Having just being hired to work as a marine conservationist, the EDGE coral reef training course is the most suitable course to equip myself with all the skills that are required as a marine conservationist. I used to think that to be a marine conservationist, all you need to have is a great deal of passion and patience. Thanks to ZSL, now I know what it really takes to be a successful and sound marine conservationist. According to David Smith, one needs to be an ecologist come biologist come anthropologist come sociologist come chemist and physicist. The journey of a marine conservationist will not be a bed of roses, however, the satisfaction that will be acquired is worth.
Workshops on monitoring techniques, conservation action planning and research techniques and strategies by Catherine Head and David Smith were really helpful for my job. The contents were informative, useful and new; hence allowing me to applied this new knowledge when planning my work back in Malaysia.
A visit to the Bajo community at Sampela was an eye opener. This is the first time I had been to a water village where houses were built on stilt or on dead coral directly over the water. It was interesting to talk with the local communities, listening to their view on why fishing stock is reducing and how they adapt to reduced fishing stock as fishing is their main source of income.
The part that I love the most about this training course is acquiring valuable hands-on experiences! After each lecture, a related fieldwork and discussion was conducted. What a better way to enhance the knowledge gained in class than to put it in practice.
I would like to express my gratitude to ZSL for giving me the privilege to join the EDGE coral reef training course. The knowledge and experiences that I gained are so precious! Special thank to Catherine Head for all the hassles that she had to go through to make the training course possible. I would also like to thank David Smith, Bert Hoeksema and Catherine Head in sharing their valuable knowledge. Thank you very much!