Three Types of Communities With Major Roles to Play In Biodiversity Conservation

In the few years I have worked as a biodiversity conservation activist, I have come to the conclusion that there are three types of communities with major roles to play in biodiversity conservation. These, then, are the communities that should be targeted in biodiversity conservation advocacy.

The first type of community that has a major role to play in biodiversity conservation is that of people who are involved in fishing. If the people who are involved in fishing are taught about the importance of conserving biodiversity and the need to adopt sustainable fishing methods, they can play a significant role in protecting the biodiversity of the oceans.

The second type of community that has a major role to play in biodiversity conservation is that of people who are involved in farming. Through the use of the wrong farming strategies, including the intensive use of pesticides and herbicides, the people who are involved in farming can end up decimating biodiversity very fast. Conversely, if they are taught about sustainable farming, and how to maximize their yields without decimating biodiversity, that will have a huge impact in biodiversity conservation.

The third type of community that has a major role to play in biodiversity conservation is that of people who are involved in hunting. Here we are looking at people who are involved in commercial hunting, those who are involved in sports hunting… and so on. They have to be taught how to hunt in a sustainable manner: otherwise they can end up destroying biodiversity completely.

This, of course, is not to say that these are the only people with a role to play in biodiversity conservation. All of us have a role to play. Even the fellows working at Walmart (who have to go through the Walmartone login screen to access their pay stubs and other work-related resources) have a role to play in biodiversity conservation. It is just that the three main types of communities we have identified above have a much more direct (and potentially more influential) role, in biodiversity conservation.

Recruiting People to Run a Biodiversity Conservation Foundation

The task of recruiting people to run a biodiversity conservation foundation is a challenging one. This is a task that needs to be handled with a lot of care, knowing that the success of the foundation will depend, to a great extent, on the competency of staff employed to run it. Actually, based on my experience in matters to do with biodiversity conservation, I can assert that the task of recruiting staff for a biodiversity conservation foundation is much more exerting than the task of getting congressional approval for enhanced (biodiversity conservation) funding. To get the congressional approval, you just need to talk to the right lobbyists in the right manner. But to get the right staff to run a biodiversity conservation foundation, you really have to go the extra mile.

In recruiting people to run a biodiversity conservation foundation, you need to look at qualifications, experience, interests and general aptitude. You need to ensure that you are not influenced by one factor to the extent of overlooking the other important factors. This is where, for instance, you may encounter an applicant who has superb qualifications in biodiversity studies, but who has absolutely no experience in running a biodiversity conservation foundation. Alternatively, you may encounter an applicant who has lots of experience, but very dubious qualifications. In the final analysis, you may be forced to identify what is most important (between qualifications, experience, interests and general aptitude), and opt for the person who has that which you consider to be most important. But ideally, you should aim to get staff who have the right mix of all these things.

The effort you need to put in while recruiting people to run a biodiversity conservation foundation depends on the sensitivity of the role you are recruiting for. The whole thing can be compared to credit cards approval: where people applying for credit cards with high credit limits tend to be subjected to greater scrutiny than people applying for credit cards with low credit limits. This is because the credit cards with higher credit limits are much more sensitive to issue than the credit cards with lower credit limits. It is the same with the roles in a biodiversity conservation foundation: where the recruitment of people to handle sensitive roles in the foundation requires much more effort than the recruitment of people who are to handle less sensitive roles in the biodiversity conservation foundation.

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.

The Cost of Running a Biodiversity Advocacy Organization

I have lately been interested in ascertaining how much it costs to run a biodiversity advocacy organization. This is because, as I said in the last blog post, I am seriously considering setting up an organization to advocate for biodiversity conservation. I have already gotten rough estimates of how much it is likely to cost me initially, to get the organization up and running. What I am now trying to figure out is how much it is likely to cost me to keep the organization running, once I manage to set it up.

I appreciate that one expense that is likely to consume a lot of money is that of hiring premises for the organization.  Of course, I have the option of running the advocacy out of my home office. But I reckon that I am likely to be more credible if I run it from a proper office.

I also appreciate that another expense that is likely to consume quite a bit of money is that of paying the staff salaries. I reckon that I have the option of either paying the staff directly, or using an online payroll accounting solution. One online payroll accounting solution that I am really considering signing up for is the one that is known as Securitasepay. Reading through the various online reviews, it has become clear to me that the said Securitasepay payroll solution is one that is very well regarded. That is therefore the solution I am considering using in paying my workers. But the first concern is, of course, that of figuring out where I will be getting the money to pay the workers. Then the technicalities of preparing the payroll can be dealt with later.

It is also clear to me that I will have to incur other overheads, while running the biodiversity advocacy organization. It is obvious that I will have to spend quite a bit of money fueling the organization’s vehicles. It is also obvious that I will have to spend lots of money publishing the literature to push my advocacy message. A bit of money may also go into things like organizing advocacy meetings and buying media airtime to push the advocacy message.

Setting Up an Organization to Advocate for Biodiversity Conservation

I have dedicated most of my life to advocating for biodiversity conservation. Previously, I did this through other people’s advocacy organizations. But now, I am thinking of setting up my own advocacy organization. In one of the older blog posts, I argued that the most important thing in conservation of biodiversity is proper identification and protection of endangered species. Today, I am not so sure. If you asked me today, I would tell you that the most important thing in conservation of biodiversity is proper advocacy. It is the proper advocacy that will, in turn, lead to the identification and protection of endangered species. And this advocacy can only happen within the framework of organizations. This is why I am thinking of setting up my own advocacy organization.

