Today I read the Audubon article on Jali Makawa. And it hits home.

I am an environmental professional. I’ve been collecting scientific data for about 20 years in the Bahamas and the experience is vastly different depending on the person and organizations I have worked for.

I have had researchers push me to publish work I thought was not worthy. Immense support.

I have been included as an author on several papers for my contributions as a local expert.

I have had my organization tell me to work to identify species for independent contractors working for the Government. Then my name or our organization was not even mentioned in the report.

The acknowledgment of the contribution of local people must go further. They should be involved from the beginning in planning and implementing research aims, disseminating results and making the decisions that affect our communities.