Tayna Center for Conservation Biology

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The Tayna Center for Conservation Biology "was created to train the next generation of conservationists in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Today, 87 students study conservation biology and community conservation on the Tayna campus, located just seven kilometers from the Tayna Gorilla Reserve, a government-sanctioned 900 square kilometer nature reserve, owned and managed by traditional leaders, landowners, and local people.

"The students, who receive the equivalent of a state-sanctioned Bachelor's Degree in three years, are expected to return and practice their new skills in their communities. The students, who are provided a full scholarship, were chosen from member projects of UGADEC, a federation of community-based nature reserve projects in Eastern DRC. Many graduates will be eligible for conservation positions not only in the DRC but also throughout Africa.

"The site is ideal for conservation and biology students, who can do their practical studies in the forest, and study with the staff of the Tayna Gorilla Reserve. The university can also host international professors to teach specialized classes and workshops and scientists interested in studying the area's rich biodiversity and geological history.

"In its second year of operation, this DFGFI-supported university is capturing the attention of national and regional authorities as well as the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN), the agency responsible for national parks. Building on DFGFI's belief that it's important to integrate a community conservation approach into traditional National Parks management, in the future ICCN staff will also receive training at TCCB and study community conservation techniques.

"There is no other field center for conservation biology anywhere in the country and it is expected that the TCCB will play an important role in sustainable conservation in this region." [1]

"This initiative is made possible by the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), Conservation International, the Global Conservation Fund of Conservation International, and our generous members." [2]

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