In July I had the pleasure of attending the Conservation Leadership Programme’s (CLP) Conservation Management & Leadership Workshop in Makassar, Sulawesi. This two-week training course focuses on topics that are necessary for conservation practitioners, but not typically taught in universities. Thorough seminars and practical sessions with international experts I learned about a variety of subjects, including leadership, project planning and management, behaviour change through education and outreach, communications and media, and best practices of training.
During the workshop I met and shared ideas with 20 rising conservation leaders from around the world. I learned about many new tools and skills, and had the opportunity to reflect on my own conservation leadership strengths. The training was challenging, but also exciting. I feel that I have improved my critical thinking skills, and I enjoyed the process of learning through small group discussions as everybody had the chance to express their own opinions.
One of my most memorable experiences was presenting an overview of our project. This was my first time presenting the project to a audience of researchers and practitioners from around the world. I was nervous, but also enjoyed the experience and received a lot of useful feedback and suggestions. On the final day of the workshop, we were visited by Mr Cristián Samper, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s President and CEO, who shared a motivational story and explained that even small actions can have a significant impact when we truly focus on them.
After the workshop, I wanted to share all that I had learned with the other members of our team. From July 14 to 17 we held a one-week intensive training retreat in Bali, during which I delivered a training programme that I had developed with guidance from the CLP workshop mentors. I was nervous, but the rest of the team were very excited to learn and their enthusiasm increased my confidence.
The training has helped us to identify our personal conservation leadership strengths and to implement our project more efficiently and effectively.
“I have learned how to plan and manage a conservation project in a more structured way, and how to progress from an initial idea, step by step, to achieve a goal”, said Amelia Kumala, Sustainable Fisheries Project Assistant.
“CLP’s Project Planing module provided useful tools to help us identify potential problems and to prioritise which issues to address first. We are also already applying some of the things we learned from the Behavior Change module to help identify key influencers and stakeholders within the local community who can help us to achieve our project’s goals,” explained Vidlia Rosady, Sustainable Fisheries Project Leader.
CLP is a partnership between the Wildlife Conservation Society, Fauna & Flora International, Birdlife International, and BP plc. The programme provides training and support to early career leaders from developing countries who are tackling priority conservation challenges. Over the past 30 years CLP has provided an important career stepping stone for more than 2,600 individuals, while supporting more than 600 conservation projects in over 100 countries.