Astrid Forero holds a Law degree from the University UPTC in Colombia, complemented by a specialization in Environmental Management. She furthered her education with studies on Climate and Energy Challenges at Harvard University. As a specialist in GHG emissions, Astrid holds a coveted Carbon Footprint Auditor Diploma from AENOR. Over the years, Astrid has worked as a lawyer defending the environment and communities in regional areas, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to environmental causes. As a co-founder and member of the Colegio de Abogados Ambientalistas de Boyaca, she has actively participated in legal actions to protect nature. Astrid has collaborated with NGOs, contributing her legal expertise to various environmental topics. Currently serving as the Director of CES Environmental Solutions, Astrid leads a dedicated team in developing and implementing initiatives aimed at protecting and restoring nature, reflecting her unwavering dedication to environmental stewardship.
Andrew Aijuka is an experienced Video Journalist and documentary filmmaker with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in broadcast, Television production, Radio and Podcast Production, and Feature Films. He has a Diploma in Journalism and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication/Media Studies and Journalism from Uganda Technology And Management University.
Andrew reports on water and biodiversity stories at Water Journalist Africa under InfoNile and serve as a groundwater correspondent for the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre.
Born in Montreal, Dominique Paul is a multidisciplinary artist. She has both a studio and a performance practice, integrating interactive technologies and creating exoskeletons for the body and for images, to address social issues such as increasing inequalities, environmental injustice and the decline of biodiversity. In 2022, she is leading a collaborative spoken word performance with 150 teenagers where each participant will create a structure to become one of the 150 animal species at risk in Quebec.
While studying for her master’s degree in Sydney, Australia (UNSW, 2000), she was invited to present her research at Barnard College (Columbia University), New York City. She was enthralled by the city and has been sojourning there ever since, witnessing the gentrification and exodus of many artist friends, a fact that inspired her performance practice in the public space. Since 2012, she was awarded multiple grants for residencies and long stays, exhibiting and participating in over twenty events such as UnHomeless NYC, Kingsborough Art Museum, and Mapping Life, NJCU Visual Arts Gallery, and presenting videos at 10 Times Square and at Miyako Yoshinaga gallery where she is represented. Her work was featured in HuffPost, Time Out, New York: The Cut, Art Slant, SFAQ, Photograph and Whitehot Magazine.
In Europe, she exhibited mainly in France’s Lyon area (museums, an art centre and gallery) and at the Paris Photo Art Fair. She took part in two international exhibitions in China: the Beijing Art Biennale and Montreal Contemporary Art, Shanghai. In 2023, she will have a solo exhibition at the Art Museum of the Americas, in Washington, D.C., where her artworks are part of the collection as well as the Smithsonian Institution’s. In 2019, she published an essay with L’Harmattan, Paris, updating her doctoral thesis (UQAM, 2009).
Madina Amin Hussein
Madina Amin Hussein is the founder and Executive Director of Global Nature Conservation. She founded the organization with an initiative to promote environmental conservation in Northern Kenya, empower women and girls in dry lands of Kenya through nature-based enterprises, restore degraded ecosystems and to advocate for protection of indigenous species in order to prevent their extinction. Madina holds Bachelor of Arts in Education from Mount Kenya University and is currently pursuing Master’s of Arts in Development Studies. She is an award-winning environmentalist, Zuri award honoree, Gender Just Climate Solutions Award honoree and heroine in forest conservation.
Ginette Riopelle is an energy consultant. She holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and is a member of l’Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. Aside from working in the field of energy efficiency and energy management, she wrote a self-published book titled Nudge for the Planet – A Guide towards a New Worldview and aimed at increasing awareness of the environmental emergency.
Ms. Riopelle has been a member of the Knowledge Network of the United Nations’ Harmony with Nature Program since 2019; In relation to this affiliation, she promotes ecological literacy, which involves developing systems thinking and understanding strategies that strengthen the resilience of natural systems. The application of these strategies to human spheres of activity leads to regenerative practices – such as circular economy, biomimicry, regenerative agriculture and ecological economy – which are more respectful of Nature than current practices, and which have the potential of limiting global warming and biodiversity decline.
Lenka Kruckova is a lawyer specializing in human rights and environmental law. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the Université du Québec à Montréal, and obtained a master’s degree in international law with a specialization in environmental law at the University of Utrecht (Netherlands).
She has been working for several years in the water sector, in particular on water governance and the rights to water and sanitation. This field allows her to combine her expertise on human rights with her passion for the environment. Her career has taken her to work with governments, NGOs, and private actors in various countries to contribute to sustainable resource management and positive environmental impacts.
Since 2018, Lenka has been working at Simavi, a non-governmental organization based in the Netherlands.
With an undergraduate degree in Environmental and Workplace Health, Sokhna Sene has an academic background, combined with field experience that has enabled her to work strongly in environmental protection.
