They say “Third time’s the charm,” but no doubt the first two were charmed as well. Sentinel’s goal has been to provide necessary training where it isn’t readily available. Emergency preparedness came first; this year we introduced sustainability to our curriculum. We partnered with Leave No Trace to offer outdoor professionals and enthusiasts an opportunity to learn how to reduce their impact in the outdoors and receive a certification doing so.
Not only did we train nearly 100 students in impact reduction, we introduced them to landscape conservation. We also teamed up with The Nature Conservancy this year, to provide an overview of the challenges the Northern Tanzania landscape faces. Though Northern TZ contains one of the highest concentrations of protected areas, and world famous ones at that, these areas face encroachment by rapid development and conversion from rangelands to farmland. It turns out that the pastoralist lifestyle may have less of an impact on the local landscape than permanent farming settlements – could a meat-filled diet be better than a vegetarian diet for the environment? Sounds like the herbivore’s have a dilemma of their own.
I can only guess that most of our students would be keen to increase their nyama intake, but I KNOW they wanted to further increase their understanding of conservation and how to reduce our impacts, which is pretty exciting.