Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative

In April 2006 YSE launched the Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI)—http://elti.yale.edu—thanks to a generous grant from the Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. ELTI’s mission is to cultivate the capacity of people from all sectors and backgrounds to restore and conserve tropical forest landscapes using strategies that support biodiversity and livelihoods. Through complementary, applied, and action-oriented training and follow-up leadership support, ELTI strives to accelerate on-the-ground conservation and restoration actions with the people who depend upon and govern tropical forest landscapes. ELTI’s training program includes place-based, experiential field courses with partners in five primary countries and online courses based out of YSE for a global audience. To date, ELTI has trained more than 5,000 leaders around the globe through more than 200 training events. The ELTI team has also facilitated 323 events with alumni of ELTI courses, who include farmers, practitioners, and decision makers in tropical forest landscapes, as part of ELTI’s effort to facilitate application of knowledge learned.

ELTI’s programs are implemented via partnerships with more than 20 organizations located in tropical countries around the globe, including universities, research institutes, government ministries, NGOs, and community organizations. The field programs are anchored in training landscapes with partners in Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Indonesia, and the Philippines, which enable ELTI to offer short courses for different audiences on a range of themes. The online program is global in reach and includes intensive and interactive short courses lasting six to eight weeks, as well as a yearlong certificate program open to a global audience. The field courses are taught in local languages, and several online courses are available in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Indonesian. YSE faculty participate in teaching ELTI courses, and ELTI’s student internship program provides a unique opportunity for YSE students to develop and implement capacity development courses and materials. Students can also take YSE seminars taught by ELTI team members, as well as conduct field research in ELTI’s training landscapes on natural and social science themes.