Three Cairns Scholars, YSE will be able to expand its global network of alumni with the knowledge, training, and agility to address the climate crisis and lead on solutions.
Keeping Bhutan Carbon Neutral
To make good on its constitutional mandate to be the first carbon neutral country for its entire existence, Bhutan relies heavily on its forest cover. Dechen Dorji ’01 MEM led the Bhutan for Life initiative, which raised more than $40 million to finance the protection of the country’s pristine network of protected areas.
Dorji continues to work on land preservation and protection of endangered species as the World Wildlife Fund’s senior director for the Asian Wildlife Program.
Rehabilitating Ghana’s Forests
After a decade as director of operations for Ghana’s Forestry Commission, overseeing the country’s commercial forest plantation development and land restoration, Hugh Brown ’10 MF was named executive director of the Commission's Forest Services Division in 2022.
The Commission has begun the restoration of more than 450,000 hectares of degraded forests and planted millions of new trees under Brown's leadership — part of a major reforestation initiative by the Ghanaian government to contribute to global climate action.
Incentivizing Conservation in Panama
As Panama’s first minister of the environment, Mirei Endara de Heras ’94 MESc promoted sustainable development, incentivized reforestation, developed a water security plan to bolster the Panama Canal, and built alliances with other rainforest nations. Most recently, she helped establish Marea Verde (Green Tide), a nonprofit that utilizes clean technologies and artificial intelligence to identify and retrieve river plastics to restore waterways for communities.
“Our goal is to empower residents to improve conditions in their communities,” she says. “People will take action if it has an economic and/or social benefit.”
Empowering Young Leaders
In July, Indonesia hosted the Y20 Summit, an annual gathering of youth leaders from G20 nations. This year's summit emphasized a sustainable and livable planet, and its recommendations will be presented at the upcoming G20 Summit in November. Caroline Tasirin ’19 MFS — a lecturer in the forestry program at Indonesia’s Sam Ratulangi University and co-founder of SULUT Semangat, a program that empowers Indonesian youths to connect with nature — represented the host nation and served as co-chair of the selection committee for Indonesia. “I'm proud to have contributed my insight and honored to collaborate with diverse youth leaders,” she says.
Speaking for the Islands
At the end of 2021, Lia Nicholson ’14 MEM traveled to Glasgow, Scotland, on a mission with existential stakes. As the lead negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States at the U.N.’s annual climate change conference, COP26, Nicholson represented the bloc of 39 small island nations, which together comprise 20% of all U.N. member states. While the numbers alone can seem abstract, the difference between a global temperature rise of 1.5° Celsius over the preindustrial baseline and a rise of 2° is “existential” for the vulnerable AOSIS nations that were among the first to have to reckon with the impacts of climate change nearly 30 years ago, she says.
Financing Community-led Climate Action in Africa
As a YSE student, Rita Effah ’12 MFS participated in COP 17 in Durban, South Africa. She says her experience at the annual U.N. climate change conference was the catalyst that sparked her interest in working to mitigate climate change impacts in Africa.
Now a senior climate finance officer at the African Development Bank, Effah is managing the Africa Climate Change Fund, which implements small grant projects in 28 African countries.
Restoring Belize’s Landscapes
Ki’ila Salas ’19 MF returned to her home country of Belize to participate in its first landscape restoration initiative, helping to develop its National Landscape Restoration Strategy for the Belize Forest Department. The project is part of the country’s national restoration commitment to the Bonn Challenge, which has a global goal to bring 350 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes into restoration by 2030.
“The project gave me great pride and joy in guiding the process of how the restoration strategies should be accomplished,” Salas says.