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Conservation should be important to everyone.
Conservation initiatives that include providing community members with training do not only contribute to the conservation effort but also contribute to the empowerment of individuals and their communities.
Individuals in rural Kwazulu Natal were given the opportunity to benefit from the birds in their area by becoming well trained, fully qualified bird guides.
They were not only taught about birds and their habitats, they were also provided with the knowledge and skills necessary to operate a business.
Trained guides face many challenges but they all recognise the value their natural environment has and the need to conserve it.
These individuals generate an income from the knowledge they have gained.
Because birding attracts many tourists to Kwazulu Natal and eco-tourism has become a profitable business these guides conserve what they value and value that which sustains them.
Some trained guides are gainfully employed on a full time basis in the eco-tourism industry, others guide on a part-time basis when not at work and some have established their own guiding businesses.
Linda and her husband are keen birders.
Linda believes that individuals and communities can benefit from conservation efforts through the business opportunities eco-tourism creates.
Her passion for empowerment and conservation is incorporated in her Masters Degree as a Treatise.
She is a registered Industrial Psychologist in private practice.
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