Gwendolyn Smith

Gwendolyn Smith

Paramaribo, Suriname


Gwendolyn Smith Ph.D., expert in biology/conservation and conflict resolution. Gwendolyn has an academic background in both social and bio-chemical sciences. After completing her BSc. in Agriculture, Gwendolyn completed her Master of Science degree in Biotechnology from the University of Texas in the USA. This allows her to understand biological processes and use of natural compounds for income generation. Gwendolyn conducted her doctoral dissertation research on the participatory processes for engaging the Trio indigenous peoples of South Suriname in future REDD+ efforts. Apart from this knowledge, has Gwendolyn more than 12 years experience in participatory processes including facilitation, mediation and negotiation. From 2002-2004, Gwendolyn has led the participatory process for the preparation of Suriname to the ratification of the United Nations Convention of Biological Convention’s Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. In the same period, Gwendolyn was the main negotiator for biosafety, representing Suriname on the international forum. From 2004 to 2012, Gwendolyn has led the Amazon Conservation Team and facilitated and mediated several processes with indigenous peoples of South Suriname, especially in their efforts to engage with private sector companies in infrastructure development and the government on land rights and conservation-related topics. An outcome of such an engagement process are a group of 33 indigenous rangers who work side by side with the government in nature protection in South-Suriname. In 2012, Gwendolyn has joined Attune and successfully designed and facilitated stakeholder engagement for the approval of the Worldbank’s REDD+ readiness proposal for Suriname, which was approved in June 2013. In the last six months, she designed and facilitated the country’s participatory process in preparation for ratifying the Minamata convention on phasing out of the use of mercury, especially in the goldmining sector. And designed the stakeholders engagement plan for the South Suriname proposed protected in South Suriname.

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