The logistics of getting the organization registered are not challenging. To me, it is just a question of going to the Sunbiz.org website, and applying to incorporate this sort of organization — as a non-profit entity. Unknown to many people is the fact that the Sunbiz website also caters for non-profits. There is, of course, some vetting that I will have to undergo. But I don’t expect this to be a challenge to me: seeing that I already have the credentials to set up such an organization.

The area where I really expect to encounter challenges is that of getting funding for my advocacy organization. I have no illusions that this will be easy. Some of the people I previously worked for are almost certainly bound to try to sabotage me. I also know that the funding for these sorts of things comes with lots of strings attached. But I also have confidence in my fund-raising abilities. I know that if I really apply my mind to the task of securing funding for my biodiversity advocacy organization, I will eventually be able to get it.

The Most Important Thing in Conservation of Biodiversity

People often ask me the question as to if there is one key thing that, when done right, would really make a huge difference in conservation of biodiversity. I often get this question of politicians, who are fond of reducing complex issues into sound-bites. Such folks are not really interested in reading the huge tomes of books that deal with the subject of biodiversity conservation in depth. They are not even interested in reading the lengthy articles on the subject, which occur from time to time in the newspapers and journals. And I can’t blame them: I doubt if I would be reading these things, if my livelihood didn’t depend on it. It is so hard to get people to appreciate biodiversity. Still, I have to answer the question as to whether there is one single thing that, when done right, would really make a difference in the conservation of biodiversity.

The answer is yes: there is indeed one thing that, when done right, would really make a huge difference in conservation of biodiversity. That ‘thing’ is the identification and special protection of endangered species in various habitats. When we talk of ‘conserving’ biodiversity, there is one inference to be made: that there must be some sort of ‘threat’ to the biodiversity, to warrant conservation efforts. And indeed such threat exists: as some species are at risk of getting extinct. With loss of such species, biodiversity would be reduced. So the whole effort is aimed at forestalling the extinction of such species.

In the final analysis, people who are interested in conserving biodiversity should be working hard to identify the species, within their localities, that face the danger of being extinct. They should then be working hard to ensure that such species are protected. If we get this right, it will really make a huge difference in the conservation of biodiversity. Of course, the whole thing is likely to work even better if the effort at conservation of biodiversity is coordinated at the global level. Such coordination can easily be done through the Internet. Using SBCglobal email, for instance, it would just be a question of the various folks who are involved in the conservation effort to go to the SBCglobal login page, and from there log into their Sbcglobal.net email accounts. After logging in, they can then proceed to send messages to each other, regarding their conservation efforts. Such high-level coordination can make a huge difference in the whole effort.

Getting People to Appreciate Biodiversity

It is not easy to get people to appreciate biodiversity. With the exception of people who have scientific training in areas like ecology, zoology, botany and environmental studies, the rest of the folks tend to have very little interest in matters to do with biodiversity. Yet it is critical for all people to be interested in biodiversity: because everyone has a role to play in the conservation of biodiversity. Thus a question comes up as to how we can get people to be interested in matters to do with biodiversity.

In my opinion, there are three keys to success in this endeavor (of trying to get people to appreciate biodiversity).

Firstly, if we are to get people to appreciate biodiversity, we need to educate them on the fact that all species within our ecosystem are there to serve a certain purpose. And that ecological imbalance is bound to occur, whenever a species in the system is interfered with. Then you can proceed to explain that this sort of imbalance can trigger a series of other imbalances, which can ultimately lead to a situation where our very existence as human beings is imperiled.

Secondly, if we are to get people to appreciate biodiversity, we need to educate them on the fact that biodiversity is beneficial to us as a species. This may entail a demonstration of the fact that if the generations before us hadn’t conserved the biodiversity, some of the organisms that give us medicine today wouldn’t be there. Those were more or less ‘useless’ organisms then, but our forefathers nonetheless opted to conserve them. Now we are benefiting from them.

Thirdly, if we are to get people to appreciate biodiversity, we need to educate them on the fact that biodiversity is beneficial to them, as individuals. This is a question of appealing to the people’s self-interest. Suppose, for instance, you are addressing the folks who work for a company like UPS: whose employees online portal is Upsers.com. That, of course, is not the site where clients with UPS tracking number slips can track their shipments’ progress. On the contrary, it is a site where Uspers are able to check their pay stubs, work schedules, company news and so on. While addressing such folks (like the UPS workers in question), you have to ensure that your message connects with their individual self-interests. That is the only way in which you can get the message to click with them.

But as we are all aware, most people tend to ‘tune off’ the moment topics like the one on biodiversity are introduced for discussion. Thus, special effort has to be made, if the message on the importance of biodiversity is to get through. The lessons on biodiversity have to be very carefully tailored. The lessons have to be very brief. The language used has to be very simple, yet attractive. The lessons on the importance of biodiversity have to be presented in such a manner that the targeted audience ‘sees the point’ in the whole thing. It is hard, but gradually, the people may get to a point of genuinely appreciating biodiversity.