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A Filipino-style welcome for the new EDGE Fellows

By on March 29, 2016 in EDGE Updates

This year’s EDGE Conservation Tools course was held at Gawahon Eco-Park on the island of Negros, Philippines. This month long course is designed to equip early-career conservationists working on EDGE species with the tools to become successful conservation leaders. This rigorous training ensures that the EDGE Fellows gain the scientific grounding and practical experience to plan and implement their Fellowship projects and make a significant contribution to the conservation of their focal species. Eigh t new EDGE Fellows successfully completed the course and will now begin their conservation projects focussing on priority EDGE species. Here’s what they had to say about their upcoming EDGE Fellowships and the Conservation Tools course…

 18. Graduation


My passion for the beautiful coral reefs has always been my motivation to work in conservation. By attending the Conservation Tools course, it equipped me with more scientific survey methods, mapping and statistical training, and strategic and financial planning. It also gave me the opportunity to be with a bunch of crazy scientists for a month!” – Choo Poh Leem, Malaysia, mushroom corals (Lithophyllon ranjithi and Heliofungia actiniformis)



ZSL’s EDGE fellowship is very good platform for promising conservationist of developing countries who are working on Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered species. It was my wish to be a part of this exciting fellowship program. I really enjoyed the entire Tools course. It was fantastic to spend one month with like-minded people from different countries and cultures. The course was well-designed and the presenters were excellent!” – Jyotendra Jyu Thakuri, Nepal, Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis)


K.R. Danjugan (49)

I want to be a scientifically well-trained expert in the near future and use my knowledge to help advocate for the environment and its species. I enjoyed the Marine week of the Conservation Tools course the most, as of course I’m in the marine group!”  Ezgi Saydam, Turkey, Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus)



I initially thought the EDGE Fellowship would provide me with a  grant for my project. However, after attending the EDGE Conservation Tools course, I learnt that being an EDGE fellow is about more than just a grant. It is also about experiencing professional development as a conservation biologist and networking with other like-minded professionals from around the world.”  Daniel Solomon Okena, Papua New Guinea, eastern long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bartoni)



I hope to be a role model to younger, aspiring scientists by imparting the knowledge and skills gained to them through my time as an EDGE Fellow. I loved the work ethic and strict time schedules during the Tools Course, because I was made to be conscious of respecting time…while in Africa our norm is “there is no hurry”!” – Bernard Amakobe, Kenya, Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius)



My EDGE Fellowship will provide me with skills and expertise for conservation, in addition to the training I received during the EDGE Conservation Tools course. The thing that I most enjoyed during the course was the opportunity to meet great people who are experienced in the conservation of different, interesting animals.” – Rafael Alejandro Calzada Arciniega, Mexico, granular salamander (Ambystoma granulosum)



BasheerK.R. Danjugan (38)

I want to help and conserve the two vulnerable species of coral that are present in Maldives, and conserve the pristine coral reefs in my country, with the help of the Maldivian people. The EDGE Conservation Tools course was amazingly informative and helpful. Living with participants from different countries sharing their knowledge and culture was the best part of the course!” – Ahmed Basheer, Maldives, pearl bubble coral (Physogyra lichtensteini) & elephant skin coral (Pachyseris rugosa)


“I applied for the EDGE Fellowship because I knew that it would be a first big challenge for an early-career conservationist. I enjoyed everything about the EDGE Conservation Tools course but the most rewarding part was interacting with new friends who are like-minded, and enthusiastic about working for conservation.” – Withoon Sodsai, Thailand, Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica)