I’ve just come back from the 2010 International Congress for Conservation Biology in Edmonton, Canada. I thought it would be good to tweet and blog my way through on topics that catch my attention. This is my third post from the conference, and a full conference ‘assessment’ post will follow in a few days.
I haven’t been a member of the Society for Conservation Biology for a very long time, and I’ve only now attended three annual meetings of the Society. I’ve been somewhat lukewarm about the social events at these conferences in the past, but this time I had much better experience.
After a less-than-inspiring barbecue meal and a general under-abundance of ethanol-based social lubricant, someone in our group whispered that we should ‘crash’ a party being held ‘secretly’ back at the conference venue. I had heard around the traps that the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) bashes were good, but I hadn’t attended one before. Well, not only was it a bloody good party, I’ve learned a little more about the programme and the kinds of people it promotes.
The Conservation Leadership Programme is a partnership endeavour between Conservation International, Wildlife Conservation Society, BirdLife International and Fauna & Flora International (The Programme is also sponsored, rather ironically, by BP). The CLP’s stated mandate is to “…promote the development of future biodiversity conservation leaders by providing a range of awards, training and mentoring support via an active international network of practitioners”. Bit of a mouthful, but after speaking with that conservation legend, Thomas Brooks (formerly of Conservation International, now working for Nature Serve), about the programme, I now understand what it’s all about.
In a nutshell, the CLP funds clever people from developing nations (mainly in South America, Africa and Asia) to do good, practical and necessary conservation research. The party at the conference was for the recent (and I suppose some past) awardees of CLP grants, and it was to many of these that I spoke. Above the roar of the mainly Latino beats (why is it that a party with more than two South Americans always ends up [happily] being a salsa fiesta?), I learned of some of the good work being done by these people. Some examples include:
- Assessing Human Impacts on Threatened Freshwater Cetaceans in Bangladesh
- Conservation of the Critically Endangered Frog, Conraua derooi, in Ghana
- Angola’s Central Scarp Forests: Threatened Bird Habitats and Human Impacts
- The Effect of Fragmentation and Climate Change on Amphibian Assemblage in the South Western Ghats, India
- Conservation Assessment of Amphibians in Tama Bi-National Park, Colombia-Venezuela
- Strengthening Vulture Safe Zones in Nawalparasi, Nepal
- Survey of Three Potential Important Bird Areas in Collaboration with Students in Uzbekistan
- Status and Ecology of the Sokoke Pipit in Zaraninge Forest, Tanzania
I’m not going to go into too much detail because the CLP website is informative enough. Suffice it to say that after talking with Tom, I think the CLP could be a very good source of top-notch conservation biology students that I will most definitely be looking into. To me the CLP could act as a pre-selection filter for some of the hottest young conservation science PhD candidates in the world, and I would encourage my colleagues to check out the annual crop.