USFWS Wildlife without Borders Africa
2008-2009 MENTOR Fellowship Program
(Mentoring for Environmental Training in Outreach and Resource Conservation) to Reduce Illegal Bushmeat Exploitation in Eastern Africa
Through the USFWS Wildlife Without Borders Africa 2008-2009 MENTOR Fellowship Program, the Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group (ABCG), the College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka, Tanzania, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are developing a “model” mentored fellowship program to build the capacity of an interdisciplinary network of eight emerging African wildlife professionals and their four highly experienced African Mentors to strongly influence and lead efforts to reduce illegal bushmeat exploitation at local, national, and regional levels in Eastern Africa. The MENTOR (Mentoring for Environmental Training in Outreach and Resources conservation) Fellowship Program provides academic and field based training for the Fellows while building a regional network to deal with bushmeat exploitation. The program includes national and local bushmeat field assessments, wide outreach activities with multiple stakeholders, and the development of innovative pilot implementation projects on multi-pronged solutions to the bushmeat trade using coordinated group, team and individual approaches, many of which are transboundary.
The 18 month program was created to build the capacity of emerging conservation leaders by combining six months of academic studies at the CAWM with 12 months of field based Mentoring in the Fellows’ home countries. In addition to earning a post-graduate diploma in wildlife management from CAWM, the Fellows build their professional capacity through one-on-one guidance from their Mentors. The program defines “mentoring” as a long-term learning partnership. The role of the Mentor is to help the Fellows to develop skills to help answer technical questions, to explain concepts and ideas, to catalyze professional growth, to review career plans and to motivate and encourage. Mentors were nominated by members of the conservation community and four outstanding, well-qualified, and well known conservation professionals were selected including: 1) Dr. Evans Mwangi of the University of Nairobi, Kenya, 2) Dr. Jamus Joseph of WCS-Southern Sudan, 3) Mr. Thadeus Binamungu of African Wildlife Foundation-Tanzania, and 4) Dr. William Olupot of WCS-Uganda.