St. John’s Antigua- The Caribbean Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders (C-EWCL) programme is a mechanism that gives up-and-coming conservation professionals an opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills, under the tutelage of well-respected experts in various fields.
Much of the work done by the EAG requires expertise in a number of different areas. On-the-job training is always a good way to learn but, alas, not the most efficient. Hence, formal training becomes imperative for ensuring that we make the best use of donor funds and of time. We have been very fortunate over many years to be recipients of field and other training that was facilitated by various project partners. However, over time, we aim to stand on our own feet in terms of developing some of the expertise needed to advance our conservation and other work and to help others as well.
The C-EWCL programme offers a two-year training opportunity where participants work in teams to develop, implement and evaluate a wildlife conservation project in the Caribbean. Conservation experts will guide their path and provide one-on-one mentoring and networking opportunities. Participants will be able to improve their skills in leadership, media awareness, successful campaigning, partnering with the private sector, public speaking, project monitoring and evaluation, and fundraising and development. Other themes to be covered include Adaptive Management Systems, Human Dimensions in Conservation, Climate Change and Wildlife Conservation, and Caribbean Regional Funding Mechanisms.
The 2012-2014 programme will be divided into three training sessions, the first of which is being held in Antigua from April 30 to May 4 at Hawksbill Hotel. The second, mid-programme, session will be in the form of an online webinar, while the last will see participants re-convene for another four-day training session, project presentations and a graduation.
Beth Allgood of C-EWCL and International Fund for Animal Welfare reasoned that such training programmes are of key importance to ensure that there are Caribbean professionals who are adequately prepared to continue conservation work once the current crop of experts retire.
The 2012 participants come from a wide variety of backgrounds and hail from Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Panama, and Trinidad & Tobago.
The EAG is very proud to have our very own Natalya Lawrence be the Antigua & Barbuda representative. Natalya joined the EAG in late 2010 when she took up the position of Project Coordinator of the Offshore Islands Conservation Programme. With a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business Administration and little formal initial knowledge of environmental conservation issues, she has grown into the position quickly and proficiently. Having taken advantage of a number of local and international training opportunities along the way, Natalya is on her way to becoming one of the future conservation leaders of Antigua & Barbuda and of the Caribbean.
Natalya’s job involves a range of activities, including planning and coordination of: educational programmes for children that highlight various aspects of the environment; wildlife (for example, reptiles, birds and rodents) monitoring; vegetation mapping; stakeholder meetings; public awareness campaigns; and managing of budgets and of human resources. Her participation in the C-EWCL programme will expose her to tools for improving her expertise and for gaining new ones.
For information on future C-EWCL training opportunities, visit http://wildlifeleaders.org/. The EWCL programme is sponsored by White Oak Conservation Center, Wildlife Conservation Network, US Fish & Wildlife Service, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Bat Conservation International.