Recently EDGE staff carried out a month long training course in Kenya for our new incoming EDGE fellows for 2014. In this blog new fellow Francoise talks about her experience in Kenya. Keep an eye out for introductory blogs from all our new fellows in the New Year.
If a tree falls in the jungle and there is no one around to hear it fall, has it really fallen? This old proverb illustrates two key aspects of biodiversity conservation: people´s perception and lack of information to decide.
To effectively draw conservation plans -at either, species, habitat or ecosystem level- we need to know about their function, spatial distribution and the level of inter-dependence with other biological units, including local communities. All of these aspects of Conservation Biology were assessed on the Conservation Tools Training Course (CTTC).
The CTTC really enabled us to apply effectively all the techniques needed to make a difference on the conservation of our EDGE species in each of our countries. Practical exercises complemented theory lectures and added a bit of adventure and exercise, like opening holes for the pitfall traps. Luck was with us, during wildlife monitoring and day and night transects, we spotted great animals: Elephants, Baboons, Buffalos, Genets, Giraffes, Zebras, many colourful, beautiful migratory birds, specially the endangered secretary bird (spotted three times!!).
Community interaction, and the diversity of the fellows -aside from the course program and content-, made this trip a personal enriching experience. I learned and discovered new cultures, but above of all, made new friends: the fellows, Becky Shu, James, Diana, Karla and Justine; the ZSL team, Nisha, Carly, Olivia, Becca and Cass; the Camp team from whom we all learned some key swahili words and recipes of delicious Kenyan dishes.
I can hardly wait to get back home to apply all the tools that I learned and to replicate some of the recipes – or at least try to.