Yale Partners

As an initiative of Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI) supports the efforts of people to design and implement an array of land use practices and initiatives that conserve and restore tropical forests and native tree cover in human-dominated landscapes that are rich in biodiversity. ELTI provides policy makers, community representatives, indigenous leaders, and other key actors with the knowledge, tools, skills, and contacts to advance the protection and management of these systems.

The Forests Dialogue (TFD) was created in 1998 to provide international leaders in the forest sector with an ongoing, multi-stakeholder dialogue (MSD) platform and process focused on developing mutual trust, a shared understanding, and collaborative solutions to challenges in achieving sustainable forest management and forest conservation around the world. TFD has its own fellowship program, but applicants are encouraged to apply for co-funding from TFD and TRI.

The western area of Ecuador is one of the places in the world where biodiversity is at highest risk. More than 95% of semi-deciduous forests and wetlands of the central and southern parts of the coast have disappeared because the climate and soils of these areas are particularly suitable for intensive agriculture. Forest patches outside protected areas are especially at risk, as well as being virtually unknown and undocumented. It is vital that these forests are studied, samples are collected, and conservation efforts are made.

The Sri Lanka Program in Forest Conservation is dedicated to understanding and developing technologies around rain forest conservation and community development in and around the Sinharaja World Heritage Site and Man and the Biosphere Reserve in southwest Sri Lanka.

Runa Foundation is a US-based 501c3 that works closely with its commercial partner, Runa LLC, to develop new value chains of plant-based products in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon. To date, Runa has created an entirely new supply chain and market for Ilex Guayusa, an Amazonian caffeinated tea leaf. Guayusa-based products can be found in over 5,000 points of sale in the US and Canada. Runa Foundation currently works with 2,300 indigenous farming families in the Ecuadorian Amazon who produce guayusa to implement organic and Fair Trade certified farming practices to increase yields, build capacity for farmers’ cooperative management, and develop public policies that promote sustainable agriculture in the region.

Dr. Eduardo Fernandez-Duque (Professor, Department of Anthropology and School of Forestry and Environmental Studies) is pleased to invite students to participate in research conducted at either of the two field sites where he works in South America. Dr. Fernandez-Duque’s research examines the ecology and evolution of monogamous social systems in non-human primates. Over the years, and in collaboration with Dr. Anthony Di Fiore (Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin), Dr. Fernandez-Duque has developed a program focused on three genera of socially monogamous primates (titis, sakis and owl monkeys) that inhabit the tropical forests of the Ecuadorian Amazon and the subtropical gallery forests of the Argentinean Chaco.