Earthwatch announces a £90,000 donation from UBS to help further develop their African Fellowship Programme.
Earthwatch will use the donation to create grants that will be invested in the career development of promising African environmentalists and scientists.
The current African Fellowship Programme is a pioneering scheme that provides practical training placements, on established field research projects, to African conservation professionals. Not only is this a unique opportunity for new skills to be learnt, but with the fellows working alongside their African peers, they have the rare opportunity to discuss issues that are often dealt with alone and in isolation.
The majority of the African Fellows find the Earthwatch projects provide them with invaluable experience and skills that not only help their careers enormously but also give them a foundation for providing solutions for local conservation issues. It is this foundation that Earthwatch is keen to build upon and grants, like the ones from UBS, allow this to happen.
David Hillyard, Head of Corporate Programmes, Earthwatch, said; "This generous donation from UBS is great news for Earthwatch as it opens up many new opportunities for our African fellows. The grants will be used for extended on-site mentoring at existing Earthwatch projects by experienced scientists, training in developing and managing research projects plus advice about how to apply for support from Earthwatch. In addition, this funding provides the vital breathing space African scientists need to develop their own research projects and proposals, support they are often unable to obtain from their own under-funded institutions."
Nick Wright, Executive Director of Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs, commented; "The support provided by UBS is intended to help Earthwatch achieve their long-term goal of building the capacity of African conservation institutions through providing training, in an African context, to their staff. We are delighted to be able to contribute towards the development of the skills and confidence needed by talented African environmentalists and scientists to be able to establish their own research and conservation programmes in the future."
In addition to this contribution UBS will continue its valuable support to Earthwatch via a matched donation scheme, with £325 being donated for every UBS employee who signs up to volunteer on an Earthwatch project.
Since 1994, the African Programme has provided training and development opportunities for over 670 fellows from 200 different research organisations, NGOs, national parks and government departments in 26 African countries.