Rachelle Bong A Jan
Rachelle Bong A Jan BSc. carries a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from the Anton the Kom University of Suriname. She is currently enrolled in the postgraduate MSc program ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean’ at the University of the West Indies and conducted her research thesis on Biodiversity Use by Traditional Communities early this year. Rachelle has coordinated and implemented agricultural projects and workshops in the interior of Suriname aimed at strengthening Indigenous women’s skills to improve their traditional livelihoods and secure food security needs. Additionally, she has facilitated the establishment of a corps of Indigenous Park Guards stemming from several Trio and Wayana Indigenous communities located in Southern Suriname, which carry responsibility for the conservation and protection of Indigenous Protected Areas. Through execution of these long standing projects with Indigenous farmers and Park Guards, Rachelle has generated extensive experience with multi-stakeholder participatory processes that ultimately seek balance between realizing sustainable development for local communities while taking care to wisely manage the biodiversity and ecosystems which these communities so strongly depend upon for their subsistence.