With support from the PA Financing Project, the Institute of Biodiversity (IBD) successfully launched the inaugural intake of the new Effective Protected Areas and Wildlife Management (EPAWM) Training Course. The six-week course provides specialized training for PA agencies involved in protected area and wildlife management and the inaugural batch of 14 participants come from all across Malaysia and included participants from Sabah and Sarawak.
The course was the culmination of months of planning and preparation driven by a Technical Working Group comprising senior officers of the DWNP. Extensive consultation was made to elaborate a national training that would be tailored to nurture the diverse skills and competencies required of protected area managers. Resource persons and faculty for the training course were identified from several higher learning institutions and included eminent experts that have retired from public service. DWNP officers that were supported to attend advanced training at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Dehradun, India in 2014 were actively engaged in the development of course curriculum and modules.
The EPAWM course is a significant milestone in the transformation of the IBD into a National Centre of Excellence providing specialized training for officers across the country that are playing key roles in safeguarding protected areas and managing wildlife. In addition, enabling officers from multiple agencies to undergo professional training together will undoubtedly engender stronger peer networks and closer collaboration among individuals from different PA agencies.
The course was conducted mainly at the Institute of Biodiversity (IBD) in Lanchang, Pahang, and fieldwork was carried out in Penang National Park, Royal Belum State Park and Sungkai. The EPAWM course will be offered again to a fresh batch of officers in September 2016.