Governance and Rights

Kristen Walker - Chair of IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy

Kirsten Walker Photo: Expertise: Biodiversity, climate change, sustainable development, social policy, indigenous peoples and communities, rights based approaches, social safeguards and equity, gender, livelihoods and protected areas

Language: English, Spanish
Location: United States of America   


Chair of IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) since 2016, Kristen provides institutional leadership and comprehensive technical assistance on a range of international policy and social issues. The commission promotes research and policies to balance nature conservation with socioeconomic and cultural concerns.

Throughout her career, Kristen has led efforts in the conservation community to engage indigenous peoples and local communities more effectively in conservation through a human rights-based approach.  In 2003, Kristen created the Indigenous and Traditional Peoples Program to consolidate Conservation International’s work with key community partners, as well as to strengthen the collective capacity of indigenous and traditional peoples and CI to achieve mutual goals.

Kristen led efforts to form the Conservation Initiative on Human Rights - improve the practice of conservation by promoting integration of human rights in conservation policy and practice. She is the author of the book "Indigenous Peoples and Conservation: From Rights to Resource Management," drawn from her years of experience working with indigenous peoples.

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