Tip of the tiger-poaching iceberg
The opportunity afforded by this experience, namely to work within the TRAFFIC team at WWF-India, was my chance to learn all I could about the realities of international wildlife trade and the challenges of tiger conservation in India from within this huge organisation. By volunteering to work with WWF-India, I hoped to gain a real sense of the challenges involved in such work and to gain an understanding of the lives led by those people and communities who play their roles. Being able to observe how this critical work in conservation is carried out from within WWF-India itself is a priceless opportunity.
If I have ever had a situation worthy of the title ‘third time lucky’, then being selected to serve as one of the volunteers with WWF-India was it. The happy conclusion to three years of dogged determination and perseverance – a relentless drive to get involved with WWF – I received an email from the WWF-International co-ordinator just as I had all but given up hope. As a child, WWF had always been synonymous with the most beautiful aspects of the natural world and painted a picture of a world I wanted to see and help conserve. They have done more than any other NGO to influence governments and change public opinion and inspire youth. WWF-India was my ‘dream’ goal at the top of a long list of highly respected and established organisations and when I couldn’t accept my place in India in the first instance I was gutted. I had initially applied for the project in Madagascar the previous year but had not been successful. I then applied for the WWF-India project but the dates clashed with my brother’s wedding so I had had to decline. So, it was truly a case of ‘third time lucky’ when I was told that I had been awarded a place on the project for October 2009. In the true karmic sense, perhaps things do tend to come around when they should as they should – this WWF-India placement was meant to be?