Leadership Course in Biodiversity Conservation (LCBC) 2016-17

[Conducted by BNHS CEC, Mumbai]

Applications for this year's LCBC Course is now closed


Most of us today live in a fast paced, technology intensive and increasingly urbanized world. In this race, the world of nature is often forgotten and left far behind in our daily hectic schedules. Nevertheless, nature is never far from us, whether it is the good old Peepal tree in the neighbourhood or the dainty chirping House Sparrow or the cute little Palm Squirrel running around with its tail upright! Moreover, we all know that our lives, no matter how "advanced" and sophisticated they might have become, are incomplete without the divine beauty and magnanimity of Mother Earth, who provides for all our needs and also helps us get that much needed "peace of mind".

So, here is a chance for all those who love the natural world, even as they are caught in the daily chores, to reconnect with the realm of plants, animals, birds and butterflies as well as their habitats, by enrolling for BNHS Conservation Education Centre’s (CEC) Leadership Course in Biodiversity Conservation (LCBC) 2016-17 batch. Read on to know more about this interesting course!

What is LCBC and what are its benefits?

LCBC is a hybrid part-time certificate course with online and field components interwoven in the course work. The course content has been developed and thoroughly revised from time to time by BNHS scientists/subject experts.

On successful completion, participants will receive a certificate from BNHS and grades based on evaluation of assignments and overall course participation. The course will give a very good understanding of India’s biodiversity, various habitats, conservation issues and practical aspects like sustainable living, which will help protect the same. The course will be equally interesting to those who are already acquainted with the natural world as well as to those who are totally new to this field. Participants will get opportunities to interact with eminent naturalists and scientists from BNHS and some other organizations. Participants will get an opportunity to document and learn the local biodiversity in their area, which may even result in publication of articles and papers and opportunity to work part time as a resource person with BNHS CEC, as and when there is a need. Equally important is the possibility of the participants taking up some leadership role in their own respective chosen endeavours, which results in conservation through sustainable practices in one way or the other.

Who can enrol?

Anyone with an interest to learn about the biodiversity of India and its conservation is welcome to apply. For courses like these, we observe that there are three types of participants; viz. those working in the same field seeking professional development, those working in other fields but interested in integrating conservation with their routine work and those who wish to learn and explore the natural world out of curiosity. You could be any one of these. The basic qualification is 10th standard (any board). Other requirements include basic understanding about use of computer and internet (and access to the same), ability to regularly dedicate some part of the weekly routine for the course work and an interest in understanding the natural world.

What is the course syllabus?

The course includes chapters and assignments that cover topics like biodiversity, ecology, plants, insects, marine life, reptiles/amphibians, birds, mammals, conservation issues & sustainable development, environmental impact assessment and environmental law. The chapters will be illustrated with relevant pictures/diagrams and written in simple English.

What is the course schedule?

The course duration is nine months (June 2016 to February 2017). The monthly online assignments and chapters will be shared with the participants in the first week of every month. Assignments are to be submitted by participants in a month’s time. Various online platforms including email, Face Book, Google Talk, etc will be used for the interactions. Field trips are usually held on Sundays or public holidays and field camps also usually include weekends. The inaugural camp is held in CEC Mumbai in the first month of the course, while the wrap-up camp is held in the last month of the course. The complete course guide, including calendar of activities will be shared with participants upon registration.

What are the course deliverables?

The course has field as well as online assignments. The detailed break-up of the course deliverables on part of BNHS and on part of the participants is given below.

