From July 20th to 25th, 2019, I traveled to Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, to attend ICCB 2019 (International Congress for Conservation Biology). This year’s theme was conservation beyond boundaries: connecting biodiversity with communities, government and stakeholders.
Before attending the conference, I attended during a day and a half a training on innovative techniques that can be used for communication and education in the field of biodiversity conservation. First, a little bit of theory. I learned how people learn best (VARK method), how to facilitate their learning and how to motivate them (intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, does it mean something to you?). Then we reviewed the different activities that can be used to raise public awareness of biodiversity conservation. We created a lot: interactive theater, e-learning program, games. We also learned how to use good formats, different framing, good music and good light placements for videos that can be broadcast on social networks. This training also allowed me to meet people who worked in the field of environmental education and with whom I was able to share their experiences and activities that they put in place to raise awareness about the conservation of the biodiversity.
After these intensive learning days, we’re off to a 4-day conference! This is a great first for me, because it’s the first time I’m going to an international congress, so everything is pretty impressive! The Kuala Lumpur Convention Center (KLCC) is huge! Fortunately, I planned ahead which interventions I wanted to attend! In addition, everything is in English (conversations, exchanges, conferences), so I have to seriously put my brain in English mode after a one year break. I must admit that the first days were rude … But it was really worth it! I attended various very interesting conferences related to the conservation of biodiversity with different themes: plastic pollution, the crucial role of local communities, religion, environmental education, culture, social sciences. There were also other themes such as man / wildlife conflict or marine biology, but there were 12 lectures in different places at the same time, so I had to choose! I attended several presentations of biodiversity protection programs that are truly inspiring and highlighted the importance of the involvement of local populations and the knowledge of their culture and their crucial role in the success of a biodiversity conservation program.
This event also expanded the ABConservation network by meeting people with whom we could partner or with organizations which could provide us funds for the various ABConservation projects.