The Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative

In April 2006 the Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI)——was launched, thanks to a generous grant from the Arcadia Fund. For the execution of the project, F&ES has partnered with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama and the National University of Singapore (NUS), as well as a range of other in-country partners. ELTI’s mission is to enhance environmental management and leadership capacity in the tropics by offering cutting-edge learning, leadership, and networking opportunities aimed at improving efforts to conserve and restore tropical forests, native tree cover, and ecological integrity in human-dominated landscapes. Through complementary, applied, action-oriented training and leadership-building activities, ELTI aims to promote and affect on-the-ground conservation and restoration actions.

ELTI was created to strengthen the conservation and restoration of tropical forests in Asia and the Neotropics by offering field-based and online training courses, as well as workshops, conferences, and symposia, to policy makers, natural resource practitioners, community members, and other key actors in these regions. Focal countries with long-term field-based training and research programs include Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Panama, and the Philippines. The goal is to provide participants with the knowledge, tools, skills, and networking opportunities to advance the conservation and restoration of forests and biodiversity. Alumni of ELTI’s training events also are able to participate in ELTI’s Leadership Program, which supports their efforts to share and apply what they learn during an ELTI course and provides opportunities for further professional and personal development. ELTI involves faculty, staff, and students from F&ES and research scientists from STRI in various aspects of the program, as well as scientists, practitioners, and land managers in the countries where ELTI works.