Friday, June 19, 2009

Kanchana in Netherlands

I found a time to write something about our work in the middle of a training of trainers of wetland Management (TOT) in Wageningen, Netherlands. I came here on the 7th of June and will be getting this training until 27th of this month. This is going to be a very useful training for me as well as for ECO-V as we are currently working on Pelican’s habitats in Sri Lanka. We started on protecting Spot-billed pelican habitats after our work on distribution of Spot-billed Pelicans within Sri Lanka .We realized that their habitats; fresh water man made tanks are in real trouble mainly due to siltation and aquatic alien invasive species. Many fishermen in the freshwater tank habitats are complaining about not taking any actions for this habitat degradation and according to our experience its not that they are not aware of what is happening but they are not stakeholders among the responsible authorities. So ECO-V decided to bridge them and do what ever we can do to protect the pelican habitat for both human and for wildlife. Therefore this TOT will be very useful for our future programmes in getting into new areas that we were not working on.

There are 43 participants from 28 countries. All are mid carrier managers of NGOs and government agencies in their respective countries with more experience in wetland management field. I came here with a help of the fellowship provided by the Netherlands Embassy. There are 39 fellowships given this time out of 300 applicants. So it was a great opportunity to get real experience in wetland management in Netherlands a country which has more wetlands with different level of stakeholder partnerships.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Good Bye Mark! Thank you!

Mark went back after 10 weeks of his stay here and we are missing his friendly support we got throughout his stay. Mark said that he learnt a lot while staying here and it was very helpful for him to acquire more training skills as he conducted many training sessions for various groups like University of Colombo, National Zoo, Field Ornithology group (FOGSL), Young Zoologists Association (YZA), Jetwing Hotels and Girithale Wildlife Training centre and of course my team at ECO-V. We believe that his whole stay with us at our home not only helped ECO-V but for many other government and non governmental organizations and tourism sector as well. This is one good example that our volunteers welcome programme will benefit to many stakeholders in Sri Lanka even in future. Week after Mark went Kanchana went to Netherlands for a fellowship from Netherlands Embassy. She will be trained as a trainer (TOT) of Wetland Management for 3 weeks in Netherlands.