Rare Conservation Fellow Luis Lopez
Paul Butler, Rare’s senior vice president of global programs, has said that, “Training a fellow to do just one campaign is like training a brain surgeon to do one operation.” In the spirit of making the most of their training, many Rare Conservation Fellows continue to use the community organizating skills they learned with Rare in their daily work. Fellows will often continue with their Pride campaigns beyond the official two-year partnership with Rare, and some will even replicate their campaigns at additional sites that are also key to conserving biodiversity. One of the greatest uses of a Rare Conservation Fellow's training, however, is sharing their knowledge with other conservationist.
Rare Conservation Fellow Luis López completed his Pride campaign in early 2012 in Ecuador to protect critical watershed habitat and species. López now mentors municipal employees to run campaigns in three different areas, all in Ecuador: the Amazon River basin, a coastal community and a dry highland area. “We have tried to choose sites that are really diverse,” says López. “It will give us experience to replicate in even more sites. These three campaigns will be a model upon which we will learn.”
The abbreviated training will cover marketing components found in traditional Pride campaigns — such as the mascot, song, slogan, etc. — to mobilize community support. The program will also establish innovative reciprocal agreements between upstream and downstream villages to maintain water production and quality. “I have a lot of hope,” says López. “I have more confidence, since I already ran a campaign. I know the path.”
After their second week of training, the mentees have full campaign plans in place. They have identified their key audiences and messages, chosen their mascots, and marked their calendars with the dates for their campaign launches!