Photos (left to right): Andrew Stevenson (Credit: Earthwatch Europe), Farouk Dubiere (Credit: Ali Mahama)
Earthwatch’s Earth Skills Network (ESN) connects leaders from the business and conservation communities through mentoring and skill-sharing opportunities. It was through ESN that Andrew Stevenson, a global account manager at Shell met mentee Farouk Dubiere, manager of Mole National Park in Ghana, a key wildlife habitat for elephants and antelopes.
The partnership was mutually beneficial. Over the year spent working together, Andrew helped Farouk to develop a proposal to finance the upgrading of road infrastructure and the park’s facilities, making the park more accessible and attractive to eco-tourists. Through this, they secured USD $30,000 to upgrade critical game-viewing roads. The pair also developed a marketing plan and new website, and identified and targeted potential funding sources, including a successful bid for USD $130,000 from the African Elephant Fund for the conservation of the park’s elephants.
Andrew was inspired by his experiences of working with a protected area and is currently engaged in supporting environmental initiatives with his customers. And his experience working with Mole National Park gave him credibility in discussions with his customers in West Africa in particular. Andrew says:
“The programme meant I was more exposed to the external world. I now have a greater awareness of protected area needs and Shell’s approach to sustainability, as well as an understanding of how other NGOs operate.”