The third class of twenty-one Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders (EWCL) graduated successfully in December 2010. In addition to 18 US based conservationists, the third EWCL class included international participants from Argentina, Brazil, and Kenya.
EWCL Board members and participants chose over thirty training topics as priority knowledge and skills to be addressed in the three training sessions, led by specialists in the leadership and conservation fields. Opportunities for networking and mentoring over the course were made possible by numerous scheduled –as well as informal– one-on-one mentoring sessions with EWCL Board of Directors members and EWCL Alumni Group members, who offered advice and guidance to participants on how to strategically move forward with their careers and plan for the future as wildlife conservationist leaders.
In addition to the training workshops, participants’ spent the duration of the EWCL program designing, implementing, and evaluating an international wildlife conservation campaign. EWCL participants partnered directly with World Wildlife Fund, IUCN Tapir Specialist Group, Program for Belize, and Proyecto Titi to create international wildlife conservation campaigns on a number of priority species. Campaigns were designed to target four species and issues: (1) incidental killing of the rare saola ox in Vietnam; (2) marketing of eco-mochila bags in the US to benefit cotton-top tamarin conservation community cooperatives in Colombia; (3) raising financial support and providing educational materials for endangered yellow-headed parrots in Belize; and (4) producing press kits and education materials covering the four surviving species of tapirs, found in Southeast Asia, Central and South America. These EWCL groups raised more than $11,500 in In-kind support for wildlife programs in Belize, Vietnam, and Colombia.