2018 was an incredible year in terms of bad news on the media. Confusing news, fake news, alternative facts, pseudo-science, and just terrible public portrayal of leaders. But, pull away from the media circus and do a deep dive onto the real world and one can see that 2018 was in fact a year of hope.
There were conservation successes, huge wins for global health, more peace and tolerance, less war and violence, rising living standards, some big clean energy milestones, and a turning of the tide in the fight against plastic. Then of course there is the amazing Cousin Island Special Reserve and the remarkable conservation and education work of Nature Seychelles there.
Our Conservation Boot Camp, the world’s first, is another innovative program we launched with young aspiring conservationists and any others wanting to learn new skills in mind and want to become conservation leaders. This is a very exclusive program catering to a maximum of 6 participants at a time. It normally lasts a month although since last year we are now offering a unique 2 week activity session. Word of mouth has spread. From May 2017 when the program started to date (Feb 2019), the total numbers are over 50 participants from 20 countries. Germany had the most participants.
Reinforcing the positive aspects of conservation and amidst doom and gloom in many of our African countries, we would like our brothers and sisters from the rest of the continent to experience a very successful African reserve. The CBC African Heritage package offers the one month program at a wonderful 25% discount to a citizen of any African country. Our wish is that they leave with the strong belief that they can indeed save species and ecosystems in their lifetime.
Since last year we are offering a Partnership package to staff of any Birdlife International Partner outside Africa. This is a super 25% discount on the 1 month program. Nature Seychelles is the Birdlife Partner in Seychelles and has advanced the Birdlife conservation agenda tremendously by saving the most critically endangered birds in Seychelles and by cascading this model to others. We want to introduce Cousin Island Special Reserve which Birdlife calls “one of the world’s great conservation success stories” to our colleagues working in the Birdlife Partnership.
I am optimistic about conservation and environmental protection in general. Indeed, these are very exciting times for us and I would like to share our enthusiasm with others. I would urge you to get away from the doom and gloom and fake news and experience the real stuff.
Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah
Chief Executive letter for the CBC magazine issue 6 (Sep-Dec 2018). Read the Magazine here.