CEPA Workshop: Community Education for Tiger Conservation in Bangladesh

29 June 2010 | News story

Frits Hesselink, CEC Special Advisor, shares this report on a CEPA workshop organized by the Sundarbans Tiger Project in Bangladesh. CEC member Iqbal Hussain adds a follow-up report.

The Sundarbans Tiger Project organised the workshop with the vision to bring together key leaders from stakeholder groups interested in or already involved in Sundarbans and tiger conservation who could advise on the development of a Conservation Education and Community Outreach (CE &CO) strategy in support of the Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan (BTAP).

The workshop was the first step in bringing the BTAP to a larger audience of potential partners including Forest Department, local and national NGOs, local community people, media personnel; and laid the first building bricks for developing a communication roadmap. The BTAP lays the groundwork for tiger conservation activities in Bangladesh. However, we need to plan a communication strategy that helps understand what community is best to target, who the influencers are, and what behaviours are the best to target for change. It also helps identify the interventions which lead to the desired behaviours of the target audiences to conserve tiger and the Sundarbans.

This workshop took place on a boat in the Sundarbans – the purpose of which was to embed the participants in the conservation context of the BTAP. The participants were provided with the BTAP before the workshop as a reading material. Mr Frits Hesselink of HECT Consultancy and former Chair of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) with assistance from Mr Malcolm Whitehead, Head of Discovery and Learning, Zoological Society London (ZSL), supported the Sundarbans Tiger Project team in the facilitation of the workshop.

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See also the report of a follow-up workshop from CEC member Iqbal Hussain, Communication and Education Coordinator of Sundarbans Tiger Project of Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh. "Now, we are developing a comprehensive strategy to conserve tiger and the Sundarbans based on Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan," he said. Visit the project website for additional information >>