Chief Executive’s Blog
September 7, 2015 § Leave a comment
I have just arrived back in Edinburgh following an interesting trip to Norden’s Ark in Sweden last week. I was accompanied by two members of the RZSS Conservation department, Sarah Robinson (RZSS Head of Conservation Programmes) and David Barclay, RZSS Cat Conservation Project Officer. It was a fascinating and rewarding trip, during which we signed a three year agreement with the Snow Leopard Trust and Norden’s Ark for conservation and research projects of Pallas’s cats and snow leopards in Mongolia. Project work will commence over the next few months and I look forward to keeping you updated as the projects develop.
Out in Thailand, the RZSS Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Conservation Programme Manager, Dr Ross McEwing, welcomed nearly 20 delegates from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam for a three day wildlife forensic workshop earlier last week. The meeting took place in Chiang Mai Thailand and focused on collaborative approaches to meeting international data standards for wildlife forensics, as well as identifying areas for unifying work across countries. The programme is already receiving great support from a number of countries in South East Asia and aims to encourage other countries, particularly Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos PDR, to participate. The IWT programme aims to deter the illegal trade of animal parts and products, which is one of the biggest threats to the survival of some of the world’s most threatened species.
Elsewhere, in news from our Giant Armadillo Conservation Project in the Pantanal, Brazil, the team are hard at work presenting the Giant Armadillo Project and its educational materials to a team of educators from the Secretary of Education of the Campo Grande Municipality. The team are hoping to launch an outreach and communication campaign on giant armadillos in the 100 schools of the Campo Grande municipality. If this is successful, a state wide campaign will be planned. These environmental education campaigns are key to the Cerrado expansion of the project which will be important to the growth of the Giant Armadillo Conservation Project.
Closer to home, we launched the RZSS Residency Programme last week. The event, which was a modern take on the Parisian Salon, was a great success and formalised the appointment of 15 Residents to the programme. The Residents bring with them their own unique backgrounds and knowledge which will be utilised to help raise awareness of the mission of RZSS: connecting people with nature and safeguarding species from extinction. The RZSS Residency Programme aims to engage and excite people from all walks of life about the conservation work of RZSS, both in Scotland and around the world.
“The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved.”
– Richard Rogers