James Borrell is a biodiversity scientist and science communicator researching how people and nature can adapt to environmental change.

4 Simple First Steps On Getting Involved With Conservation

I keep trying to boil down my perspective on ‘getting involved with conservation’ into a smaller and smaller package. There’s lots of long articles, tons of great advice, but it normally comes down to a few simple points. So here’s my philosophy in a nutshell.

1. Hit the books

I don’t think anyone has ever regretted reading more books. Study as much as you can. Ask questions. Find out what we know, what we don’t and what we desperately need to. Make the most of free courses and training.

2. Keep an open mind

You have to be willing to change your opinion. If you’re not, then there’s no point learning, and if there’s one things conservations find themselves doing all the time; it’s learning on the job.

Take issues like GM crops or Palm Oil, are they as bad as seem? Could the solution to Rhino poaching be legalising trade? I don’t know the right answers; but I would also be unsure about trusting anyone that says they do.

3. Surround yourself with like-minded people

If I could suggest just one way to do this, it’s to attend the annual Explore weekend at the RGS. It’s no coincidence that I wrote this article with just a week to go before it starts.

4. Don’t be afraid to fail

Don’t let a fear of failure dissuade you from being bold, taking a risk, and following your passion.

As simple as that?