This week Catherine Head and Camellia Williams begin work on developing a coral reef training course supported by the Vodafone World of Difference Foundation. Catherine and Camellia are among 500 people across the UK who won the opportunity to work at their chosen charity for two months and they will use this time to develop material for a course that will provide EDGE Fellows with the skills and tools they will need to monitor and conserve coral reefs in their own countries.
The EDGE Fellows programme trains, supports and mentors early career conservationists in the research and conservation of EDGE species such as the long-eared jerboa and slender loris. With the launch of the EDGE Coral Reefs project earlier this year the Fellows programme is being expanded to include in-country early career coral reef scientists and conservationists who will focus conservation research on 10 focal EDGE coral species to inform the conservation of these species and their local reefs.
Although the training course is still in the early stages of planning it is hoped that the first course will run this year in the Indo-Pacific followed by further regional courses in the Caribbean and East Africa. Half a billion people across the world depend on coral reefs for food and their livelihoods and with 75% of coral reefs threatened by over-fishing, pollution, coastal development and thermal stress there is great need for to increase capacity for coral reef conservation.
You can follow the progress Catherine and Camellia make on their Vodafone World of Difference blogs:
If you would like to support the EDGE Coral Reefs training programme or our EDGE Fellows you can find out more about supporting EDGE here.