  • Chapters: Every month one chapter will be made available online for participants to read. The chapters, written by BNHS subject experts, will cover various aspects related to study of biodiversity and its conservation. These chapters will help in increasing the knowledge of the subject, in learning during field activities and in completing assignments.
  • E-updates:In order to keep the group abreast of happenings in the field of biodiversity and conservation, BNHS will periodically share news and information pertaining to the subject. Similarly, as a part of the monthly assignment, participants are expected to share updates in the form of news, excerpts from books or e-books, research papers, documentary links, etc. E-updates are compulsory every month, should be posted on the online interactive platform and should also feature in the monthly assignment submission document.
  • Online Research: In order to learn in greater detail about the research, conservation and awareness work being conducted, in the context of biodiversity and habitats as well as the social, cultural, administrative, technological and literary dimensions associated with it, participants are expected to refer to scientific papers, articles, news, discussions, films, etc available online/offline and submit abstracts of the same with the monthly assignment submission document. There are nine such activities of which five are compulsory.
  • Field Visits and Reports: A total of six half day field visits will be conducted to various wildlife habitats near Mumbai, during the course duration. Participants are required to attend any four of them. A brief report on each field visit should be sent along with the monthly assignment submission document. Participants staying away from Mumbai in other parts of Maharashtra or in other states can instead visit a similar habitat near their location, on their own.
  • Field Camps and Reports: In the course duration one inaugural camp, one wrap-up camp and three field camps will be organized. Field camps are conducted in various biodiversity habitats across India. Participants are required to attend a total of three camps. Inaugural camp is compulsory. In case, a participant is not able to attend the same due to some emergency/unavoidable circumstance, he/she will be required to attend the wrap-up camp as a mandatory requirement. A participant, who has attended the inaugural camp, will have to further attend at least two camps from among the three field camps and the wrap-up camp. A participant, who has not attended the inaugural camp and would be attending the wrap-up camp, will have to attend at least two of the three field camps. A camp report must be submitted after each camp as a part of the monthly assignment submission document.
  • Image Sharing: Participants are encouraged to carry out photo documentation of their field visits and camps. These images can be shared on Picasa and/or Face Book (with names of the flora and fauna where identification is possible, along with any other observations) and a link should be posted on the online interactive platform as well as some samples should be included in the monthly assignment submission document.
  • Chat Sessions:Out of the four chat sessions that will be conducted in the course duration, participating in any two is mandatory. The online chats will be planned as per the availability of experts and the topic will be announced about a week in advance. Participants are expected to send in their questions before the day of the chat for better coordination of the session. These chat sessions will help in getting better insights into the world of biodiversity and its conservation and will help in the monthly assignments.
  • Celebration of Eco Days: Conservation and awareness can take place effectively if maximum stakeholders are involved in the process. Participants are required to understand the relevance of various eco days observed globally as well as the Indian practices and festivals that actually promote conservation. Post that they are required to carry out awareness activities in their locality as well as online, highlighting the significance of that particular day/practice in biodiversity conservation. Participants can choose any four of the seven eco days in the course duration, for celebration and awareness activities.
  • Project Work: This is an integral part of the course and involves submitting a project report every month as a part of the monthly assignment submission document. The monthly project report should be based on the theme outlined for that particular month and the relevant observations/study in one’s chosen locality. The final project report and the presentation at the end of the year will be an amalgamation of the monthly reports as well as a holistic and practical action plan for their respective localities. Any relevant article contributed to a newspaper, magazine or website in English or any Indian language in the course duration would be an added advantage.

What is the evaluation/grading structure?

The evaluation for grading will be based on the following criteria: Initiative (20%), Involvement/Content (50%), Deadlines (15%) and Format (15%), within each category. Points for the assignments would be given in the following manner across categories.

1. Field Visits, Camps and Reports: 50% (50 points)

  • Field Visits: 40% within this category for participation in any four out of the six scheduled visits (20 points: Four points for each trip, one point for each report)
  • Field Camps: 60% within this category for participation in three camps from among the five scheduled camps (three field camps, one inaugural camp and one wrap-up camp) - (30 points: Seven points for each camp, three points for each report)

2. Project Work:21% (21 points)

  • Monthly Project Report (as a part of monthly assignment submission document): Two points for every report
  • Final Project Report: Three points
  • Final Project Presentation: Two points

3. Online Research:5% for participation in any five out of the nine activities (Five points: One point for each)

4. Celebration of Eco days: 12% for participation in any four out of the seven eco days (12 points: Three points for each day)

5. E-updates and Image Sharing: 8% for the eight e-updates, all of which are mandatory (Eight points: One point for each update) - Image sharing is not graded, but recommended for sharing visual documentation of field activities.

