(Fathima) Bushra Zaheer

Master of Arts in Global Governance, 2023

Bushra Zaheer (she/her) received her Honours Bachelor of Arts (co-op) degree specializing in International Development Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). She has a keen interest in environmental justice applied through furthering decolonial, Indigenous-led, migrant-sensitive climate policy. Through her co-op placement, she contributed to the application of Biocultural Community Protocols outlining the land and resource rights of Indigenous communities in South Africa and Botswana. Notably, she contributed to the final stages of the Khoikhoi people’s Rooibos BCP, which acts as a complementary policy guide to the world-first industry-wide Rooibos Benefit Sharing Agreement. Upon graduating, she worked as a Research Support Officer for IMPACT Canada where she provided bilingual report writing and data visualization support for initiatives tackling natural resource mismanagement in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Ivory Coast. Most recently, she was a Policy Coordinator at Youth Climate Lab (YCL) where she assisted in developing policy tools included in the Northern Youth Infiltration Manual and other domestic and international climate policy efforts. Additionally, she lead the design of how YCL can “widen the tent” to make policy spaces more accessible, particularly to Indigenous youth across so-called Canada. Currently, Bushra is the Project Lead of the Knowledge Equity Lab’s Open Science and Decolonization of Knowledge (OSDOK) project. In this role, she is putting together a report synthesizing key themes that arose in a webinar consultation series hosted by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO to discuss the decolonization of open science. This report will also make key context-specific suggestions to influence UNESCO’s latest Recommendations on Open Science. These experiences have led Bushra to further her education in climate policy and governance through the MA of Global Governance program.


  • Balsillie Graduate Fellowship (2021)
  • Dean’s Honour List (2015-2020)
  • Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship (2018)
  • Filosa Family International Development Studies Placement Scholarship (2018)
  • UTSC International Development Conference Research Competition (2nd place) (2017)
  • UTSC Undergraduate Research Forum (finalist) (2017)
  • Carleton University Institute of African Studies Undergraduate Research Conference (3rd place) (2017)
  • Serendib Youth Canada Leadership Scholarship (2016)
  • Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association Scholarship (2016)

Select Publications

  • Zaheer, F. (2020). A Closer look at Climate Induced Migration from Seven African Nations to Seven OECD Nations. Nokoko (8), 33-47.
  • Bossou, B., Fey, L., Githaiga, C., Jansen, L., Lassen, B., Rasolojaona, J., Zaheer, F. (2018). Community Protocols in Africa: Lessons learned for ABS implementation. Publication presented at the 2018 United Nations Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity (COP 14), Egypt.
  • Zaheer F. (2017, October). Finding Home: A tale of two Sri Lankan female migrants. Pathways (1)1, 84-89.


  • Honors Bachelor of Arts, International Development Studies Co-operative Specialist Program, University of Toronto Scarborough, 2015-2020
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