KBS MBA research helped develop successful international conservation initiative

Research produced by Kent Business School MBA students has led to the development of Campaigning for Conservation (C4C) – an initiative that seeks to empower communities by providing affordable conservation workshops in developing countries.

C4C was initiated over three years ago as Kent Business School worked with Rare, an international conservation organisation that helps communities to adopt sustainable behaviours towards their natural environments and resources through proven social marketing techniques.

Kent Business School worked with Rare to test the interest in, as well as demand and willingness to pay for, a lighter version of their tried and tested conservation training programme. Research conducted by Namita Shete (MBA 2012) greatly facilitated the development of their Campaigning for Conservation concept increasing access to training in social marketing for resource behaviour change.

Campaigning for Conservation trains participants in the theory and practical application of social marketing for behaviour change. The course is residential and intense, but also fun. Participants spend the entire time in a retreat setting and are immersed in learning. Short theoretical sessions are interspersed with lengthy practicums where course attendees learn how to create compelling materials for use in their own communities. Taught in and around an existing protected area, and using real life situations to design and test materials, participants will leave the workshop able to design and implement mini campaigns. Campaigns that are designed to increase the public’s appreciation for nature and the adoption of more sustainable behaviours

One of Rare’s ten-day workshop programme was recently launched in Hubei, China and focused on the theme of promoting organic agriculture to reduce pesticide and fertilizer use and the resulting pollution and eutrophication of rivers and wetland ecosystems. Rare is in discussion with partners and donors for more than 60 additional workshops around themes as diverse as promoting marine protected areas, reducing wild bird trade, and changing unsustainable cattle grazing behaviours.

Paul Butler, Senior Vice President of Rare worked with Kent Business School to develop C4C and comments: “The MBA students assigned to help in the research for our program were of very high calibre and their contribution has indeed fast-tracked and greatly helped in the development of this workshop approach which we are now piloting around the world. I would like to sincerely thank the students and Professor Pam Yeow who helped oversee their work”.

For further information about Rare or C4C, please visit the website. Or for information about the MBA programme at Kent Business School and the projects we have been involved with, please contact Dr Pamela Yeow at: P.M.Yeow@kent.ac.uk

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