There is no standard textbook for good conservation. What works – and what doesn’t – depends so much on the landscapes, people, animals and unique challenges of a particular place. Having said that, there are some broad lessons that can, and should, be shared across the world. Enabling these conversations is much more difficult that one might think, which is why when Ol Pejeta’s CEO Richard Vigne was invited to talk to the inaugural class of Conservation MBA students at the African Leadership University (ALU) in Rwanda he jumped at the chance. Ol Pejeta prides itself on being a role model for conservation innovation, and as such we feel a deep responsibility to share our lessons from the field with conservation leaders and future conservationists.
Richard gave his talk on the 8th July, taking students through Ol Pejeta’s model that aims to maximize land productivity whilst ensuing environmental sustainability. Conservation must be linked to economic prosperity if it is to succeed, said Richard.
The ALU is launching undergraduate programs that will have lessons on wildlife conservation integrated in the coursework. 30 scholarships will be offered for students who choose to major in conservation. Richard is honoured to have been invited to join the Board of Advisors of the ALU School of Conservation. Other board members include: Professor David MacDonald (Founder & Director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WILDCRU) at Oxford University), Jon Cummings (board member of African Parks, and owner a small private game reserve in Welgevonden, South Africa), Helen Gichochi (past President, African Wildlife Foundation) and Phillip Ihenacho (Board member of Tusk International and the Nature Conservancy).