… Advancing education for the conservation of nature
Nature’s conservation involves the managing of natural resources, preventing exploitation of the forest, and protecting wildlife. This can however be achieved by educating citizens willing to take on the challenge. At the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL), providing higher education to deserving individuals for the advancement of conservation is essential.
With support from the European Union-funded Project (PAPFor), https://ec.europa.eu/international-partnerships/ which is being implemented by SCNL in collaboration with the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), full masters’ scholarships have been awarded to Shedrick E. Smith, Masters of Environmental Management and Quality Control, Dickarmien A. Deemie, Masters of Science Biodiversity Conservation, Comfort T. Sakui, Masters of Science in Biodiversity Conservation, and Benjamin N. Queminee, Masters of Science Biodiversity Conservation to study at the Njala University in neighboring Sierra Leone; and Michael E. Taire and Salimatu Dunnoh, Masters in Climate Change and Biodiversity Conservation at the University of Liberia (UL).
Early this month, the four master’s students attending in Sierra Leone, as part of the tradition at the Njala University, participated in the matriculation program. The jubilant program was marked by the marching of the students into the hall, speeches, and oath-taking.
Deemie said the matriculation was meant to create a space for acquaintance between staff, faculty, and students. Adding “Yes, the matriculation was quite superb as it provided the platform for the orientation of new students into Njala University\’s culture and various postgraduate programs”.
The Vice-Chancellor at Njala University welcomed the new students into the University and encouraged them to take their lessons seriously. “Maintain focus and live by the policy of the University in order to ensure a [harmonious learning environment] for students and teachers,” the vice-chancellor stressed.
Deemie thanked SCNL and partners for the scholarship and hopes the learning opportunity will continue in the coming years for others to get advanced education in conservation.
The master’s student also said Liberia holds the largest remaining of the Upper Guinean Forest, which hosts several important ‘flagship species’ that include: Chimpanzees, Pangolins, African elephants, etc. Deemie on behalf of the scholarship students then shared that upon graduation, they will return home (Liberia), specifically, to SCNL and the FDA, to contribute to the growth and development of Liberia\’s forest sector and the natural resource management of Liberia.
“I had already enjoyed a cordial working relationship with the team at SCNL while serving in my role as a researcher, and I would like to build on past experiences. It would also be an exciting experience coming back to contribute to the conservation of Liberia\’s rich biodiversity that\’s under anthropogenic threats and I anticipate we will be accorded the necessary space in our institutions to demonstrate the knowledge acquired after my graduation,” Deemie concluded.