Stakeholder Engagement for Wildlife Conservation

Learn effective and ethical stakeholder engagement processes applicable to any conservation project.
Stakeholder Engagement for Wildlife Conservation

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We have a few remaining bursary places left to fill. To apply for a full or partial bursary for this course, click here.

Who is this for? Conservation professionals, early career starters and career-switchers. So far, we have trained nearly 1,500 conservationists from 91 countries, working for organisations such as the Worldwide Fund for Nature, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Wildlife Trusts. You can see all of our graduates here.

When is it? 9th May - 13th June 2023 (5 weeks, 3.5 hours learning/week)

What will I learn? This training workshop has been developed with input from experienced practitioners to help conservationists engage effectively with the right stakeholders.

You will learn how to:

•    Apply key principles to ensure you engage with stakeholders effectively and ethically
•    Select stakeholders that are right for your project
•    Initiate the relationship to build trust and understanding
•    Formalise the relationship to set expectations
•    Manage the relationship to progress the project and adapt to changing conditions.

Find out more about what you'll learn by clicking on the manual below:

What will my learning experience be like? 

You will learn through:

  • Pre-recorded videos sent out each week for you to learn from in your own time
  • Live expert-led sessions every Tuesday, starting on 16th May. 2 live session times available (10.30am or 5.30pm GMT) to fit your schedule
  • If you miss a live session you can still watch it in your own time later on
  • A multiple-choice exam to help you focus your learning efforts and assess your own ability. On passing the exam you will get a certificate to show others (e.g. managers or potential employers) that you have attained this skill.

How much does it cost? The full cost is £220/person but there are bursaries available. To apply, simply complete this form.

How do I sign up? Click on this link.

The beautiful cover image was taken by Harshil Gudka.

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Go to the profile of Carolyn J Henri
about 1 year ago

I am curious to know how well this course acknowledges and directly addresses the decolonization of interactions with local stakeholders. 

Go to the profile of Matt Barker
about 1 year ago

Hi Carolyn,

This is a great question on such an important subject. It's one of the leading principles of our Stakeholder Engagement course. If you'd like more information on this subject and our course, we have a free PDF that you can download outlining all of the best practices of stakeholder engagement, which you can find here.


Go to the profile of Carolyn J Henri
about 1 year ago

I hardly think calling people what they want to be called is sufficient treatment of the decolonizing conservation issue (pg. 14 in the stakeholder engagement manual).  I don't really have the time to explain to you what a decolonizing approach to conservation is, but if WildTeams is going to work in countries that have a colonial legacy (and most developing countries do), it is your ethical duty to do this right.  It's that important.  It is central to this work. I took the project planning course in March, and there was no mention of decolonization.  I suspect this may be a systemic issue at WildTeams.  You can and should do better.  England and English NGOs need to get this right, considering the long colonial legacy.

Go to the profile of Adam Barlow
about 1 year ago

Hi Carolyn,

I feel like you have spotted something important that can help us do better - but I can't yet understand what it is from what you have said. Anything further you could add would be most appreciated and I would like to continue this conversation here and talk about any faults we may have and how to fix them. But if you don't have time I totally understand. In case you do, here is some more info on our approach to this important issue, o that you may better advise us on how we can do things better.

Knowledge/experience base: In the last year I have been learning about decolonisation of conservation from the available literature but I do not have a lived experience on what it is like to be a conservationist in/from a country with a colonial history. Because of this lack of lived experience we decided that we could not very well address this issue on our current team's knowledge/experience base so we looked for and were lucky enough to recruit a trustee with such knowledge and experience to help guide us on what we do to address this issue. However, we recognize we have a lot more to learn in this area. 

Values/approach: As a team our passion is to provide our training and community support to those that want it but cannot access it for cost or other reasons. We recognise that conservationists from countries with a colonial past face additional internal and external systemic barriers to their career progression and have less opportunities to be involved in and lead conservation efforts. That is why we are actively seeking out such conservationists to provide them with full training bursaries and peer-to-peer community support. In essence we want to help empower these conservationists so that they have the means to lead /decide upon conservation efforts in their countries. Because we are focused on supporting these conservationists in this way, we are focusing our conservation fundraising efforts on that to make it possible. Having said all that, despite what we think we are doing right we may well have unconscious biases that influence how we see and tackle this problem.

Language: I am aware that stakeholder is an offensive term for some groups and why it is offensive. For that reason I was keen to find another, more acceptable term. But the best I could find was "interested parties" but it seems this term is so rarely used or understood that using it would create barriers for conservationists wanting to find, use, and talk about the skill set we are offering in this area. If there is a better and widely used term that we can use I would be grateful to hear suggestions. There may also be other instances in how we talk about conservation (e.g. "conservation" itself being a loaded term for some groups) that is not ideal.

Overall, from my understanding, it seems like the sector is in a transition phase between how conservation was carried out in the past to how it will be carried out in the future in a more equitable and inclusive way. While in this transition period we are trying to do our small part to help speed that along with the resources we have available. We may be good, bad or somewhere in between about how we are approaching that but we are doing our best and we are not complacent. Your message was saying that we need to do more. I totally agree - if you can help guide us on how to do more then we will get there faster. Otherwise please know that we are educating ourselves and getting there as fast as we can in the absence of such guidance and in the absence of complete solutions to the various problems associated with this topic. 


Go to the profile of Judith Njoka
about 1 year ago

Has the training start? I haven't gotten any communication

Go to the profile of Matt Barker
about 1 year ago

Hi Judith,

If you've already booked on to our Stakeholder Engagement course, week 1 materials will be sent out later today. You should have also received a welcome email, which may have gone into your spam folder. If there's anything I can help you with, you can reach out to me by emailing


Go to the profile of Léa Kaplani
about 1 year ago

Hi @Judith Njoka - I sent it yesterday. Let me know if you haven't received it.