Sustainable forestry student Tatiana Prudence Eboua – who Virgin Balloon Flights have supported with donations to the TFT’s Centre for Social Excellence in the Congo – is currently enjoying her Equatorial Forest Company (CEB) work placement in Bambidie, Gabon. There she is helping the company to manage a forest area of 600,000 hectares (that’s an area bigger than 700 football pitches!).
Tatiana’s main aim whilst on her placement is to implement plans to engage with the communities living within the concession, ensuring the company take on board all the needs of the local communities to thoroughly safeguard the future of the forest and its inhabitants.
The photograph above (left) shows Tatiana interviewing a group of local women from a forest site in East Cameroon finding out their thoughts and views on access, protection, resources and rights of the forest.
James Mudie from the TFT says there are two primary points for Tatiana to focus on during her internship: “Firstly, Tatiana will facilitate the establishment of an agricultural programme, in Ogooue-Lolo. The company, through its social forest management component, is trying to establish this community programme using their own finance loaned to the communities themselves to build a long-term sustainable business. Tatiana’s role combines fieldwork and institutional work for the Centre of Social Excellence (CSE) and she is helping the communities to decide what they want to do, whether small livestock farming, or planting cocoa or coffee.
“The other task under her responsibility is the establishment of partnerships for training local communities. She is helping them to get training and advice from local specialised organisations and other agencies that could assist in capacity building and training. Her skill in moderation and conflict management, (gained at the CSE), is enabling her to reconcile the sometimes divergent expectations of all stakeholders leading to much more successful partnerships.”
Tatiana is over half way through her placement now and has until November 2010 to meet her goal and implement the changes and relationships that are so important to the future of the forest.
We wish Tatiana the best of luck with her final few months in Gabon and look forward to congratulating her when she graduates.
Tatiana (left) and her Mother at DESS graduation
Virgin Balloon Flights is delighted to introduce Tatiana Prudence Eboua a new sustainable forestry student at the TFT Centre of Social Excellence and the second person we have sponsored.
Following Raphael Tsanga’s recent graduation, 30-year-old Tatiana is hoping to follow in his footsteps at the centre in the Congo Basin and to help protect the tropical forest in the future
Just a few weeks ago our eager new scholar, from Libreville, Gabon, started her course after making it through a vigorous interview process. Already the proud possessor of a Masters Degree in Anthropology and a Post Masters specialisation in ‘Economy & Sustainable Forest with Environmental Resource Management,’ Tatiana believes the CSE can aid “…a solution to the problem of environmental degradation and allow the populations in the country to have a better quality of life.”
Arriving at CSE
Here at Virgin Balloon Flights we believe in supporting the forests alongside the wellbeing of real people in developing countries to enable education and therefore conservation of our natural world. Since 2009 we have been donating £1 for every ton of carbon our business created annually to the TFT’s Climate Tree Initiative choosing specifically to support the CSE project.
Tatiana is confident she will gain the qualifications through the CSE to successfully help manage forest economic objectives as well as ensuring health and safety and cohabitation are significantly improved.
“When I join active work life, I would like to evolve in a setting allowing me to stay in contact with humans and nature, and the training at the CSE offers me this opportunity. I want to be a social officer, to
Off to fetch water, a reality of life at the CSE
help the promotion of an improved cohabitation between the different stakeholders, implicated in forest management and conservation (governments, companies, workers, populations) with the main objective for respect and acknowledgments of principles, criteria, indicators and social, environmental as well as economic objectives of forest management”
“My message to Virgin … in helping the CSE, it is humanity as a whole that you are preserving. Thank you.”
We look forward to keeping you up to date with Tatiana’s progress through her classroom and work based study over the forthcoming months!