6. Chat Sessions: 4% for participating in any two of the total four chat sessions (Four points: Two points for each session)

Based on the aggregate points, participants will receive grades ranging from “A” to “D”. There will be no written final exam at the end of the course. Participants who are unable to fulfil the course requirements will not receive their certificates.

What is the course fee?

The course fee is Rs 10,000, which includes BNHS expertise in the online and field components, chapters, assignments, evaluation and food/refreshments in the inaugural and wrap-up camps. The field camps at other locations will be charged separately. BNHS members will get a 10% discount on the course fee only.

Who is a part of the course team?

The course is managed by BNHS CEC, Mumbai team, comprising of Atul Sathe, Course Coordinator; Amandeep Kaur Giran, Course Executive and Omkar Joshi, Course Executive. Periodic inputs will also be taken from scientists and experts from within and outside BNHS.

Who are the scientists/experts associated with the course?

  • Dr Deepak Apte
  • Mr Isaac Kehimkar
  • Dr Raju Kasambe
  • Mr Sujit Narwade
  • Ms Neha Sinha
  • Dr Parvish Pandya
  • Dr Prasad Modak
  • Mr Adesh Shivkar

How to Register?

Applications for this year's LCBC Course is now closed

Members of IndianWildlifeclub.com get 5% discount and need to pay Rs 9500/- only.

Not a member?

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Important Instructions:

  • The course fee (NON REFUNDABLE) includes BNHS expertise in terms of chapters, assignments, evaluation, online chats and field resource; along with the lunch/snacks during inaugural and wrap-up camps in CEC, Mumbai. Field camps to other locations will be charged separately.
  • Sightings: Animal and bird sightings during field trips and field camps are not guaranteed as it is a matter of chance as well as the discipline of the participants on the field. Participants should read the BNHS camps rules on the website before going on the field.
  • Dress code: During field trips/camps, it is advisable to wear comfortable clothes that do not hinder movement. Preferably wear dull/camouflaging colors such as grey, green, khaki or brown, as well as proper shoes/footwear. During monsoon, rain-wear is essential.
  • Things to carry: During field trips/camps, participants are advised to carry packed/dry snacks, notepad, pen/pencil, water bottle, cap, mosquito repellent cream and binoculars/camera (if available).
  • Field behavior: During field trips/camps in a forest/other natural habitat, refrain from the following actions: 1) Talking loudly, 2) Leaving the trail and entering into the forest, 3) Plucking leaves, flowers or fruits, 4) Littering in the forest, 5) Troubling animals, birds and other life forms, 6) Grabbing branches for support. 7) Smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Other activity specific instructions will be shared with participants from time to time.
  • Way to BNHS CEC: Take a 343 bus headed to Film City (not Santosh Nagar) from Goregaon (East) BEST depot. Alight at the last stop, opposite Reliance Media Works and walk straight (don’t turn right). Along this narrow tarred road, walk past the small Waghoba (Tiger Deity) temple situated on the right side. Immediately ahead you will see a BNHS gate on the right side. After passing through this gate, a five minute walk along a demarcated nature trail will bring you to CEC building. In a rare case, if this gate is closed, you can walk further along the tarred road, cross the forest department check post (Elephant Gate) and then turn right at the BNHS sign board, from where a nature trail will bring you to CEC building. If you are coming by rickshaw, you can either walk along the above route or can drive up to CEC building in the following manner. If you are coming by any private transport, take the Western Express Highway and turn on to Arunkumar Vaidya Marg (Film City Road) at Vitbhatti (Oberoi Mall). This road goes past Dindoshi bus depot, turns right and enters Film City premises (Gate-1) after IGIDR. At Reliance Media Works, turn right to enter Gate-2 of Film City and follow the BNHS sign boards up to CEC building along a forest road.
  • Contact details: BNHS education team would be more than happy to answer your queries. For more details, please log onto www.bnhs.org or e-mail us at cecbnhs@gmail.com or call us at 022-28429477, 9594953425; between 10.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. (Monday to Friday).

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