Archives for November 2016

Getting Congressional Approval for Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation Funding

Most of the people who are involved in biodiversity conservation work will agree with the assertion that the government funding that is available for biodiversity conservation is inadequate. And in order to get the government to significantly enhance the funding for biodiversity conservation, it may be necessary to convince the members of the congress that such funding is necessary. This is because when all is said and done, it is the members of the congress who ultimately approve government budget proposals.

I have come to believe that we need help from the professional lobbyists, if we are to be successful in getting congressional approval for enhanced biodiversity conservation funding. Some people argue that it is unethical to use the services of the said professional lobbyists. But that is debatable. For if we have no qualms using the services of attorneys in courts (to avoid going to jail or to avoid losing civil suits), I see no reason as to why we should hesitate to use the services of the professional congressional lobbyists. Trying to lobby the members of congress directly more often than not results in failure: because the members of congress are beholden to various vested interests. It takes an experienced professional lobbyist to figure out how to present the agenda, in order to curry favor with the congressmen.

Should we decided to use them, the brief of the lobbyists would be to (convincingly) show the congress members why we exactly we need the extra money. The needs are many: ranging from biodiversity conservation research, biodiversity conservation advocacy and biodiversity conservation outreach. It is within the domain of biodiversity conservation outreach that we find things like biodiversity conservation media campaigns and the improvement of biodiversity conservation college courses. At first sight, one gets the impression that these things don’t require a lot of money. But the truth of the matter is in that these activities are very costly, especially if we insist on them being done the right way. And if we can get the congress to increase biodiversity conservation funding by just 20%, that would translate into quite a bit of cash — which would then have great impact on biodiversity conservation work.

My Experience Teaching a College Class On Biodiversity

In the last one year, I have had the opportunity to teach a college class on biodiversity, to students who are pursuing botany and zoology courses. It has been an interesting experience. In the course of teaching the college class on biodiversity, I have made several observations.

Firstly, I have observed (with great concern) that most of my students are only interested in mastering enough facts about biodiversity to pass their examinations. They are not interested in understanding why biodiversity is important in real life, what they can do to conserve biodiversity… and so on. They are only interested in passing their exams, and forgetting about biodiversity soon thereafter. As I have come to view it, from the students’ perspectives, the whole thing is akin to when one goes to the Gap eService website, with the objective of going through the motions of the Gap credit card application procedure. One is inclined to leave the website, and forget about it completely, once he manages to make the application. But education is supposed to be different. One is supposed to be learning with the objective of retaining the knowledge for a lifetime. But the students have a more expedient view of things: they learn in order to pass their exams, period.

Secondly, I have observed that there are relatively few good textbooks on the subject of biodiversity that I can refer my students to. Even where textbooks are available, they only deal with the technical aspects of biodiversity. It is hard, for instance, to find a book dealing with the subject of the cost of running a biodiversity advocacy organization. For some of these topics, I have had to dictate notes to students: a practice I abhor, because under normal circumstances, I prefer to simply refer my students to specific textbooks.

Thirdly, I have observed that high schools do (what is in my opinion) a rather poor job of preparing students for college. I have found myself having to teach my students basic facts: things that they should have learned in high schools.