CGIAR Gender News

Empowering women through sustainable wildlife management: Meet Kim Spencer

wildlife trees Photo: Axel Fassio/CIFOR

When Kim Spencer, an Indigenous woman in Guyana’s isolated South Rupununi region, was 16 years old, she joined the South Rupununi Conservation Society (SRCS), a local grassroots conservation group. 

One of Spencer’s first experiences with SRCS was serving as a field assistant to a female PhD researcher, who inspired her to continue building understanding of the unique local ecosystems – and what’s required to safeguard them for future generations.

Spencer didn’t plan on becoming a teacher. But due to limited educational and employment opportunities, the following year she found herself teaching mathematics at the local Sand Creek Secondary School, with a class of over 30 students between the ages of 12 and 15.