Transform conservation by transferring expertise
More than 30 companies have registered to attend the Earth Skills Network business lunch to find out how business expertise can help protected area staff to safeguard the world's most precious natural resources.
Protected areas offer a lifeline to some of the most precious and threatened places on earth. Yet there is evidence from the IUCN that as many as 40 per cent of these sites are ineffectively managed, failing to meet minimum management standards and potentially leading to ineffective conservation.
Lack of staff training in business planning and other key business skills is a significant contributing factor to this.
The Earth Skills Network addresses this gap by bringing together experienced corporate business mentors with managers from protected areas worldwide in a "mentor-mentee" relationship designed around the transfer of key business skills.
Earthwatch has successfully run this programme with Shell for five years. Highlights include:
- $25,000 per year of cost savings were identified at Atsinanana Forest in Madagascar.
- Mentees at Lake Turkana in Kenya ran an "ecotourism tour" to demonstrate to the local community how ecotourism could benefit them.
- Marojejy Forest in Madagascar changed their planning cycle from 1 to 4 years and developed a plan for attracting further funding from research.
- Shirley, a mentee from Malaysia, launched a working group to get another national park gazetted as a UNESCO site, as well as developing a detailed marketing plan.
- Mentees at Atsinanana Forest in Madagascar ran a community forum to find alternative incomes to replace illegal logging. They also secured space in local hotels for the sale of community crafts and products.
Kishore Rao, Director of the World Heritage Centre, had this to say about the Earth Skills Network: “In a world where an MBA is considered a pre-requisite to managing any private sector company, it seems odd that management training is not readily available to those looking after some of the planet’s most precious wilderness areas.
"I am delighted that this unique collaboration is building the expertise of the custodians of our natural heritage."
Earthwatch has organized a free Business Lunch for March 13 at HSBC in Canary Wharf from 12.15pm – 1.45pm. You will hear from mentors and mentees, and have the opportunity to explore the impacts this programme will have on conservation, the sustainability of your business and your employees.