One of the fondest memories that I have in relations to ‘helping nature’ was when I covertly kept some snacks with me to give it to a few monkeys that I saw during a visit to the nature park with my family when it was supposed to be our picnic snack. Yet, looking back in retrospect it never crossed my mind to make conservationist as a choice of career until the last two years. With the love of nature I have within me along with a few people who have inspired and supported me in pursuing my career as a communicator in wildlife and environmental conservation, I have now just accomplished one of the best internships that I have ever had with WWF Tigers Alive Initiative…
The energy was great. I have never felt such strong energy especially attending a meeting. This meeting however was far different from the previous meetings that I have ever attended. While listening to a presentation along with other WWF’s personnels from different regional offices in the heart of Cambodia, it was at that time I realised that we are in a bigger war as I initially thought we were. Honestly i felt as if I was part of the CIA which you normally see in the movies when they are tracking down the bad guys. In a way, what we were doing in that room was quite close. To fight and stop one of the world’s largest criminal industries, wildlife trafficking.
Wildlife trafficking is indeed a global issue, and a serious one too. People have lost their lives because of wildlife trafficking. People have lost their loves ones because of wildlife trafficking. The population of the targeted animals such as the tiger, elephant and rhinoceros are now declining at an alarming state because, of wildlife trafficking.
After the meeting, I realised that it is not just the government, the policies or the law enforcers that we should be given the full responsibility to protect our wildlife. It is us, as a global community that should be responsible to protect our wildlife together with them. I learnt that in Nepal, communities in villages are like citizen scientists who are united to work together to protect their iconic species working along with their NGOs. I also learnt that in India there is people like Daulat Singh who is very passionate to protect tigers in India regardless of the misfortune event that struck him.
Wildlife trafficking is an issue that requires the attention of mothers, fathers, students, engineers or in other words the everyday person. We could start by educating ourselves by learning some of the factors that contribute to the declination of some of our iconic species like the tiger, rhinoceros and elephant. Some of these factors could be closely related to our lifestyle, for example the things that we consume such as purchasing illegal wildlife products. This is one of the biggest factors that has fuelled poachers from all over the world to sustain the illegal market. It is true that when the buying stops, the killing can too. The fate of these animals lies in our hands.
To sum it up, the internship that I have undergone with WWF Tigers Alive Initiative opened my understanding towards conservation issues as well as finding my interest within the huge area of conservation.
Initially when I received the offer to intern with WWF Tigers Alive Initiative I was unsure whether if it is going to be what I wanted since I do not know what my interest is within wildlife and environmental conservation apart from working in the communications field. However now after accomplishing my internship with them, I knew that this is the program that I belong to and I will try my best to be able get my way to WWF Tigers Alive Initiative. My advice is that if you are new and trying to get involved with conservation work such as myself, take whatever opportunities that have been given to you and give it a try because only through experience you can decide what is best for you.
At the moment I am studying in the University of Melbourne pursuing my final year majoring in Master of Global Media Communication. As for now I am just learning through various courses in my program to help me prepare and become fully equipped as a nature conservation communicator. Apart from my daily university chores, I try to write articles about conservation and non related conservation issues on my blog as a practice to hone my skill as a writer.
P/s: Please do not hesitate to contact me for any inquiries regarding my internship experience with WWF Tigers Alive Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org