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It‘s that time of year again – The Frankfurt Spring School on Conservation Project Management (FSS) returns on Monday! We can‘t believe that it‘s been a year since we welcomed 30 young conservationists to Frankfurt. The first of this year‘s participants are already here. Meet Francis Mapenga from FZS Zambia, Monica Paredes from FZS Peru, and Edmund Tobico from FZS Tanzania. Hattie Hayeck, Communications Intern, and Corinna Van Cayzeele, European Projects’ Communications Assistant, asked them what they are most looking forward to about FSS.

Hattie: Welcome to Frankfurt! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?

Francis: “I‘m the Senior Community Conservation Officer for FZS‘ North Luangwa Ecosystem Project. I assist the Technical Advisor in supervising project staff and working with the local communities in protecting the North Luangwa National Park.”

Monica: “I work in Yaguas National Park, trying to protect and conserve this huge area of the Amazon Rainforest. Here, there is a lot of biodiversity, but also many of threats, including governmental conflict, logging, illegal mining, and the historical unsustainable use of the Park‘s resources.”

Edmund: “I work as a GIS and Monitoring Officer for FZS‘ Serengeti Ecosystem Management Project. The project focuses on enabling communities to benefit from the wildlife around them. We support local communities with setting aside designated areas of land for conservation, and help develop community conservation banks that provide loans to local people to start sustainable businesses.”

Corinna: What are you most looking forward to about FSS?

Francis: “Since I’m the second-in-command of my project, project management is very important to me. FSS will develop my project management skills and teach me how to manage a project on my own.”

Monica: “I am excited about developing my abilities and skills so that, when I go back to Peru, I can apply all my knowledge to better protect the area and enhance the lives of people in the local communities.”

Edmund: “FSS is important for me as it‘s all about understanding conservation project management concepts like log frame development, report writing, monitoring, and evaluations. If I can understand these concepts, and apply them back home, I can help improve the efficiency of our project. The FSS is also very important in developing my project concept. Afterwards, I hope to make a difference in conservation back home.”

Thank you very much for your time. Now enjoy Frankfurt and have a great time here at the Spring School.