The Magic of Caux

07/06/2019
CDLS Jennifer Helgeson portrait

As one of the founding members of the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security, Dr Jennifer Helgeson remembers the excitement of its earliest stages. After moving from the UK to the USA, her direct involvement with running the CDLS has decreased, but she remains a huge advocate of the programme. She continues to act as IofC’s liaison to the United Nations Climate Change conference and to participate in the CDLS.

What makes the Dialogue special for Jenn is Caux’s unique model. She speaks proudly of the fact that the CDLS centres on the human connections that underlie the projects, science and mission shared by those involved. Throughout her career in disaster risk and natural hazard reduction, Jennifer has been continually touched by the extent to which human connections are the catalyst for real action.

As one of the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security’s initiators, Jennifer has experienced  the conference both as a member of the planning team and as a participant. She has been heartened to meet people from around the globe who share similar concerns. Their answers are unique to the location and needs of their communities, yet are transferable to the lived realities of others. Jenn says,‘The spirit of the CDLS is magical. It is elating to spend days with people striving to solve the issues I am also working to solve with innovative methods and genuinely good intentions!’

She has given informal advice on the behavioural economic elements of land restoration projects born out of the CDLS. Techniques and research approaches learned at the CDLS have affected her world view and how she conducts her professional work.

What’s more, Jennifer has co-edited a book on land degradation, Land Restoration: Reclaiming Landscapes for a Sustainable Future. She conceived and worked on the project with other members of the CDLS, including Martin Frick and Ilan Chabay.

 

CDLS Jennifer Helgeson
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