I recently started working for the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in its Conservation Management Training Program (CMTP). As with many of my previous travels, I have decided to blog about it: firstly, to reassure my mother that I am still alive, and secondly, so that anyone who is interested can get an idea of what I’m up to.
The CMTP is brand new. The thinking behind it is that the hiring and training process can be lengthy and tricky, especially when it comes to finding qualified people who can do conservation work in Africa. It makes more sense, therefore, to train up promising young people within AWF and then assign them to suitable jobs as they come up. If they stay within AWF, then great; if not, then this is fulfilling part of AWF’s long-standing capacity building mission.
The positions last two years and over that time, the aim is to allow us to experience as much as is humanly possible, from enterprise to ecology to the political minefield of land rights. With any luck by the end of it, we will have a deep understanding of all the techniques used by AWF. As the aim is to have all these different thematic areas synergizing, this broad education will hopefully build qualified staff who can bring it all together to make it really work well in the field.
Anyhow, that’s the grand idea. In more practical terms, what we will be doing is spending three months at the HQ in Nairobi until they are sick of our incessant questions. Then, we will be sent off to AWF’s various Heartlands to pester the good people there. The program is somewhat flexible; however, the thinking is that we will have three six-month placements followed by a winding-down period at the end. But enough about the project—this blog is going to be about the more interesting things that I get up to. Stay tuned for more.
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.
Sam came to the AWF Conservation Management Training Program from London. He received a master's degree in conservation science and served as a research and development manager for Frontier —working on wildlife corridors, land-use plans, and large mammals. Sam spent his childhood exploring the woods in England and France, and he continues to pursue any opportunity to have an adventure.
AWF Blogs bring you to the African Heartlands, 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.