Participants to the 4th annual World Heritage Centre / Earthwatch / Shell "Business Planning for natural World Heritage site managers" year long training programme have just been informed of their successful candidacies. In October 2012, 18 World Heritage site staff from 6 sites in Africa will travel to the Mpala Research Centre in the shadow of Mount Kenya World Heritage site to participate in the programme.
First offered in South East Asia in 2009 and 2010, the focus was moved to Africa in 2011. The programme combines a 10-day intensive training session in the company of Shell business planning experts, which are twinned with specific World Heritage sites. The training is followed by a one-year implementation phase, where lessons learned are applied with the on-going support of each site designated Shell mentor.
The successful candidates come from Cape Floral Region Protected Areas (South Africa), Mount Nimba Nature Reserve (Côte d’Ivoire), Virunga National Park (Dem. Rep. Congo), Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda), uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park (South Africa), Vallée de Mai (Seychelles).
The five-year programme, funded by Shell and implemented by Earthwatch, an internationally recognized conservation and training organization, is based on the successful Business Planning for Natural World Heritage Site Managers pilot project previously carried out between Shell Foundation and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. A short documentary video on last year’s training is accessible here.