Chagos Ambassador Advanced Training
The overarching aim of the Chagossian Environment Community Project is that those graduates of the Chagos Environment Training Course who developed a particular interest/aptitude for a range or particular element of conservation be offered further intensive skills training in their chosen field. Vocational scholarships and bursary funding are now available through the ever expanding network of supporters to this project!
Those completing this additional stage are eligible to apply for places on scientific expeditions and join the enthusiastic teams of scientists and conservationists working in Chagos. Opportunities are also available in the UK and a focus of this training is to support Chagossians as advocates of the conservation of their own natural heritage. As those with the necessary drive and interest develop it is hoped to include them in steering the foci of future Chagos expeditions and integrating them into the Scientific Advisory Group.
Find out more below, or follow our expedition blog to learn about the experiences of our trainees as they get out into the conservation world!:
Rudy Pothin – Peering into the blue
7th December 2012: A scientific expedition in the Chagos archipelago is something that I never thought I would be part of, but here I am sitting out on the deck of the Pacific Marlin writing this blog and being part of this amazing pelagic expedition. To me this is truly an opportunity of a lifetime and surely one that I will never forget. It has been filled with amazing memorable moments and goes beyond the description of words as to what it means to come to Chagos on a personal and career basis. All those years of waiting to hopefully see this place for real was well worth the wait for it did not disappoint, in fact it has actually inspired me.
The scientists that I have had the privilege to work alongside since the beginning of this expedition are the most determined and amazing individuals I have ever met. Each driven to do their research work and not give up when the weather gets bad, but we all wake up the next day even more focused on the days work. Also Jasper, Pete’s dog has been truly amazing and always finding his way to a well deserve cuddle from us.
Not forgetting the amazing crew of the Marlin, their help is one that is truly valuable to doing research work out here. Always ready to help and always preparing amazing food that it worth mentioning for they go above and beyond expectations.
Being here in the Chagos I have seen that there is an amazing opportunity for conservation work, be it from the middle of the deep blue sea, the amazing corals reefs with all the splendours and variety of fish or the islands, which although from afar look very similar, one cannot not help to notice how each holds their own individuality that makes each unique in their own right.
If someone asked me what was the best part of this expedition, I would honestly say it was the whole start to finish. With pieces that have completely captivated my interest, such as seeing the species of sharks from the SISSTAs camera, the marine world is something that has left me in awe. The birds and being able to get really close to them, which was a new experience to me, has inspired my interest to know more about them, and the wonderful crabs of different shapes and sizes I think were just as curious about me as I was of them. The vast abundance of animals and plants that are just waiting to surprise you is never ending and that is part of what makes this place so amazing to me, it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Yannick Mandarin – Visiting my Chagossian heritage
8th March 2013: My time on Chagos is just amazing, emotional and fun.
My grandparents lived, married and raised kids on these islands. Now I can put a picture to all the stories I heard from my grandfather, Henri Mandarin, as I was growing up.
So far, I’ve visited 35 islands with Peter Carr who’s doing an amazing job out here, protecting all the birds on these islands. Peter and I have spent lots of time together going from island to island to monitor and survey all the bird species. It’s great opportunity for me to learn from him and at the same time, bring my share of the knowledge that I gained during the Chagossian Environment Programme provided by ZSL.
I’ve met a guy called Gary Fletcher, who has a special project on an underwater camera system, which I’ve taken a big interest in. I’ve helped him to assemble his materials together and we’ve become really good friends. I’m sure we will stay friends even after the expedition is finished.
The weather is fantastic, the crew amazing and the scientists really committed to their work.
This will be an unforgettable memory and story for me. I never thought that one day, I would visit my grandparents’ homeland.
See how you can get involved:
Chagos Community Environment Project