Amongst our 30 Frankfurt Spring School students are six KfW Foundation scholars, early career conservationists from key project areas scattered across the globe. They’ve each travelled to Frankfurt carrying the dream of an ambitious conservation project for an area dear to their hearts. For some these plans will become a reality after Frankfurt Spring School 2018 comes to a close.

The KfW Foundation aims to “encourage pioneering ideas, to create a diverse economy, environment, society and culture and to take responsibility for the world we live in.”

To help meet this objective, the KfW Foundation will generously fund three of our scholarship student’s proposed conservation projects. After a month of Frankfurt Spring School activities, each scholar will have the chance to enrich their project proposals with their freshly gained knowledge, before presenting their plans to the KfW Foundation committee that will decide who’s projects will receive the funding.

We asked each of our students “what are you hoping to gain from the Frankfurt Spring School and KfW Foundation Scholarship Programme”.

Joyce Mungure – TANAPA (Tanzania National Parks Authority)
“I’m here to gain knowledge and skills on planning and managing conservation projects as well as proposal writing. Coming from a developing country such as Tanzania, Africa, we still have a need for helping in the development of the local economy especially in areas around our protected areas. Project planning and management will help a great deal in planning projects that would have minimal impact on the environment but also a positive contribution to the local livelihood.”

Muluken Abayneh – The Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority
“I hope I will have a better knowledge of the project planning and management skill on the implementation of conservation-related projects which have a positive impact on my work now and also for the future.
My project is about livestock reduction in Bale Mountains National Park by doing artificial insemination on the surrounding local districts, which will improve the production yield of milk so the local people tend to have small number of productive cattle rather than having much more unproductive cattle which drives them to the park for grazing, which results in destruction.
Being part of KfW Foundation scholarship helps me to set up a clear project plan which will be important for easily implementing and also improves my skills in conservation project management, so it will be helpful for me for my next steps in conservation work!”

Kevin Ibanez – Frankfurt Zoological Society – Peru
“With this course I plan to increase the knowledge I have about project and personal management, improving my interactions with field partners, park guards and volunteers. What I will have learned in the course will be instantly applied in boosting my job performance by improving trimestral reports, writing proposals for supporting BSNP, replicating the information to other FZS projects leaders and proper planning for the implementation of new initiatives.
Finally, I believe FZS Peru will be greatly benefitted from my participation in the course. I am not only committed in continuing to make conservation count in Peru with this organization for all the years I may be allowed, but I plan to be a permanent support for everything that could be required in project matters, especially the fundraising, that is one of the key activities for the FZS dynamic fulfillment of conservation initiatives in Peru.”

Tinh Nguyen Thi – Frankfurt Zoological Society – Vietnam
“I wish to build my knowledge and skills in the CPM including: project planning, budgeting, financial management, evaluation in order to run effective conservation activities in Kon Ka Kinh National Park, Vietnam. Additionally, I would like to get advice and learning from experienced trainers as well as work with participants from other countries.”

Lalatiana Randriamiharisoa – Madagascar National Parks
“I am here to improve my technical conservation project management ability and to learn more about how to build a management project, particularly, budgeting the project. Also, to find a better way to conserve our beautiful biodiversity in Madagascar and help to manage my institution Madagascar National Parks in its mission through exchange with other participants and professors.”

Jennifer Montoya Lopez – Reserva de Producción de Fauna Marino Costera Puntilla de Santa Elena – Ecuador.
“”I hope to expand my knowledge with new tools for the development of conservation projects, and in this way improve the management of marine mammals in my work area. That is why my project purpose is to define actions for the management of the habitat of the dolphin community of Puntilla de Santa Elena Reserve. And in this way, strengthen the management of the protected area, as well as the capacities of park rangers in the field of biodiversity and natural resources management.”


But what are the consequences of success?

The opportunity that 3 of our scholars will get is an invaluable one. There is no better example of this than the achievements of Roxana Rojas, a recipient of the 2017 Frankfurt Spring School KfW Foundation Scholarship.
With her hard-earned funding, Roxana is carrying out crucial conservation work in Peru, with a goal of achieving the development of local communities and protection for the vulnerable Andean Bear.

How did the Frankfurt Spring School Progromme and KfW Foundation Scholarship help you?

“Frankfurt Spring School was very useful for me in different aspects, in a professional and personal way. On the one hand, I developed more professional skills that now I’m applying as a project coordinator (project design and monitoring, budget administration, human resources, personnel management and personal skills). Also, it was very interesting to know other perspectives of conservation efforts (from students, professionals and researchers), this let me understand that every type of support is necessary for wildlife conservation, ‘outside’ work is just as important as field work.
On the other hand, personally the Frankfurt Spring School programme taught me the necessity of understanding other realities and perspectives of life, that in the end influenced our professional work. Having the opportunity to experience Goethe University, Natural Museums, Kellerwald-Edersee National Park and Frankfurt city was very comforting and inspiring.

In conclusion, Frankfurt Spring School let me realize that my work in conservation is very valuable, and the efforts we do every day is very considerable for researches and professional in conservation. With developed skills during those weeks in Frankfurt, now I feel more confident as a professional to do a good job and continue working in Andean bear conservation.”

How was the funding you received used in your projects in South America?

“The immediate plan after Frankfurt Spring School was to develop our project (which finishes in July 2018), also to promote our project in international sceneries (bulletins in English, presentations in Ecuador and Colombia), and to develop our relationship between national institutions and look for more grants. Work in Andean bear is taking nowadays an important role in conservation efforts in Peru, leading the topic and has been the first example of attempting to tackle human-bear conflict.”

We wish all the best to this year’s KfW Foundation Scholars and thank them for the great contribution they’ve made to the 2018 Frankfurt Spring School experience.