Antoinette Royo

Nonette actively bridges indigenous peoples and local community actors, their governments and institutions in key ecosystems, including forest, agroforest landscapes, in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. She provides support to strong national groups, focusing on land rights and land tenure recognition options as a condition without which policy and practice in natural resource management by indigenous peoples and local communities efforts will diminish. At the Land Tenure Facility, Nonette is leading a team of fifteen to generate more financial and technical support to community-led actions for sustainable solutions. Amid threats of landscape conversion and devastation, Nonette is inspiring action.

In her free time, she continues to connect and actively advise online with the Samdhana Institute at her birthplace in Cagayan de Oro, Northern Mindanao, Philippines. She is a fellow with the Samdhana Institute working with local facilitators with the Indigenous Peoples/local communities, linking them with key foundations and technical partner NGOs and Universities. They combine teaching, research, and extension in a robust inquiry into education for sustainable development, working in a ridge to reef landscape involving the last remaining forests of Mindanao. Here, watersheds feed key aquifers and rivers, flowing into Macajalar Bay, which bursts with beautiful and endemic marine life.

Her greatest challenge remains working with effective global finance, whilst ensuring local ownership and stakeholder decision-making. She works towards keeping a balance between human rights and interests of millions of poor people living within protected areas or key environmental corridors not only in the Philippines and Indonesia, but within Southeast Asia. She also continues to learn from experiences in Latin America and Africa in the context of resistant, cash strapped governments and a semi accountable private sector. This becomes doubly difficult when reliable science and good legal recourse are not readily available.

As a Donella Meadows Fellow, the practice of personal mastery, coupled with a system’s thinking in and coaching, led Nonette to accept the challenge of leading the Tenure Facility, which work with International Funders and Governments to support Indigenous Peoples and local communities to do what they do best to protect the environment by securing their land rights. Building upon local community initiatives, assets, and innovations in the last remaining forest corridors is a work of art and a labor of true love and commitment.

Updated January 2020.