I recently had the honor of participating in the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP), hosted at the Ecologica de Guaipiacu (REGUA), an ecological reserve in the Atlantic Rainforest of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The CLP is an exciting opportunity to learn from experienced people in conservation, and from young people all over the world all passionate about conservation, and working to make a contribution to saving species at risk of extinction. This was an experience of a lifetime and I learned as much as I could.
The CLP is a training workshop designed to build the next generation of conservation leaders, and helps emerging conservation leaders develop their skills and capabilities through support, advice and a series of awards. This two week programme is run by CLP in partnership with Fauna & Flora International, Birdlife International, and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
I was one of four young conservationists to have received full sponsorship from the De Beers Group to attend the CLP, which this year has brought together 17 participants from 13 nationalities. The workshop modules and discussions include topics such as; creative leadership for conservation; project planning and management; communication conservation for behavior change; gender and conservation; and best practices for training.
One of the two requirements for participants after the training course is to replicate this training with their teams in their organization on a project that they will implement upon returning back home. My project for CCF will be centered around understanding African wild dog populations in the Eastern Communal Conservancies of the Okakarara District, and how this knowledge could be used to design and implement environmental education programmes in schools as well as in communities.