Voices from the field #3: what students think about CONTAN

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Sharing experiences and evaluations of proposals, courses and tools: that’s what CONTAN Project’s teams expect from target groups, especially from students. Here we can read another important feedback on what they think about the Project and about some key-issues that need to be addressed. The voice is Peter Allen Maine’s, a student from Dar Es Salaam University.

Would you say CONTAN project is an important educational experience for your future and why?

Peter: As a young Tanzanian conservationist I find the CONTAN project not only an educational experience but also one among the cross-cultural learning experience on various environmental fields. It encourages teamwork and provides opportunities to develop new skills and knowledge in conservation.

What do you appreciate most of CONTAN lessons, trainings or methods? Is there something (collected data, moments, discoveries, etc.) that has particularly impressed you up to now?

Peter: The instruments that were used such as range finders, camera traps and training on R-software and studio were the lessons and training that I most appreciated from the CONTAN project. The lessons will not only help me in improving accuracy, efficiency, and productivity in my future research works, data analysis and field work but also will be used to detect and monitor threats such as poaching, habitat loss and invasive species which in turn will help to protect the Tanzanian ecosystems, species and the overall services that they provide.

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Do you think biodiversity monitoring and conservation is an urgency from what you see in your surroundings? What is the importance, from your point of view, to act globally even for local issues?

Peter: Currently, most of the forest ecosystems are facing numerous threats including habitat destruction, overexploitation of natural resources, climate change, invasive species and more. Therefore, there is an urgent need for biodiversity monitoring and conservation since the Tanzanian forests are not only important for the local communities and wildlife but also have global significance such as global carbon sink, playing vital role in regulating the earths’ climate, and a home to various wild crop relatives that can be used for various crop improvement. Therefore, their loss can have severe consequences for the planet’s health.
Additionally, Tanzania forests are a home to many endemic and threatened species and therefore urgent conservation can contribute to the global efforts to halt the ongoing extinction crisis.
It is essential to act globally to address local issues such as biodiversity loss in Tanzania forest ecosystems. International cooperation, funding and policy support are needed to ensure effective conservation measures and sustainable use of Natural resources.

Is there a moment or something that has happened in your life that you remember as the very special moment that made you choose to work in this field? Tell about it.

Peter: At my advanced school level I was elected as a dormitory prefect and around our room there was no garden due to the renovations that they made. As a leader had to plant some plants around our room that attracted many. Moreover, a group of ten students being a member did planting and nomenclature of plants that were used in our daily practicals in front of our biology laboratory. These events marked as a stepping stone of me venturing into conservation and clearly understanding the plant biology, how they are conserved and preventing them from extinction became areas of interest.

From your point of view, which are some of the primary issues that need to be faced to foster conservation?

Peter: Habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, deforestation, overexploitation of natural resources (Overfishing, overhunting, overgrazing), invasive species and pollution are the primary issues need to be faced to foster conservation.

#biodiversity #conservation #CONTAN #education #Erasmus+ #EU #European Union #monitoring #Project #Tanzania #Universities

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