Conservation Leadership Programme announces 2014 award winners

The Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) has announced the winners of the 2014 Team Conservation Awards.

Now in its 30th year, competition for the CLP awards was as tough as ever and applications went through several reviews before the selection committee chose 26 projects from 16 countries including, for the first time, the Caribbean islands of Antigua & Barbuda. A total of $450,000 will be awarded to the winners.

“We’re delighted to be funding 21 new projects this year, as well as providing continuation funding to five previous CLP projects that have already demonstrated positive results,” said Stuart Paterson, CLP Programme Manager at Fauna & Flora International.

He continued, “For example, a team in China that is researching habitat requirements for Critically Endangered Siberian cranes has made management recommendations for the Momoge National Nature Reserve, while primatologists in India were able to resolve long-standing taxonomic uncertainty about the Endangered Himalayan grey langur, which lays the foundation for further conservation activities.”

Dugong. Credit: Laura Dinraths.

Dugongs depend on seagrass beds, upon which they feed. Credit: Laura Dinraths.

The top prize – a Leadership Award worth $50,000 which builds upon work completed under two previous CLP grants – went to C3’s ‘Dugongs for life’ project in Madagascar, which will empower Malagasy communities near Nosy Hara Marine Park to become stewards of their marine resources.

“This project will help to conserve not just dugongs but also other endangered species, including sea turtles and sharks, as well as critical habitats such as mangroves, seagrass and coral reefs,” said Project Leader Lalarisoa Rakotoarimino.

More than money

In addition to project funding, all personnel from award-winning projects will become members of the CLP Alumni Network, allowing them to access individual grants, training and mentoring opportunities funded by the CLP. They will also be invited to join RootsUp – CLP’s dedicated online social network.

In June 2014, a member of each award-winning team will attend a two-week training workshop in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, where they will learn important skills in leadership, project planning, communications, behaviour change and other key topics.

The workshop offers a unique opportunity for participants to share lessons and challenges with their peers and more seasoned experts, and the course has been recognised as providing an important boost in developing the knowledge and career prospects of aspiring conservation leaders.

Journey of learning

Atul Sinai Borker, team leader of another winning project which is looking at conserving otter habitat in India, explained what it means to be accepted into the CLP network:

“This award means a lot to us. We are looking forward to this journey of learning and are hopeful that we will be able to contribute significantly to the conservation of otters in Goa.

“We look at this award as an opportunity to enhance our skill-set and build our knowledge base. We are really thankful to CLP for giving us this opportunity.”

CLP is a collaborative initiative (involving FFI, Birdlife International, Conservation International and the Wildlife Conservation Society) which invests in the professional development of early-career conservationists and helps them become effective leaders. Through its Team Conservation Awards, CLP funding and support has resulted in significant outcomes for species and habitats around the world by engaging local communities, policy makers and other stakeholders.