Providing creative and cost-effective capacity building
Baeza, Spain, 7 June 2011 - Conservation has now been given a lecture hall with the launch of the new Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Virtual College, a highly collaborative initiative amongst many CITES Parties, partners and organizations, and a first for a multilateral environmental agreement.
The launch of the CITES Virtual College took place at the International University of Andalusia (UNIA). The interactive course will be available in three working languages of the Convention, a library and a training centre. Moreover, experts on CITES-related issues will be invited to provide lectures via video and to advise students on questions related to their course work.
Strong links are also being established with academic institutions, particularly the UNIA, where the CITES Virtual College will provide students enrolled in the Master's course on Management, Access and Conservation of Species in Trade: the International Framework with a useful introduction to the fundamentals of the Convention.
Mr John E. Scanlon, the CITES Secretary-General, said: "The CITES Virtual College is a significant step forward in the creative use of new information and communication technologies. Innovations such as these significantly enhance the ability of the Secretariat to provide capacity-building activities and materials to CITES Parties and in a highly cost effective manner."
Dr Juan Manuel Suárez Japón the Rector of the UNIA added that the College would "strengthen collaboration between the International University of Andalucia and the CITES Secretariat and provide a cutting-edge platform for collaboration and work. It will also better prepare students enrolled in the Master's course to engage more quickly in substantive academic research and study."
Access to environmental data has also been given a boost with the Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE), an international public-private consortium coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Yale University, and leading science and technology publishers which enables developing countries to gain access to one of the world's largest collections of environmental science research.
Over 3,000 peer reviewed titles are now available in more than 100 low income countries. Research is provided in a wide range of disciplines.
To access the CITES Virtual College, please go to: campusvirtual.unia.es/cites/
To access OARE, please go to: www.oaresciences.org/en/
The CITES Secretariat welcomes comments on the CITES Virtual College