Caroline Seagle, facing camera, cropped.jpg

Caroline Seagle

IUCN Regional Councilor Candidate

North America and the Caribbean


Having worked on development in academic and non-governmental environments, I am committed to understanding the often-complex relationship between global discourses and local realities of sustainability, land-based livelihoods and heritage. I am a PhD candidate in anthropology focusing on foreign large-scale land acquisitions sparked by large-scale mining and conservation in Madagascar (joint appointment by VU University Amsterdam and McGill University). My research critically examines corporate engagements in biodiversity conservation, offsetting and sustainability.

I have a strong interest in the politics of human-environment interactions, environmental justice and corporate engagements in biodiversity conservation. My work fits within CEESP's Theme on Governance, Equity and Rights (TGER) and debates surrounding local land rights and heritage.

I speak English and French and have worked, studied and/or carried out research in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Madagascar, which has led me to development contacts and a global network of scholars, activists and non-governmental practitioners working on conservation and development.

I have volunteered and done field research for various grassroots NGOs in Africa, all focused on environmental conservation and development. I currently serve as Vice President to the We Women Foundation, a Dutch NGO working on the rights of female refugees in Burma. During and prior to my BA studies, I served as President of a human rights club called ‘AWARE’ and participated actively in a youth network, ‘montréalensemble’, striving to increase awareness about climate change and the Kyoto Protocol in Montréal, Québec.

As IUCN Regional Councillor I will address the following…

IUCN Programme (2013-16)

Drawing upon my current PhD research and field experience in Madagascar, particularly environmental justice issues surrounding mining and conservation, I will position myself in the Programme, to be adopted in Jeju, by highlighting the importance of supporting rights-based approaches to conservation and land governance in and beyond North America and the Caribbean, and in doing so support initiatives such as the Whakatane Mechanism. I will promote the meaningful consideration of equity and cultural use-values in biodiversity conservation initiatives, social impacts of the ‘green economy’ and reflection on non-economic [intangible] land and livelihood valuations.

I aim to help mediate between different stakeholder groups to find sustainable solutions to pressing environmental issues facing IUCN, paying special attention to the role of youth and women in voicing their concerns at the policy table; in this process, I will advocate an integrative approach which considers multiple perspectives and bridges academic research, policy and action.

Youth Leadership

I will highlight and promote the added value of including youth in broader IUCN debates, by improving communication and understanding between different age groups and advocating for better intergenerational exchanges, focusing on inclusion, equity and collaborative decision-making. Youth play an important role in shaping development thought and practice, and have much to offer in terms of informing policy debates and taking meaningful action.

As a young scholar, I will promote and strengthen youth participation within the IUCN by supporting youth-related motions at Jeju (Motions 008 and 132) and working closely with the Task Force on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability (IPS), CEESP Youth Leadership Team and young professionals networks across Commissions, the Secretariat, and Member Organizations. I will advocate lower costs of membership for youthorganizations and promote the establishment of a youth internship programme within IUCN. Furthermore, I will support the formalization of the Intergenerational Task Force within IUCN.

Serving as IUCN Regional Councilor would be both an incredible learning experience as a young scholar with a long-time passion for IUCN issues such as climate change, biodiversity conservation, poverty, and development, but also a welcome challenge; I am committed to fulfilling the roles and responsibilities of Regional Councilor to the best of my abilities, networking with youth to make their voices more heard, and paying close attention to social-environmental issues facing North American region specifically but also abroad.

I look forward to meeting more representatives of IUCN Member Organizations leading up to and during the World Conservation Congress in South Korea to hear your perspectives and to discuss the above ideas further. Thank you for your consideration and support!

Selected draft IUCN Motions that I support: 008, 132, 055, 124, 128, 130, 138