Emerging Caribbean wildlife conservation leaders attend first training session

Class members included individuals from a wide variety of not-for-profit, private and government organizations.Earlier this month, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted the first training session of the Caribbean Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders (C-EWCL) class in Antigua. The 17 participants, representing 13 countries in the Caribbean and Central American Caribbean coast, are up-and-coming leaders in the wildlife conservation field. Class members included individuals from a wide variety of not-for-profit, private and government organizations.

The training was the launch of a two-year course for these participants, who will continue to plan, implement and evaluate four regional wildlife conservation projects under the guidance of the C-EWCL Advisory Board. The projects will benefit whales, sea turtles and the St. Vincent parrot, as well as assist in stopping illegal wildlife trade in the region.

C-EWCL will train participants in leadership and campaigning skills, while facilitating networking and mentoring in addition to conservation projects that benefit imperiled wildlife in the region.

The C-EWCL initiative will also serve to strengthen IFAW’s overall ties in the Caribbean—a region that is critical for biodiversity conservation, combating illegal wildlife trade and stopping the commercial hunting of whales.

Over the next two years the participants will continue to work on their conservation projects, come together for a virtual training in 2013 and another in-person training session in 2014, and explore opportunities for professional networking and personal growth.

As C-EWCL Director, I have found this program to be profoundly inspirational and fulfilling. Not only are these young, enthusiastic individuals acquiring the skill sets they need to be tomorrow’s conservation leaders, but they are also working together to facilitate tangible on-the-ground conservation projects that benefit imperiled wildlife in a region that has an exceptionally rich array of biodiversity.

I look forward to working with them over the next two years. 


I encourage those who are interested in finding out more about the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program to visit our website.

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Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation