Community Exchanges

GDF creates platforms to share strategies, knowledge and practical skills for organising community. Our events help forge connections and collaborations among community professionals and practitioners to tackle social and environmental challenges creatively, constructively and fairly.

We have organised a Community Exchange in the Mediterranean in 2019, two in Europe in 2017 and 2022 and three in North America in 2013, 2015 and 2017. 

This community exchange gathered herbalists and community organisers at different stages of their journey in the creation and coordination of community-based herbal health initiatives in order to build a European network of mutual support and learning. The event was organised in two parts: (Part 1) a series of six-monthly two-hour workshops that began on 23 March 2022, and (Part 2) an in-person event held 21-25 September in Ireland.

In October 2019, GDF and IUCN-Mediterranean hosted the partners of the Alliance for Mediterranean Nature and Culture for a Community Exchange on Biocultural Diversity Monitoring. The event focused around exchanges of experiences, collective discussions and reflections on how to integrate biological and cultural diversity in monitoring while learning about the tools and approaches used by project partners. A video of the event is available on Youtube.

The first European Community Exchange, held from 23 – 27 September 2017, was uniquely designed for members of the European community working on issues surrounding seeds, gathering the important work carried out on different fronts. The interactive sessions promoted the sharing of ideas and exchange of lessons, leading to the co-creation of a unified plan for future coordination on a European scale.

This exchange, held in February 2017 on the theme “Collaborating for Change: Strategies for the Protection of Biocultural Landscapes” provided a training, networking and discussion space for Indigenous community leaders in northwestern Mexico, in a context of rapid climate change and at a moment when adaptive community capacity to confront biocultural threats is crucial.

NACELE 2015 was held at the Montréal Botanical Garden from 18 – 22 June 2015. Drawing from its location, the workshop carried the theme “Nourishing Relations: People, Plants and Place” and was designed to broaden and deepen participants’ knowledge, networking and communication skills through peer-to-peer exchange of cases and strategies, site visits to innovative tribal and collaborative initiatives and skill-building opportunities. Indigenous environmental practitioners, scholars and activists from North American Native Nations shared insights and challenges from their work on wellbeing, connecting health, sovereignty and biocultural diversity.

Led by Global Diversity Foundation under the auspices of the Global Environments Network in partnership with The Cultural Conservancy, NACELE 2013 convened dynamic Indigenous leaders from North America to discuss ongoing actions to protect and restore lands, waters and traditional foodways, and through these, culture and sovereignty.