The World’s first Conservation Boot Camp

Nature Seychelles
Publicado: 26 Febrero 2020
Última edición: 26 Febrero 2020
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From May 2017 to September 2019, 72 young people from 23 different countries paid to participate in Nature Seychelles’ Conservation Boot Camp program. Designed to equip young people with real-life conservation skills, the program uses Cousin Island Special Reserve, Seychelles - a 50 year old conservation success - as a training laboratory. At the same time, the program acts as another sustainable funding mechanism for the protected area. It has been financially supported by GOS-UNDP-GEF Protected Area finance project from April 2016 to December 2019. The GEF project pays for a full time CBC Coordinator, some equipment and materials among other things.


África Oriente y África del Sur
Escala de aplicación
Bosques costeros
Ecosistemas marinos y costeros
Ciencia y investigación
Especies y la extinción
Financiación sostenible
Medios de vida sostenibles
Planificación de la gestión de áreas protegidas
Capacity development
Incremento de temperatura
Acidificación de los océanos
Aumento del nivel del mar
Falta de acceso a financiación a largo plazo
Falta de capacidad técnica
Objectivos de Desarrollo Sostenible
ODS 4 - Educación de calidad
ODS 8 - Trabajo decente y crecimiento económico
ODS 14 - Vida submarina
ODS 15 - Vida de ecosistemas terrestres
Metas de Aichi
Meta 1: Aumento de la sensibilization sobre la biodiversidad
Meta 3: Incentivos reformados
Meta 11: Las áreas protegidas
Meta 12: Reducir el riesgo de extinción
Meta 19: Intercambio de información y conocimiento
Meta 20: Movilización de recursos de todas las fuentes
Presentación de la (I)NDC


Show on Protected Planet


  1. Conservation has become an increasingly popular career choice for young people. But many organizations complain that young graduates don’t have the right attitude or the real-world skills to work in field-based conservation. Yet, there are not many places where you can get exposed quickly to both. This program tries to close this gap.
  2. The lack of sustainable and long-term finance mechanisms puts the conservation of key species and habitats in Cousin Island Reserve at risk.


  1. Young graduates from Seychelles and the world
  2. Nature Seychelles: additional funding mechanism & through the contribution of manpower for conservation of the MPA
  3. Seychelles through the conservation of biodiversity
  4. Tour operators who benefit from the MPA

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

The Conservation Bootcamp - a paying program - was developed and piloted on Cousin Island Special Reserve with initial funding from the GEF. Placing agencies were contacted to recruit participants to the program. Media and marketing activities were conducted at both launch and implementation stages to publicise the program. As the program receives participants, their experiences were used to inform marketing.

Impactos positivos

72 young conservationists from 23 countries have received transferable conservation training, through learning by doing, in endangered species monitoring and censusing, ecotourism and protected area management. They have contributed 3840 volunteer hours to the conservation of Cousin Island, equivalent to 480 working days. 7 issues of the Conservation Boot Camp magazine have been published, with 1708 reads and 8453 impressions on, to share stories and personal impact from the participants. Marketing through paid social media ads, websites and through placing agents resulted in 190 people applying. 


Nature Seychelles

Late in 2018, I stumbled upon the Nature Seychelles website and decided to do the 1 month Conservation Boot Camp program.


The average day involved getting up early, having a cup of coffee and then out to do beach patrolling – looking for any signs or tracks of possible hawksbill or green turtles which might have come ashore to lay their eggs. Then back at base, make communal breakfast, head to the visitor shelter where we would assist in ecotourism. Other duties varied on some days, from doing sea bird breeding success monitoring, Seychelles magpie robin monitoring, beach profiling, invasive species control to name a few. On off time we would snorkel, relax on the beach or just socialize on the patio of the research centre.


The work was really physical; we were exhausted the first week, but thereafter, we got used to the fast paced-long hours and the humidity of the Seychelles. Of course it helps that the setting is the gorgeous Cousin Island.


We were a small group -- from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, UK and South Africa -- which made the experience much more enjoyable and personal.


The staff were easy to get along with. I found it interesting chatting to wardens from Seychelles about their passions for their home and conservation. It was also insightful to interact with the Science Coordinator and CBC Coordinator.


Before doing the Program, I was working in middle management in nature conservation and protected area management in the South African Environmental Sector for the last 19+ years, so I initially thought it would be challenging to go back to do internship work.


I have learnt so much about myself in the process, in terms of being in a close social environment with new people and sharing your personal space, being able to work with people from different backgrounds, being able to get along with far less facilities, and being able to still learn new skills and have new ideas - even after being established in your career.


I honestly believe the skills and knowledge I have learnt with Nature Seychelles, will come in handy in my career, either back home or abroad.


I would definitely recommend anyone to go do the Conservation Boot Camp Program with Nature Seychelles! Whether you are fresh out of School, University, or settled in your career.


Louise de Roubaix, CBC Participant, South Africa

Contribuido por

Nirmal Shah Nature Seychelles