Bright students from developing countries have been given the chance to study nature conservation with some of the UK’s top scientists.
The students from India, Namibia, Iraq and Afghanistan have all won fellowships worth a total of £72,000 through the Darwin Initiative.
They will work closely with scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, the Natural History Museum, and the Game and Wildfowl Conservation Trust, learning how to plan and implement conservation schemes, then taking these skills back to their home countries.
These fellowships are just one aspect of the £5.5 million of new projects announced under the Darwin Initiative’s today.
A full list of Project funded in Round 21 is available here.
Projects cover a range of issues such as helping small fishing communities in Indonesia to increase their catch and improve their livelihoods whilst avoiding bycatch of endangered shark species and helping sustainably manage the biodiversity rich Ethiopian rangelands for pastoralist communities. Any discoveries made during the course of this work will be shared, helping to improve scientific knowledge worldwide.
Environment Minister Lord de Mauley said:
“Our planet is home to an incredibly diverse range of plants and animals – we believe there are 8.7 million different species on Earth.
“It’s crucial that we do all we can to protect this intricate richness. Biodiversity can help purify our air, provide resources for medicinal and scientific advancements, increase the fertility of the soil, and help people out of poverty.
“This Darwin project funding is really money well spent, because when it comes to the health of the planet, we are all linked together.”
The Darwin Initiative has been helping to protect and conserve the world’s wildlife since 1992, with funding totalling more than £110 million over the past 23 years.
Each year, an independent panel of experts considers bids from charities, conservation groups and universities who want to run projects to protect the environment in developing countries.
Candidates must show that they will help the development of these communities as well as conserving biodiversity.
Projects are led by a range of organisations and will not only help to protect habitats and save animals from extinction, but will also improve conditions for people living in some of the poorest places in the world.