andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve has a long standing, comprehensive conservation, research, and monitoring program. In partnership with Africa Foundation, the conservation and research skills development programme at Phinda aims to use their experiences and resources to make a substantial training course accessible to enthusiastic naturalists and conservationists from the surrounding communities. These communities are critical for effective conservation in the long-term, these communities are burdened with high unemployment rates and limited job opportunities.
Members from the 5 communities surrounding Phinda are invited to apply to the course and this year 61 applications were received. Through shortlisting 25 candidates were interviewed and all communities were represented. The 5 successful candidates commenced the 2022-2023 course on 15th of October, moving into accommodation within the reserve. The course runs for 6 days a week with Sundays off. Africa funding is actively raising funds for additional students to join the course in the new year and gain conservation skills and experience.
The goal is to empower local people with the tools and experience required to pursue careers in wildlife, conservation management and tourism, while also developing and cultivating the future custodians of the wildlife and wild areas.
The course is divided into four modules namely; Research and Monitoring, Land Management , Wildlife Management, Field Guiding /tourism. Upon completion, certificates will be issued, the candidates will also have the opportunity to obtain an accredited FGASA Level 1 qualification (Field Guides Association of Southern Africa).
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