Barcelona, 5-14 October 2008
Mary Tibbett, Conservation Projects Officer (Asia Region) at the World Land Trust (WLT), and Lorienne Parker, Projects Development Intern, had a great introduction to the Trust's overseas projects when they met with Roberto Pedraza (Mexico), Vivek Menon (India), Alberto Yanosky (Paraguay) and Eric von Horstman (Ecuador), at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, held in Barcelona.
Mary and Lorienne had booked places at the conference before they started work at World Land Trust, so that they could benefit form the wonderful opportunity the Congress presented to learn and network. As Lorienne said "with events covering Alliance Workshops, Knowledge Cafes, Posters, Conservation Cinemas and Learning Opportunities all running at the same time it was hard to know which to go to!" What they didn't realise when they booked their places was that in some cases the events were run by WLT partners: covering issues such as payments for ecosystem services, local fundraising ideas, training personnel for protected areas and climate change.
The location of the next Congress to be held in 2012 is yet to be determined, but unfortunately, by then, Mary and Lorienne won't qualify for the 'Youth' registration. As Lorienne points out: "Attending such a huge event is a great tip for any young, aspiring conservationists who will still be under 25 in 2012, and therefore eligible for the substantially discounted registration fee". One of the main messages of this year's World Congress was that of 'Action' – a word that is foremost in the World Land Trust philosophy.