Katie McCann (IPED 2017) and Daina Ruback (IPED 2017) are currently Arrupe Fellow Interns at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Equator Initiative. The Equator Initiative is a multi-stakeholder platform bringing together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to promote local sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities. The Equator Initiative recognizes the success of local and indigenous initiatives and helps these groups develop the capacity needed to scale up their impact.
As an intern, Katie is currently working on the World Network of Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Land and Sea Managers (WIN) newsletter, which shares opportunities for funding, employment, and action with the Equator Initiative’s network. WIN is a network of indigenous and local community land and sea managers that facilitates sharing of knowledge and best practices in managing ecosystems, protecting the environment, and supporting sustainable livelihoods.
Additionally, she researches and copy-edits case studies of Equator Prize winners which get published and posted in the Equator Initiative’s website. The Equator Prize is an award given biennially in recognition of local sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities. The Equator Prize puts the spotlight on local and indigenous groups for their efforts towards sustainable development. Winners of the Equator Prize for 2015 can be found here.
Meanwhile, Daina has worked closely with the group’s Indigenous Peoples Initiative. She has helped conduct research on the link between indigenous peoples’ land rights and reducing carbon emissions and deforestation. She is also responsible for the management of WIN website and for providing general logistical and administrative support. Along with Katie, Daina supported the planning and preparation for the Equator Prize in 2015 which was held in Paris, France. One of the highlights of their time at the Equator Initiative was participating in a press conference with Alec Baldwin, actor and advocate for the Equator Initiative and its work, who helped to announce the 2015 winners.
The internship with the Equator Initiative is part of Fordham IPED’s Arrupe Fellowship, offered to students with relevant work experience in developing countries and those who wish to pursue a career with nonprofit international relief and development organizations.