top of page


A primary goal of the ICA is to build capacity in the area of inclusive conservation,  Indigenous-led conservation, and community-led conservation amongst Indigenous Peoples, local communities, as well as with conservation NGOs, government, donors, academia, and the private sector.

In 2021, Tribal Link Foundation, in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), led four regional consultations on Indigenous Peoples, local communities, inclusive conservation, and the possible co-creation of an Inclusive Conservation Academy (ICA). Implementing the recommendations presented at the close of the consultations, an Indigenous-led, global steering committee was formed and established the ICA in 2022. 

About: About Us


An Indigenous-led Coordination Body

Mona Polanca


Mona Polacca is an educator and facilitator whose special interest in older people and youth and has led or participated in many effective initiatives related to Indigenous water issues and culturally appropriate health treatments for Native Americans.  She is the founder, President/CEO and faculty member of the Turtle Island Project, a non-profit program dedicated to promoting a vision of wellness and providing trans-cultural training to individuals, families, and healthcare professionals. Mona is also a founding member of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, which is an alliance of Indigenous women from around the world who are upholding, preserving, and protecting Indigenous practices and ceremonies, including the right to use the earth-based medicines.  She is currently a Senior Fellow of the Center for Earth Ethics, a non-profit organization based in New York City.

Carson Kiburo.jpg


Indigenous of the Endorois and a community organizer who works on Indigenous Peoples rights, youth empowerment, and global governance. Co-founder and executive director of Jamii Asilia Centre—Indigenous-led non-profit focusing on climate change, biodiversity, agropastoralism and their nexus in intergenerational knowledge systems sharing. Carson studies law at Kabarak University in Kenya.



Tai Pelli (Guainia Taíno, Borikén) is an Indigenous Human Rights, Environmental, Treaty, and Indigenous Rights Advocate at international, national and local levels. Tai Pelli serves as Human Rights and International Relations Officer of the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP). She cofounded the Caribbean Amerindian Development Organization (CADO). She is a member of the Executive Board of Directors of the International Indian Treaty Council, the first Indigenous organization to receive General Consultative Status by UN ECOSOC. Tai is a writer, speaker and researcher who promotes the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples globally and remains outspoken on the environmental violence and health impacts in the Caribbean, particularly the archipelago of Borikén (Puerto Rico), food sovereignty and Indigenous Peoples’ rights. She proactively participates, advocates and presents at various UN fora, as well as other international mechanisms and platforms.



Dr. Yolanda Terán Maigua (Kichwa, Ecuador) earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy at the College of Education at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque, NM, USA. In 2016 Dr. Terán received the recognition of The House of Representatives of the State of New Mexico for her pioneer achievements at local, national, and international levels on issues of Indigenous education, languages, culture, Indigenous research, Indigenous Peoples human rights, and women and children rights.  In 2015 she was nominated by the Department of Native American Studies at UNM for the Luminaria Award offered by the Division of Equity and Inclusion of the University of New Mexico, the United States. She is the Education Coordinator of the Indigenous Women’s Network on Biodiversity for Latin America and the Caribbean (RMIB-LAC). Currently she is teaching at the Department of Native American Studies and the Honors College at UNM 



Sachem Hawk Storm, a hereditary sachem (chief) of the Schaghticoke People, is a fierce advocate for the rights of his people, the Schaghticoke, as well as other Indigenous Peoples in the Northeast U.S. region and beyond. His work focuses on cultural heritage, education, ecosystem restoration, and Tribal sovereignty.  Sachem Hawk Storm promotes the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, through the lens of economic and social development, cultural preservation, water and food sovereignty, and environmental justice. He works in close partnership with various Indigenous-led and non-indigenous entities and helped lead People's Climate marches in 2014 and 2017 as well as the Native Nations Rise March in 2017.



Marvin has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management from the University of Belize. He focused his undergraduate studies in avian community structure in two of Belize’s protected areas. His work experience with the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance in Bonaire, has honed his networking, coordination, and communication skills in nature conservation and management. His conservation work experiences in Belize have been in project management, working alongside community-based organizations to improve their forest governance and conservation management skills. As Operations Director at Ya’axché, Marvin is committed to an integrated forest management approach in the Maya Golden Landscape, linking the community outreach and livelihoods, protected areas management and biodiversity conservation programmatic areas.



Dr. Roberto “Mukaro Agüeibaná” Borrero (Guainía Taíno), honoris causa, offers a broad range of experience including public programming, cultural arts promotion, policy development, capacity building, and non-profit management. A former radio host and producer for WBAI Pacifica Radio’s “Circle of Red Nations”,  Borrero has over a decade of professional experience as a Senior Programs Coordinator for Public Programs in the Education Department of the American Museum of Natural History. A cultural consultant and advisor, he has shared his expertise in various capacities within the United Nations system, as well as with other prestigious non-profit and for-profit entities locally, nationally, and internationally. Borrero has an A.A. in Communications, a B.A. in Cultural Studies, and in 2013, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate Degree, Philosophy in Humanities, from Kayiwa International University in Kampala, Uganda. Borrero is also the co-designer and a lead trainer of Project Access Global Capacity Building Workshop for Indigenous Peoples.

About: Staff


About: Staff
Screenshot 2023-02-21 at 5.56.29 PM.png


Sushil Raj is the Executive Director of the Rights & Communities Program for WCS. Some of his previous experiences were with the World Food Program USA; The Fund for Global Human Rights; the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, among others. He recently served as the Asia Pacific Member of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.

bottom of page