At the 10th World Wilderness Congress we discovered hundreds of young activists who were working quietly behind the scenes to make the WILD vision a reality. We felt that these people’s activities should be recognised. In keeping with the knowledge that young people are the future, we asked our team of young trainee journalists in the press office to go out and interview them.
I studied Forest and Nature conservation in The Netherlands and Nature Conservation in South Africa. My M.Sc thesis was about the positive effects of elephants on small ungulate browsers in the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa.
I started following the Wild Foundation after attending WILD9 in Mexico. Last year, when I was doing an internship at the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative, I went to the World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea where I met Allison from the Wild Foundation and they had just come up with the idea of CoalitionWILD. I thought it would be great to get involved in something that was just starting and I told them that I was very happy to help them out wherever I could. This also explains why I’m here at WILD10 today. It is very inspiring to be here at WILD10, as it puts you in the position to talk to a lot of people that are working in the field where you want to end up at some stage.
I’m personally trying to create a wilder world through CoalitionWILD, which, I believe, is a big step in the right direction. For the upcoming generation, it is of vital importance to collaborate with seniors, who can share their knowledge and experience so we stand a much better change in reaching conservation goals.
CoalitionWILD has officially been launched at WILD10, so the big task for us now is to get as many seniors, organisations and, (obviously) juniors involved to start expanding our reach. We have created a platform on the internet where (in the very near future) everybody can go and share their ideas and problems. For example, if I would be doing an elephant project and I’m running into problems, I can have a look on the website and find more experienced people that have worked on the same topic and ask them for advice.
In many instances, the solutions for these problems are not that hard to find, they are merely overlooked through inexperience by juniors. In essence, juniors might think that their problem might be a huge wall which is seemingly unbreakable, but more experienced people can supply the younger generation with tools to knock down those walls and succeed. With the seniors helping out the upcoming leaders of this world through a platform like CoalitionWILD, I believe big things can be achieved in the future, but we have to fully and openly collaborate with one another!
I think the most important thing for young people is to never stop dreaming, you have to be very persistent if you really want a career in conservation. If you keep dreaming as big as you can, your chance will come. It might not be tomorrow; it might not be this year; but it will come! Believe in yourself and GO WILD!
As well as being on the CoalitionWILD coordinating committee, Jordi just started working for the Vereniging Nederlands Cultuurlandschap (Association for the Dutch Cultural Landscape).
This interview was conducted by Malwina Gan – Originally from Poland, Malwina is finishing her Masters Degree in Latin American Studies at the University of Salamanca, Spain. She would like to work with the development of indigenous audiovisual communication. The full interview can be found on the blog website of WILD10