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Theo Way Nana: Lawyer and Conservation Management Trainee

  • 10/17/12
  • Theo Way Nana

I'm Theo Way Nana. I was born in the heart of Africa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a country with huge and diverse ecological potential. DRC is the country of the mighty river Congo and of prestigious endemic species like the bonobos, okapi , and the Congo peacock. It is in this country that I spent my youth dreaming of a world that ensures intergenerational equity and one where people are the beneficiaries of natural resource use.

From my youth, I was captivated by the Latin saying, "Dura lex, sed lex," or “The law is harsh, but it is the law,” evoked by a politician in the early days of Congo’s democratization in 1990s. This will led my school and academic curriculum: I got my high school diploma in Latin and Philosophy in 1999, my degree in law in 2005, and my master's degree in international and comparative environmental law in 2011.

My passion for conservation began in university when I decided to do my thesis on the issue of environment and development. I was not understood by my fellow students, who believed that I had addressed a subject that departs from traditional law. Far from being discouraged, however, it strengthened my conviction.

Thanks to this belief, I have been able to work for a Congolese NGO specializing in environmental law and the rights of local communities, called Avocats Verts. After having held the positions of technical assistant and coordinator between 2006 and 2009, I joined AWF Congo Heartland in March 2009. Within AWF, I successfully occupied the position of public participation expert and program officer.

This relevant experience in AWF helped me to strengthen my desire to engage in a career in this sector, and the Conservation Management Training Program (CMTP) meets my long-standing aspirations. CMTP is for me the opportunity to build a solid expertise in the field of conservation in Africa through the pragmatic and unique approach of AWF.

This blog is from our Conservation Management Trainee series. Our trainees will be providing you with updates as they progress on their journeys with AWF. To follow them on their travels, read their blogs.

Theo Way Nana
About the Author

Theo Way Nana is a member of AWF's first class of Conservation Management Trainees. Theo is an environmental lawyer and originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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AWF Blogs bring you to the critical landscapes we work in, where conservation benefits both wildlife and people alike. The blogs are written by our staff - men and women who have dedicated their lives to Africa's wildlife, people and wild lands.