Connect and learn about the attendees at the inaugural

Women and the Environment Conference!

Note that not all attendees choose to share their profiles.

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Sarah Otterstrom

Founder & Executive Director

Paso Pacifico

Ventura

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What key words best describe your hope for the future?

shared prosperity, climate change resilience, o

Describe what are you working on in the field of climate change, environmental protection, environmental justice or social impact.

I am working to advance women as leaders in environmental stewardship in Central America. I do this in my role as founder and executive director of the non-profit conservation organization Paso Pacifico. At Paso Pacifico, we provide training and investments to Nicaraguan women who work in tourism, farming and fisheries. We ensure that these women have the opportunity to learn and grow personally and to serve as leaders in their communities. Over the past decade, more than one hundred women we support have saved tens of thousands of sea turtles, grown and planted hundreds of thousands of native trees, and have improved their livelihoods through small businesses in tourism and sustainable aquaculture. We also invest in educational opportunities for children through our Junior Ranger program which provides a culturally appropriate and science-based environmental curriculum to girls and boys. Our new goal is to develop career training in tourism and resource management so that these youth may transition into jobs that sustain economies and the environment. Paso Pacifico is one of the few conservation NGOs in the Central American region led by women.

How might other W&E conference attendees be able to support your work, goals or objectives?

We look forward to sharing with other W&E conference attendees. We are interested to learn from programs on the central coast and beyond to learn how they have strengthened women and their role as leaders on environmental issues. We also seek to learn from attendees who have been able to reverse situations of social and environmental injustice related to pollution and resource depletion, particularly where women and children are most impacted. Finally, we would like to find new opportunities for partnerships to strengthen our work in Ventura, CA and our programs in Central America.

What are you able and willing to contribute to other attendees at the conference to support their work, goals or objectives?

I am personally and professionally committed to biodiversity conservation and to addressing climate change. I have a strong conviction that women must and will lead the path forward. I have spent the past 20 years working with women who live in conditions of extreme poverty that exists in parallel with degraded environments and through this work have learned many lessons. As a PhD in Ecology with an emphasis on Human Ecology I have a theoretical foundation in cultural anthropology and ecological science. As an Ashoka Fellow, I use my creativity and entrepreneurship to move this important effort forward. I hope to connect with other attendees and to share my knowledge and experience where it is needed. Most importantly, I want to connect with other women and men who work on these issues so that we may exchange words of encouragements and build solidarity.

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