The “Intercontinental Trout Masterclass” was all about introducing young enthusiasts to the real world of conservation. At the same time we aimed to raise their awareness of the role they, themselves, could play in freshwater conservancy processes right from the very start, and educate them to become mature players in the field. We learnt that we accomplished more than just succeed in this endeavour, and in many ways expectations were exceeded. By the way, this goes for the lecturers as well; the ITM appeared to have given many of them some ‘real shots in the arm’, so we were told.
With the ITM we aimed to lay the foundation for a next generation of freshwater conservation stewards to whom we might hand on the torch one day. During the week we got the feeling that this goal might be achieved somewhat sooner than we had expected. At the end of the last day we knew for sure. That day all participants presented their ideas and visions of the situation or a (hypothetical) case in their home countries – this assignment they had received before the Masterclass started. Their presentations struck us all: seldom have we seen ‘lessons learnt’ brought to practice this rapidly, this smoothly, even/especially by those we maybe least expected to at first. We then decided to capitalize the momentum, and offered them the opportunity to become a representative of our foundation in their home countries.
On our website we have listed the National Chapters which have been established since, with links to the respective facebook pages. Each page is managed by the Chapter representative solely, to be used at his or her own discretion, yet all for the sakes of freshwater and/or trout conservation. Each of them will publish news, events, project plans, achievements, etcetera regarding their country. In order to inform the entire community and the other Chapters, all posts will appear on the Intercontinental Trout Masterclass facebook page as well…