We are thrilled to introduce LeadUp, a new initiative for emerging African conservation leaders, in partnership with Maliasili, The Nature Conservancy, Tusk, and the Wildlife Conservation Network. The programme seeks to bridge the gap in conservation management by supporting emerging mid-level leaders in the community-based conservation sector. LeadUp expands on the success of the 2020-2021 African Marine Conservation Leadership Programme, which brought together 17 outstanding conservation leaders from eight leading national and local organisations working in the Western Indian Ocean to build individual and organisational leadership skills.
“This latest offering from the African Marine Conservation Leadership Network will enable a new generation of emerging leaders to deepen their skills, build their networks, and take their organisations to the next level. Local leadership is critical in our mission to support effective community-based conservation. Together this new cohort will join a wider network building an exciting movement for transformational change in the sector,” Will Stephens, Africa Regional Director, Blue Ventures.
The first LeadUp cohort comprises 30 emerging conservation leaders from Kenya and Tanzania who joined the programme in February this year. They have been engaging in online modules and recently met for their first in-person workshop in Diani, Kenya. The modules and workshops focus on strengthening their leadership skills through planning and strategy modules, building trust, navigating stress, time management, and increasing their effectiveness through a peer network.
“LeadUp” differs from other leadership programmes because its cohort comprises real-time emerging managers with big potential to lead. It focuses on helping emerging conservation leaders identify the critical skills they need to build to unlock their leadership potential.” Kahaso Mtana, Emerging Leaders and Network Management Coordinator, Maliasili.
We believe the successful inclusion of the communities most impacted by climate change in conservation efforts is critical to tackling environmental challenges and rebuilding natural ecosystems while bolstering their socioeconomic resilience. Achieving this requires sound leadership, which we aim to realise through increased and intentional support for emerging conservation leaders.
“Leadership is important in rallying people to achieve a goal, but leaders usually need to be more self-aware. The LeadUp programme has allowed me to explore my leadership potential further.” Peter Lalampaa, Grevy’s Zebra Trust.
“Before joining LeadUp, I hadn’t thought of how to improve myself and how this could help me become a better leader. But the programme allows me to explore my leadership skills which will benefit my work with partners and communities in conservation” Clay Obota, Blue Ventures.
“I’m now better able to inspire my peers and community and create a better rapport with my team because I can now mentor others better due to better leadership skills.” Ololotu Munka, Kope Lion.
“The LeadUp programme is preparing me to face different leadership challenges, to understand different personalities and how that can affect my work in conservation.” Joan Kawaka, CORDIO East Africa.
“The conservation field needs leaders because we need to do work critical to the survival of local communities and Indigenous peoples, and if we’re unable to govern ourselves, we’ll be unable to lead others,” adds Kawaka.
The Programme commits to investing in community-based African organisations to build a movement of talented leaders to inspire change and create long-term impact for the ocean and the people who depend on it.
More about conservation leadership programmes.