9 Feb 2017

Meet the conservation leaders of tomorrow

International Training Project © CLP
International Training Project © CLP
By Irene Lorenzo

Do you want to work in conservation but don't know where to start? The Conservation Leadership Programme has got it covered - providing learning experience to those who are extremely passionate about working in the conservation sector. Meet six young conservationists who have become part of this fascinating programme through the 2016 CLP internships and learn how you can become part of it too.



Lenghieng Laing

Welcome Lenghieng Laing, a senior student at Mekong University in Cambodia, where she is majoring a Bachelor’s Degree in Law. She’s one of the lucky applicants who has been selected for a CLP internship.

“I’m very excited with the opportunity to join BirdLife Cambodia as an intern. I want to improve my experience in biodiversity conservation, working towards becoming an environmental lawyer in the future”.

During her studies at the university, Lenghieng spent her free time working closely with various youth and non-profit organizations. Within her time working in Corporate Social Responsibility Department of Naga World (CSR) and Youth Resource Development Program (YRDP), she was responsible for organizing logistics and budget for workshops and meetings and also successfully facilitated project implementations. As one of the founder members of Cambodia Nature Birding Club, she gained experience about bird conservation and is keen to learn more during her internship.

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Louisa Mwenda

Meet Louisa Chinyavu Mwenda, born in Kenya. Her passion for conservation and sustainable development took her to study environmental sciences and natural resources management.

“My interests are mainly in environmentally-related causes. However, other interests include exploring nature and travelling. I’ve travelled for a sustainability program in Switzerland and for a short course in integrated water resources management in Germany. I am excited to participate in the CLP for a remarkable experience!”

Louisa has worked at the Kenya Wildlife Service in environmental planning and compliance focusing on mapping of wildlife sanctuaries. One of her biggest achievements was to map Lake Elementaita Wildlife Sanctuary. Aside from her work in various environmental organizations, she is also the founder of TLC4Environment, a local environmental group with online presence focusing on environmental awareness and campaigns mainly in environmental conservation and climate change.



Rahaf Alnabali

Rahaf Alnabali is a Jordanian business economics student expected to graduate this year.

“I am currently an intern for the Conservation Leadership Program (CLP), working for BirdLife while I continue my studies at Jordan University – it’s being a very enriching experience.”

Rahaf worked for the Royal Society for Conservation Nature (RSCN, BirdLife in Jordan) as a Public Relations intern, where her interest in nature conservation and economic development started. She also works as a freelance translator with For9a.com and has experience in organizing events and fundraising. She’s planning to get a Master’s Degree in economic development after finishing her Bachelor’s Degree – always with a focus in sustainability.



Mercy Njeri Waithira

Meet Mercy Njeri Waithira, who started as a conservation enthusiast and now holds a Degree in Wildlife Management and Conservation from University of Nairobi and a Diploma in Wildlife Management from Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute.

“As a young scientist, I believe if we understood the social and economic value of our ecosystems, conservation in its entirety should be a lifestyle and not a specialization of a few.”

Mercy has previously worked on a conservation outreach program aimed at creating an environmental conscious community. She has written scripts for a three series conservation comic book dubbed “Mending Fences” and she runs a blog named Wild Odyssey to sensitize and educate the public on wildlife and conservation matters in simplified language. Over the years, she has garnered experience in conservation by taking up volunteer roles with different conservation organizations. 



Carolina Bernardo

Carolina is a biologist with a master’s degree in ecology. Her desire to contribute to biodiversity conservation led her to pursue a PhD in Environmental Economics.

“My goal is to learn to connect to people, to speak in a language that they comprehend, to make the value of conservation concrete. I see the CLP internship with BirdLife and SAVE Brasil as a unique opportunity to learn while conducting conservation work. I believe that after we update and prioritize conservation activities at IBAs/KBAs important for shorebirds, it will be possible to assess the value of shorebird habitat conservation and improve advocacy for their conservation.

She worked with birds and shorebirds as an undergraduate and since then was charmed by the migratory birds such as the Buff-breasted Sandpiper and the Wattled Jacana.



Grace Sengohol Torkura

Grace Sengohol Torkura got her first conservation training from the prestigious AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI), through her Master in Conservation Biology. She then worked as Research Associate to update the APLORI ringing guide and improve their database.

“It's a fact that conservation will go nowhere without environmental awareness and environmental policy and advocacy and BirdLife has increased my drive for these aspects”.

Since she is involved with an Environmental Consultancy firm; she will use this work to educate communities on environmentally friendly procedures and ethics as well other sustainable ways of livelihood that will conserve biodiversity. In the future Grace would like to further her career by doing a PhD in Environmental Sciences and Policy Management.


How can I apply?

Internships are developed to specifically meet the learning needs and interests of individual applicants and their host organisations. Internship candidates are:

  • early in their conservation career
  • committed to pursuing conservation as a career
  • not already employed by a CLP partner organisation
  • come from one of the eligible countries (see full internship guidelines)

The intern is supervised by a designated staff member of BirdLife, who is committed to the success of the internship; co-supervision is acceptable

Internship candidates must either a) be recruited to work with BirdLife specifically for this internship or b) transition from being an unpaid BirdLife volunteer into a paid CLP intern. If you wish you apply, contact BirdLife at clp(a)birdlife.org

Read here the full internship guidelines and contact a BirdLife Secretariat staff to develop a proposal by 31st March 2017. 

The Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) is a partnership of three conservation organisations: BirdLife International (BirdLife), Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).