Strategic skills for conservation leaders

The long-term success of the conservation movement hinges on equipping a critical mass of future conservation leaders with the strategic skills needed to ensure effective action in our continuing efforts to halt and reverse global biodiversity loss.

Launched in October 2010, the University of Cambridge’s Masters in Conservation Leadership trains its students to address the challenges of biodiversity conservation in an integrated and interdisciplinary manner, by focusing on an understanding of the root causes of ecosystem change and biodiversity loss.

The full-time, 11-month course features a unique and innovative learning experience based around world-class teaching by 60 staff drawn from across the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, of which Fauna & Flora International (FFI) was a founding member. This collaboration between six academic departments at the University of Cambridge and nine conservation organisations is based in the refurbished David Attenborough Building, at the intellectual heart of Cambridge.

The masters has a dedicated teaching room within the building, which ensures that the students have constant access to some of the world’s leading conservation researchers and practitioners. A number of FFI staff teach on the course, and we have been integrally involved in its design and evolution.

The taught section of the course, which places particular emphasis on conservation management, leadership and innovation, is followed by a professional placement with one of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative partners, which exposes students to some of the practical realities and everyday challenges faced by conservation professionals.

Students are drawn from countries throughout the entire world and – thanks to the generous support of our donors – FFI is able to offer three to four scholarships annually to successful applicants from developing countries.

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