I am the co-Executive Director of PROGRESS where we work on ecology, conservation science and policy and community outreach.
Which ASAP species you are working to conserve, and can you tell us a little about your work?
Talaud Cuscus Ailurops melanotis
We have just started to initiate a community-based conservation to protect the Critically Endangered Talaud Cuscus Ailurops melanotis. This species only occurs on two small islands of North Sulawesi at the border of Indonesia and the Philippines. With an expected small population size within a small unprotected geographical location, this species became rarer to be seen in the wild. Working with the community is our hope to save the species from the brink of extinction.
What inspired you to start a career in conservation?
I grew up close to the Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi. The beauty of the forest, playful monkey, and charismatic hornbills amazed me. What astounded me was the huge flood that occurred nearby where excessive tree cutting had happened. These two extreme childhood experiences brought me to start a career in conservation.
How do you think the Women in Conservation Leadership Programme will help you in carrying out your work?
This course will equip me with skills to better manage conservation projects and ensure they create meaningful impacts proven by rigorous research. Opportunities to acquire such skills that are structured systemically are rare (especially with all women participants!), and thus I am keen to join the training and contribute meaningfully to the events by sharing my experience working with ASAP species and addressing discrimination and bias in the field of conservation to other participants. I also look forward to listening and learning from others in their innovative ways to conserve species and advocate gender issues in conservation.
Shera participated in Phase 1 of WiCLP and is also a part of the ongoing Phase 2 Visible Leadership Programme.