Written by Vikram Aditya
I was fortunate to receive a Future Conservationist Award in 2014 from the Conservation Leadership Programme(CLP) for my PhD research on the impacts of land cover change on mammal diversity and distribution patterns in the Papikonda National Park, located in the northern Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh. The CLP is a partnership of three organizations, BirdLife International, Fauna and Flora International and the Wildlife Conservation Society, which works to advance biodiversity conservation globally by building the leadership capabilities of early-career researchers and conservation practitioners from developing countries.
The Barrier Lake Lookout
All grantees were invited to a two week Conservation Management and Leadership Training Workshop, held annually at the Barrier Lake Field Station near Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. This training offered participants a range of multi-disciplinary skills and conservation methodologies that they can apply to various situations in their current and future conservation related work. The workshop was divided into modules on project planning, behaviour change and media as well as sessions on leadership, climate change, fundraising and gender in conservation, accompanied by field visits and treks inside Banff National Park. A number of group activities and discussions helped in refining project ideas. Resource persons from Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Conservation International, BirdLife International and other institutions were also involved. A number of resources such as books on conservation project planning and management were provided.
Going beyond being a grant programme, the CLP provides a range of awards, training and mentoring support to its members through an active international network of practitioners. Established in 1985, the CLP has supported thousands of individuals aiming to address conservation priorities at their local levels. Some of the achievements of the CLP network include the discovery of new species, the designation of new protected areas, and the creation of mechanisms for long-term conservation.
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