The ISE Interim Board is pleased to let the members know that we were successful in securing a new 17-month grant from The Christensen Fund (TCF). The timing of this grant (May 2011-September 2012) will carry the ISE through the next Congress in May 2012 and allow the necessary time for continuation of our three program areas, an institutional review, and diversification of the funding base for the Society.

The interim Board is working closely with the ISE Coordinator and Council of Elders to carry out a full institutional review of the Society. This includes a detailed assessment of the ISE Constitution, clarification of the intent behind the ISE vision, an evaluation and elaboration of both the composition and roles of the Board (elected and appointed), and development of a detailed description of the role of the Coordinator and decision-making in relation to (changing) Board members. Recommendations will be brought to the ISE membership in advance of the 2012 ISE Congress and will be voted on through an online system, so that our growing membership will all have the opportunity to vote, regardless of attendance at the Congress.

Over the next year and a half, the Interim Board and ISE Coordinator will work with the ISE Council of Elders and members at large to accomplish a number of important goals.  Given the events of last year it is imperative for the present Board to identify weaknesses and propose changes (through the institutional review process) to the Society’s institutional framework to increase our adaptive capacity to support the ISE’s core activities. The Coordinator will also be working to extend the information sharing tools available to ISE members through an expanded online network.

We are also continuing our commitment (made in 2008) to review and revise or affirm the ISE Code of Ethics.  This effort honours our commitment to a living document that continues to provide timely and forward-thinking ethical guidance to ISE members and contributions to international policy development and implementation (read more about the ethics program). Following on the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) by ISE members during the 2010 General Assembly, we propose that the 2012 Indigenous Forum explore how the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) can be broadened into actionable steps. The Director and members of the Global Coalition for Biocultural Diversity are currently developing this idea further (read more about the Global Coalition).

Continuing the ISE’s support of ethical research practices and involvement of local communities in ISE activities, we have secured funding for 1 Field Fellow, 2 small grants, 1 PhD Fellow and 2 Masters Fellows through the Darrell Posey Fellowship Program (read more about the 2011-2013 awards). This program directly addresses the ISE’s goals and positively and profoundly impacts Indigenous and local communities around the world.  Through the new institutional fellowships for graduate students, and the 2nd pre-Congress Workshop for Emerging Ethnobiologists, we are actively working to foster a new generation of leaders within the discipline of Ethnobiology

Finally, we will provide travel grants that enable representatives from Indigenous, local and traditional communities to participate in the 2012 ISE Congress and related workshops.

The long-term desired outcomes from this Board term are continued and innovative adaptation of the Society to respond to the needs of our members and meet our operating and program costs, which will enable us to continue pursuing our vision.  By increasing the reach of the Society and strengthening meaningful networks among our members, we increase the capacity of our global community to harness the information, insight, and diverse perspectives needed to find workable solutions to today’s pressing environmental and social challenges related to biocultural diversity at local, regional and global scales.

We look forward to and welcome all members as active participants in the above activities, and look forward to sharing our progress with you as we move toward the next ISE Congress in Montpellier, France (May 2012).


Dave Stephenson, Interim President

Jack Miller, Interim Vice President

Leslie Main Johnson, Interim Secretary

Rajindra Puri, Interim Treasurer