Durrell come together for annual Conservation Symposium

This week members of Durrell’s overseas field team, from six countries will come together to join the 2015 Durrell Conservation Symposium.

The Symposium forms part of a fortnight of meetings, workshops and presentations organised by Durrell, which provide an opportunity for participants to share knowledge and discuss key developments within the field of wildlife conservation.

For the second year running, ABN AMRO Bank Jersey has supported the event with its generous funding helping to cover the costs associated with bringing the teams together at Durrell’s Jersey HQ.

Bilal Majid, Country Executive and Head of ABN AMRO bank Jersey, commented: “One of our core values is sustainability and the promotion of long-term value for our clients, shareholders, employees and society as a whole. The overseas team at Durrell does a fantastic job of protecting endangered species and biodiversity in some of the most remote frontiers on the planet, and we are delighted to help make this event possible for the second year running.”

This year the symposium will profile Durrell’s conservation work starting from the species and moving up through the ecosystem to regions and then global level results. The aim is to highlight that while Durrell’s mission focuses on saving species from extinction, these projects have wide-ranging impacts. Speakers will come from the four main arms of the Trust’s conservation team - including those working in field programmes, within the animal collection, the training programmes and conservation science.

At the species level, the audience will hear how Durrell’s work to save the world’s rarest snake requires the team to start with a completely different species, and what they discover along the way.

Years of species-focused conservation work has given Durrell a unique insight into what is required to restore the whole ecosystem of Round Island, off the coast of Mauritius. This island was once described by founder Gerald Durrell as “the most important project with which the Trust has been involved” and the organisation hope it will become a global example of what is possible in terms of island restoration.

Regionally the Durrell Madagascar team will present the recent news that three areas within Madagascar totaling around 56,000 hectares, have just been declared as new protected areas by the Madagascan government, thanks to Durrell’s work, and finally team members will highlight some of the work they have done to promote the evaluation of conservation impact at a global level, profiling some of the most threatened species worldwide.

Durrell’s Head of Field Programmes, Dr. Andrew Terry said, “We have over 60 staff representing Durrell and Jersey around the world – working in extremely tough conditions from remote villages in the highlands of Madagascar to tiny oceanic islands. This is our chance to bring some of them back home and to showcase what we have achieved, and to look forward and plan what we hope to do in the future. It is a hugely motivating event; but it is also extremely expensive to organise. This is such an important event in Durrell’s year, and we are extremely grateful to ABN AMRO for their belief in us in, making this possible through their generous support.”