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Under the Baobab tree

By on November 15, 2012 in EDGE Fellows, EDGE Updates

As the end of the EDGE Conservation Tools training course draws closer, participant Manish Datta looks back on his experiences during the course and considers how they compare to life back home in Banglasdesh…

Dr Turner photographing frogs

Time is running away! The EDGE Conservation Tools course is nearly over, but it seems like I only arrived yesterday. In the days since I arrived, I have experienced so many things that I have never experienced before. Like snorkeling; I never imagined that things underwater could be so visible – in Bangladesh the turbidity of the water means it’s tough to see even a foot in front of you.

But some things aren’t so different: we also visited Gazi Bay mangrove forest, which is managed by women in the local community. In the forest there was a big baobab tree where the community go to wish for their desires, be that a new job or a wife. People in my country have similar habits and visit a big banyan tree when they have wishes.

Me and my fellow trainees under the baobab tree


Other than the practical work, I have learned a lot about GIS; mark-recapture; camera-trapping; action planning; and, of course, the statistics. I’ve had a fear of statistic my whole life, but in this course it was comparatively easy. Dr. Raj, our statistics teacher, tried his best to make it easy for us. I appreciate all the teaching staff who have been the most sincere I have ever experienced.

The most important things on this course are the simultaneous application of theoretical and practical classes and the opportunity to learn from the experience of others working in my field. Here I really have to mention the amphibian surveying we’re been doing the last few days. While my friend Caleb was capturing the tiniest of frogs (which were released once recorded), I could find nothing throughout the whole survey!!! I’m looking forward to learning these skills, and others, in the days that remain.

The EDGE Conservation Tools training course forms part of the EDGE Fellowship programme – to learn more click HERE