For over twenty years, QLF has directed exchange programs between conservation leaders from the Middle East and North America. Program Alumni now represent leading environmental organizations across the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf States. A central theme of the program is using the environment as a bridge to mutual understanding, allowing for cooperative conservation across geographies, political boundaries, cultural frameworks, and socioeconomic borders.
Gulf of Honduras
QLF’s Gulf-to-Gulf Conservation Exchange Program seeks to share models for stewardship of natural resources and cultural heritage across the Western Hemisphere. Building on two decades of programs in-region, a current focus is on the Gulf of Honduras: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and southern Yucatan (Mexico), and an exchange on marine and coastal conservation in the Gulf of Maine.
A core element of the program is a Fellowship that brings Latin American and Caribbean practitioners together with their counterparts in New England to exchange innovations and experience, and to develop new strategies for meeting conservation challenges. The theme of the 2016 Fellowship Program is Conservation and Stewardship, with an emphasis on collaborative management and other techniques to involve diverse stakeholders in conservation and resource management, with a particular focus on coastal and inshore marine issues.
QLF held the first Southeast Asia Conservation Exchange Program (July 2014) designed to share knowledge, expertise, skills, resources, and training on land conservation and forest stewardship. Despite our different geographies (U.S. and Vietnam), both countries share conservation challenges. Prior to the program and reported by QLF President Larry Morris, Vietnamese conservation leaders – faced with daunting hurdles in implementing plans for forest protection and biodiversity conservation – indicated a strong interest in tapping QLF’s knowledge of stewardship approaches of parks and protected areas; and exploring principles in large landscape conservation.
Based on positive feedback and the evaluation of program Fellows, QLF is in the process of designing and implementing a second Southeast Asia Program in New England. Over time, Program Staff will seek to expand the program’s geography across Southeast Asia.