Building on the need to give early-career conservationists a voice, WildHub established their Conservation Catalyst Programme in 2021. Conservation Catalysts are our early-career community members who catalyse the sharing of ideas, problems and solutions, and lessons learned by teaming up with other conservationists. In the 2021 pilot, we had five participants across three countries (US, UK and Tanzania). In 2022, our programme expanded with twenty participants across fourteen different countries (Botswana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon, USA, India, UK, Australia and Canada). We also recruited six WildHub coaches and together we developed a Conservation Catalyst interview checklist, shared Coach best practices and enjoyed Coach training by professional life coach and WildHub member Ross Rowe. All in all, it has been an incredible journey so far. Let’s hear from some of the participants how their journey has been to date.
Meet Temitope. Master student during the day, WildHub content writer & designer of amazing graphics at night (see her contributions here)!
Temitope (Temi) is Nigerian-born and an advocate of sustainable forest and nature management with over four years of experience. She holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Technology in (Forestry and Wood), from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria. Temi is currently enrolled for her master’s degree in Conservation Biology at the University of Cape Town South Africa.
To celebrate Temi's WildHub contributions and celebrate her status as a Core Community member, we decided to switch roles and interview her to find out more about her experience.
Temi, what has the process been like for you, being a Conservation Catalyst programme participant?
Temi: Working with an expert like Jim Barborak to publish my first lessons learned post “Understanding Capacity Building beyond individual training” makes me feel great. Aside from the sense of connection and belonging that I feel in the Wildhub community, it has also allowed me to benefit from Jim's wealth of experience in capacity building in the conservation field, as well as gain insight into his career journey. It inspires me to do more."
"You won't realise how simple it is until you take the first step toward publication. What I like best about the process is the communication and engagement. We had to agree on a suitable time zone and the use of the Wildhub community video panel, which Jim was unaware of. I have enjoyed the entire process. Asking questions made it easier. I was able to get answers to all of my concerns thanks to the support of my WildHub coach, Carolyn Rosevelt, and WildHub Community Manager, Thirza. Carolyn also assisted me in reviewing the contribution."
Temi, having published four lessons learned contributions already, you're our champion of the Conservation Catalyst programme 2022! Congrats on becoming a WildHub Core Community member and hopefully we can celebrate your status as Conservation Catalyst soon too, after you have published your sixth lessons learned contribution!
Temi’s other publications feature:
- African youth perspectives on the World Forestry Congress and a career in Forestry, featuring several forestry students, early career, and professionals who attended this year’s World Forestry Congress held in Seoul, Republic of Korea in May 2022.
- Lessons Learned from Conservation Projects in Africa: A case study of Gorongosa National Park (GNP) Mozambique, based on her interview with Larissa Sousa, Associate Director for Communications Department, GNP.
- The Link between Cultural Practices and Conservation: Lessons learned, featuring WildHub member Adyasha Nayak, a community-based conservationist and former Research Assistant at the Wildlife Institute of India.
Meet Marrian, MSc Ecology student and mum during the day, WildHub podcast host in the little free time she has!
Marrian Tendai Rwizi has been a biology teacher in Zimbabwe for the past eight years and she is currently transitioning from teaching into the field of Ecology and Conservation. To that purpose, she started a MSc in Ecology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
To celebrate Marrian's status as a Core Community member, we decided to switch roles and interview her to find out more about her Conservation Catalyst journey.
Marrian, How does it feel to have published your first lessons learned post in collaboration with an expert WildHub member? "I felt so amazed, to me it was like a game changer! I pictured myself having my own TV conservation channel, interviewing experts in conservation around the world. However it also takes willingness to participate from the person being interviewed. I really enjoyed interviewing Brian Heppenstall about the wide gap for young men and women, especially in African developing countries, to become wildlife conservationists and ecologists."
Marrian: The Conservation Catalyst programme is very important because you get to share information that may be of greater importance to others in the field of conservation.
I cannot say I came across a major challenge in this process because I am comfortable in expressing myself through talking. Maybe it's because of my teaching experience which made me become confident, and I like it! However, being new to the process, It was a bit difficult in finding a suitable title for the interview. My WildHub coach, Carolyn, helped me in constructing a suitable topic/headline. In my next piece I intend to have a panel discussion with different experts on the topics of zoonotic diseases, conservation and climate change. Can we say that these three have a relationship? We can see the emergence of monkeypox for example. I hope to do a live broadcast! See you in my next episode!”
Listen to Marrian’s podcast “A Hunger Games analogy to entering the conservation field” here.
Marrian, congrats on becoming a WildHub Core Community member & thank you for sharing your experience thus far, the WildHub community appreciates you!
Meet Fai! Researcher in the “last true wilderness” in Cameroon during the day, writer for WildHub at night!
Fai Collins Ndi is a biodiversity conservationist from Cameroon who recently completed a Professional MSc in Biodiversity Conservation and Management from the University of Bamenda, Cameroon. Fai works to engage communities around protected areas in the North West Region of Cameroon in alternative livelihood activities in order to reduce stress on biodiversity. With the ongoing socio-political conflict in these regions, it has made any conservation activities difficult. Nevertheless, Fai perseveres by continuing the work as an independent researcher and focusing his further studies on forest elephants.
Fai recently completed an excellent interview with Esther Serem who works as Community Outreach Manager at Save the Elephants, an organisation dedicated to Human-Elephant conflict mitigation. The contribution is titled “Insights into mitigating Human-Elephant Conflicts”. We asked Fai to share some reflections about his journey.
Fai, what has your journey as a participant to our Conservation Catalyst programme been like so far?
Fai: I feel great and happy to have succeeded in publishing my first lessons learned contribution in collaboration with an expert. Before subscribing to the WildHub community, I never knew it could be this beneficial, as it hosts experts from all over the world who have answers to most, if not all, of our questions and know about many other opportunities in conservation. I have been following various posts on WildHub and I would never regret being a member."
"At first, I thought the journey was very daunting because I didn’t put in effort to manoeuvre the different options on the WildHub platform. But with the help of the WildHub team, I could do it, even when I could only devote little time to it. In my next piece, I would love to focus on caecilian conservation!”
Thanks, Fai, for sharing your experience with us, the WildHub community appreciates all that you do! Congrats on becoming a WildHub Core Community member and we look forward to reading/listening to your next contribution!
Conservation Catalysts are our Core Community members who catalyse the sharing of lessons learned by teaming up with other conservationists. Would you like to join our Conservation Catalyst programme? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.