—The application period for the ISE Travel Grants is now closed—

Recognition of the central role of indigenous peoples in all global, regional, and local processes is a founding element of the ISE. Supporting and promoting the critical efforts of Indigenous peoples, traditional societies, and local communities in the conservation of biological, cultural and linguistic diversity has been the priority since the ISE’s inception in 1988.

Building on the traditions of past ISE congresses, the 13th ISE Congress will bring together indigenous and non-indigenous participants from around the world to tackle the key issues of our times, such as community-conserved areas and food sovereignty. The congress will include a wide range of formats for people to share their knowledge, ideas and experiences, ranging from talking circles, to film viewings and discussions, cultural performances, field trips, oral presentations and poster sessions. The congress is intended to be highly interactive and participatory and to foster a commitment by participants to building understanding and trust.

The overarching theme of the 13th Congress is Cultural diversity and biological diversity for sustainable development: Exploring the past to build the future. The main keywords upon which we would like to draw the Congress topics are the following: biocultural interactions, coupled human and ecological systems, historical ecology, cultural landscapes, and socio-ecological resilience.

In preparation for this congress, to be held in Montpellier, France from 20-25 May 2012, the ISE is announcing a Call for travel grant applications to support contributions from indigenous peoples and local/traditional communities as follows:

Proposals for travel grant applications to support individual contributions will ideally fall within one of the sub-themes of the 13th congress:

  1. Local products: Interactions between rural and urban environments
  2. Agrodiversity: Interactions between past and contemporary agricultural practices
  3. Land use legacies: Interactions between past knowledge and contemporary practices
  4. Co-learning processes in ethnobiological research: Interactions between researchers, local actors, and other stakeholders
  5. Sustainable development: Interactions between traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and environmental norms/policies
  6. Advocacy: Interactions between ethnobiologists and the media

Read more details about these themes. Contributions that do not fall within one of the 6 sub-themes are also welcome.

Additionally, an Indigenous Forum will be an integral part of the 13th Congress. This dedicated Forum during the congress will have facilitated gatherings, as well as “open space” with the intention to allow a diverse group of people to deal with complex and potentially conflicting material in innovative and productive ways. The Forum will run as a parallel stream during the Congress, culminating in a plenary session on the last day when recommendations will be shared with all Congress participants. The proposed focus for the 2012 Indigenous Forum will explore how the UN Declaration for Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) can be broadened into actionable steps. Travel grant applicants are encouraged to participate in the Indigenous Forum. If you would like to propose a contribution (including, but not limited to storytelling, round table, demonstration, film, or poster) or a discussion topic that you would like to lead as part of the Indigenous Forum, please indicate this in your proposal.

Support available:
A limited number of travel bursaries (typically up to $2000 USD per participant) are available to off­set direct expenses (transportation, hotel, meals, registration) for attending the 13th ISE Congress in France. Bursaries above $2000 USD will be considered only with justified financial need and when other funds are not reasonably available. In the event that only partial funding can be provided, the applicants will be contacted to see if their participation will still be possible.

Note that travel should be based on the most economical options. It is recommended that international travel be booked into one of the main airport hubs, with transport to Montpellier scheduled by train. The Congress organizers will provide accommodations within the Montpellier community; additional expenses for food and incidentals are estimated at $40 USD per day.

Support is available for indigenous and local people who are members of the ISE and involved in ethnobiology at the community or grassroots level. Both new and renewing ISE members are eligible. Not an ISE member yet? Join now!

Criteria considered by the Selection Committee include:

  • Strength of the personal statement
  • Strength of the proposed contribution
  • How well the contribution fits into either the Congress themes or the Indigenous Forum
  • Geographic distribution of award recipients
  • Financial need, including lack of access to other sources of funding
  • Demonstrated interest and commitment to the vision and work of the ISE and the ISE Code of Ethics
  • Plans for sharing information from the Congress with local communities
  • Commitment to sharing a few paragraphs (or more) on their experience(s) at the Congress for use on the ISE website and in the special Congress Issue of the ISE Newsletter

While these considerations will serve as guidelines to steer the Selection Committee review of requests, the Committee will assess each individual request in the context of current priorities, existing commitments and the ongoing viability of the travel grant fund.

Submission requirements:

Personal Information

  • Name of applicant and affiliation(e.g., tribe, nation, institution, or other affiliation)
  • Job or occupation of the applicant
  • A short statement of the candidate’s interests and connection to ethnobiology
  • Description of financial need and the itemized amount requested
  • If possible, also provide a letter of support from your tribal or community group

Information about the proposed contribution

  • A title
  • An abstract or description, in 500 words or less
  • The preferred format of your contribution (talking circle, storytelling, presentation, poster, film, demonstration, etc.)
  • Any special audio visual or other equipment you will need (e.g., Power Point, sound system for music, wireless microphone or other specialized equipment)
  • Please indicate which congress theme your contribution fits in. Please read the congress themes carefully. If it does not fit within a congress theme, please describe how it contributes to the congress overall
  • Please indicate if you are willing to contribute to the congress proceedings (if appropriate for the format of your contribution). For example, a paper, a video or recording of your performance or demonstration (we will work with you to record it), a digital copy of your poster
  • Electronic submissions sent by email must contain your name in the file name, e.g., John_Smith_contribution.doc or Maria_Cruz_Gomez_abstract.doc.

The deadline to submit proposals is 14 October 2011.

Successful applicants will be notified by 4 November 2011 and are asked to confirm acceptance of financial support and initiate travel plans by 18 November 2011. Note that financial support may be forfeited if acceptance is not confirmed by the date specified.

Please send proposals to Natasha Duarte .