Collaborative and Comprehensive Training

WAB-Net brings together stakeholders from diverse sectors and backgrounds to participate in uniquely detailed and thorough capacity-building and hands-on trainings. Field teams consisting of ecologists, government officials representing health and environmental ministries, and students and academic faculty are trained to carry out research while keeping themselves and the bats safe. A bat ecologist will spend several weeks each year in the field teaching the team how to capture, handle, sample, and release bats with biosafety considerations woven throughout each step.

A bat ecologist familiar with the unique aspects of the taxonomic group and biosafety practices works in collaboration with regional project partners to design standardized field protocols and subsequently implements the field trainings in each country. This uniquely hands-on approach to training field teams ensures the standardization of field protocols across cultures and disciplines in the region.

WAB-Net serves as the central coordination point for these trainings across the Western Asia region. There is a wide diversity of stakeholders participating, including in their backgrounds and areas of expertise. WAB-Net facilitators learn from the individuals they’re training, creating more culturally relevant lessons. By bringing lessons from one country to another, WAB-Net can enable conversations and collaboration over areas of shared interest, furthering partnerships that would have otherwise been politically difficult to build.