bat biodiversity partnership - Conservation capacity building

To help conservation biologists and practitioners influence and impact biodiversity conservation, the Tropical Biology Association provides key practical training through field courses, specialist skills workshops and follow-up support. 

"Tropical Biology Association courses give students the confidence to believe in research and field work. The cumulative impact of these individuals on improving natural resources management in Uganda is enormous."
Achilles Byaruhanga, Director, Nature Uganda


Countries with the greatest capacity development needs often harbour the greatest threats to biodiversity. To make biodiversity conservation sustainable, appropriate skills, motivation and resources are required at a national level. 


Through field courses and tailormade training programmes, taught by leading international scientists and conservation experts, the Tropical Biology Association aims to develop the capability of people and institutions to manage biodiversity effectively in the tropics. 

Key activities

Aimed at conservation biologists in the early stage of their careers, the month-long field-based courses in East Africa, Madagascar and Borneo teach students how to apply upto- date concepts in ecology and conservation in the field. 

All African and Southeast Asian participants receive a full scholarship for this training, which is supported by the Partnership. Around 15 different countries are represented on each course; this provides a unique forum for exchanging ideas and building links for the future. Every year, at least one African trainee is offered a Master’s degree scholarship to help to further their careers in conservation or biological research. 

The specialist training programmes also provide African and Southeast Asian institutions with the practical training and resources they need to enhance their impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services. 

Thanks to the unparalleled follow-up support programme funded by the Partnership, 97 per cent of former course participants stay in touch with the Tropical Biology Association. This also allows the Tropical Biology Association to monitor the longerterm impacts of its capacity building programme by tracking what people do after their training. 


Over the past five years, the Partnership has funded 17 monthlong field courses in Borneo, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda, and four specialist training workshops. Many Tropical Biology Association participants are now making real impacts in biodiversity or are training others to do so. The Tropical Biology Association’s capacity building has also helped to catalyse a range of collaborations between scientists across the globe and to develop a network of skilled, committed conservation practitioners and research biologists. It has also enhanced the capacity of key conservation institutions in East Africa, South East Asia and Madagascar.