The Cambridge Trust has published a profile of Hughes Hall student Bensolo Ken, who completed the MPhil in Conservation Leadership during 2017-18 supported by a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship, awarded by the Cambridge Trust and the Commonwealth Scholarship Comission. The Cambridge Trust, which is the largest provider of funding for international students at Cambridge, awards approximately 400 scholarships annually, and supports between 1,100 and 1,400 students in residence each year from 85 countries across the world.
Bensolo came to Cambridge to study for the MPhil in Conservation Leadership in October 2017. Talking about the course he was to undertake at Cambridge, directed by Dr. Chris Sandbrook, a University Senior Lecturer and Fellow of Darwin College, Bensolo commented “I believe that taking this course will further strengthen my understanding of the myriad of conservation challenges including threats to biodiversity loss and that it will enable me to design sound approaches and play a proactive role in supporting conservation in a fast-changing economy such as that in Papua New Guinea”. Speaking about his arrival, Bensolo said “whilst I was excited about arriving in Cambridge, it was a little daunting to be in a completely new environment, climate and culture, and with so many new challenges. But I was made to feel welcome by my College, Hughes Hall, by the staff of the Trust and by teaching staff and course colleagues”.
Bensolo is now undertaking a three month internship with The Biodiversity Consultancy, spending one month in Cambridge and two months back in Papua New Guinea. He will be looking at topics ranging from stacking biodiversity offset credits and carbon credits, effective protected area outcomes and costs in Papua New Guinea, and defining an appropriate free, prior and informed consent model for biodiversity offsets work in the country.
Bensolo is expected to make a real difference to wildlife conservation in Papua New Guinea; in his words “I intend to utilise the knowledge, skills and experience gained while at Cambridge to further advance conservation and influence sustainable development approaches and action at local, regional and national levels”.