In addition to her work in Health and Workplace Safety risk prevention, she has participated in the drafting of environmental assessment reports, helping Senegalese companies improve their ecological footprint while proposing innovative solutions that respect the environment and the regulations in force in Senegal. She has developed a keen interest in the preservation of water resources, a resource that she considers so precious but also threatened in the future due to climate change. She advocates for a paradigm shift by emphasizing the potential for action and practice of each of us to ensure better sustainable water management.
She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Environment and Sustainable Development, specializing in water management at the Université de Montréal.
Emmett Phil Coriat
Emmett Phil Coriat is the founder of Natural Leadership (www.natureandleadership.com). He is a pharmacist and has been a successful entrepreneur in healthcare innovation for more than 25 years, as a venture capitalist, a CEO/founder of biotech startups and most recently as a partner at AEC Partners, a healthcare strategic advisory boutique firm, where he leads the Healthcare Technological Innovation practice.
After rebounding from a burnout and thriving thanks to Nature, he became a certified Forest Bathing guide. He then spent time with various Earth-based peoples to learn from their relationship with Nature (Kichwas in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Heiltsuk in British Columbia).
Since then, he has dedicated his life to the creation of a Nature connection practice that:
- serves as an antidote to the stress, anxiety and burnout epidemic that our society is facing
- combines all the scientifically demonstrated benefits of Nature
- enables accessibility to all
- caters to the needs and the context of business leaders and their teams
Natural Leadership offers business leaders Nature-inspired programs that restore Wellbeing and enhance Performance for their teams. The programs are based on the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku (sensory immersion in Nature), and draw on more than 900 publications of scientific findings to maximize the benefits of Nature to face the stress, anxiety and burnout epidemic of the 21st century.
After reviewing all the scientific literature about Nature and human health, Emmett Phil has concluded that stress and burnout is in fact a dis-connection epidemic. With urbanization and progress, our dis-connection from the more than human world has led to disease. Other consequences are disconnection from others and from self (or purpose).
Emmett Phil is a member of Biotopnatura (www.biotopnatura.com) and active in the Derechos de los Arbolescampaign which aims to have personhood rights granted to trees in Spain and in the world. He is a council member of the association Nature and Forest Therapy of Canada (NFTC).
Emmett Phil lives in Ayer’s Cliff, Quebec and holds dual Canadian/Spanish nationality.
Clara Juliana Neira
Clara Juliana Neira Rueda is a lawyer at the Industrial University of Santander and a specialist in competition and free trade law at the Pontifical Xavierian University, with subjects from the Master in Political Studies at the National University of Colombia.
For five years, she worked at the Constitutional Court of Colombia, where she drafted judgements for the revision of guardianship related to the protection of the fundamental rights to participation and prior consultation of communities affected by administrative measures and development projects.
She is currently working on her master’s thesis, which compares the legislative reforms and judicial decisions that have determined the conditions for activating, processing and voting in popular consultations on environmental issues in Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.
Having already received her Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University with distinction in Feminist Studies, Émilie Doyon is currently doing her LL.B and J.D. degrees at Université de Montréal. In law, she works as a research assistant for Prof. Miriam Cohen (human rights). Since her first year of law school, Émilie has been involved in her community through the Student Pro Bono Network of Canada, at the small claims court and as a canadian human rights researcher.
In her spare time, Émilie enjoys running, rock climbing, and playing outside.
She is personally invested in the fight for the recognition of human rights and the rights of Nature. Émilie profoundly believes that we are all responsible for creating a just and sustainable world.
Valérie Ivy Hamelin
Leader First Nations Alliance Saint-Lawrence Rivers Project
Valérie Ivy Hamelin is a member of the Micmac community of Gespeg in Gaspésie. She is an activist for the protection of the territory and positions herself as a water carrier. She has collaborated with different organizations for the protection of the environment and with Indigenous communities. She has been an activist for many years for the protection of water, rivers, and the ocean and against the invasion of oil companies on the territory of Gaspésie.
She participated as a panelist at the Forum Against Extractivism in May 2018 in Montreal, offering a panel on the violence experienced by indigenous women in resistance. She was invited to the Global Forum Against Extractivism in South Africa in November 2018, a conference that brought together women from over 60 countries, who are fighting for the protection of their territory.
She is also a multidisciplinary artist, expressing herself on the flute, and by singing, storytelling, indigenous drumming, African percussion, and dance (powow, African and gumboots dance). She has been performing on stage for over 15 years and has recorded 3 albums to date, including Nibi Sisters, an album of indigenous songs and prayers.
Her father was born on the ancestral lands and grew up with the teachings of his mother and grandmother, respecting mother earth. He shared with her his love for Nature and his sacred connection to the land. He taught her medicinal plants, bow hunting and snaring with respect and gratitude.
Valerie is an involved member of her community and the Indigenous community, both militant, cultural and spiritual. She enjoys listening to the stories shared by her Elders and deepening her connection to her culture through singing, drumming and storytelling.
She manages her own company of artistic diffusion in world music, musical animation, music and dance workshops and has been offering make-up services for more than 12 years (www.mosaicultures.com).