Kinship Conservation Regional Workshop Held in Mexico
Thirty-one conservationists participated in the third Kinship Conservation Regional Workshop held in Merida, Mexico from November 11-16. The workshop provided participants with the opportunity to learn about incentive-based conservation from practitioners based in the region.
Jen Chapman (2014), who works in Belize promoting domestic and international export markets for invasive lionfish, views the regional training as a great opportunity to provide valuable resources to the broader conservation community. “The Kinship Fellowship taught me so much and I really want my colleagues to have that same opportunity--not just my colleagues within my organization, but my colleagues within the conservation community in Belize,” said Jen. “These regional workshops provide a real opportunity for more people to have access to tools that are just invaluable, and we need everybody to have access to these tools if we are to effectively address the problems that we face.”
Workshop participants appreciated having time to learn from each other and to make new connections in their region. “The experience was great not only to meet alumni from the Kinship Fellowship, but also to learn what other people are working on here in Mexico,” said workshop participant, Lucia Ruiz Bustos. “I had heard about many of them because the conservation world in Mexico is so small, but I think it's very important for us to be able to be here for five days away from everything. These workshops are vital for people within Mexico or within Latin America to know about opportunities and to have the chance for an exchange of ideas and information.
Cecilia Simon (2014), who was one of the key organizers of the workshop said: “After I was a Kinship Fellow in 2014, I really felt that I had to do something to give back. I really appreciated what the Fellowship offered me at that point in my life; it was life-changing. One of the ways that I can give back is by organizing this training and try to change people’s perceptions about market-based conservation within my country.”