ABN AMRO Bank, which is celebrating its 40th year in Jersey, is sponsoring the event by providing support to cover the overseas team’s travel and accommodation costs. This enables the team to come together at their headquarters in Jersey for the annual symposium, which is now in its eighth year. This year’s event will focus on the Durrell Index, a forward-thinking management tool that measures and demonstrates Durrell’s conservation actions and impacts around the world, which is launching in October 2014.
Bilal Majid, (Country Executive and Head of ABN AMRO Private banking Jersey), commented: ‘One of our core values is sustainability and the promotion of long-term value for our clients, shareholders, employees and society as a whole. The overseas team at Durrell does a fantastic job of protecting endangered species and biodiversity in some of the most remote frontiers on the planet and we wanted to thank them for the hard work they do. It is also vitally important that the teams come together to share the findings of their work and we’re delighted to help make this possible.’  

Important members of the Durrell team, both from Jersey and from other locations around the world, will be hosting a range of seminars and workshops throughout the week, allowing the teams to share successes and learning across a plethora of vital conservation projects implemented around the world.

Professor Carl Jones, who is based in the UK, will be speaking at the event. Professor Jones is one of the world’s leading thinkers on the science and practice of saving species from extinction and the restoration of ecosystems. Twice nominated for the Indianapolis Prize for Conservation, the ‘Oscars of the conservation world’, he has dedicated his life to preserving and restoring the unique flora and fauna of Mauritius; once home to the iconic dodo. Professor Jones is a Scientific Director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF), an organisation founded in the 1980’s by Durrell to lead conservation projects on the island, since becoming the leading environmental charity in Mauritius.  

The symposium will culminate in a gala dinner sponsored by ABN AMRO Bank and hosted at the prestigious Longueville Manor, also a corporate supporter of Durrell. The dinner has been co-ordinated by ABN AMRO Bank as a thank you to the overseas team for the tireless work they do throughout the year to help critically endangered species and for their commitment to promoting bio diversity and sustainability. In addition, ABN AMRO’s senior management including Jeroen Rijpkema (CEO, Private Banking International) will be escorted around the park by Lee Durrell herself to learn more about the work the trust undertake.  

Andrew Terry, Durrell’s Head of Conservation Programme said: ‘Without the support of ABN AMRO Bank we would struggle to find the funding required to bring our overseas team to this event and without them our whole team would miss out on a great deal of learning and examples of best practice.’  

To launch the partnership with Durrell, ABN AMRO Bank provided funding for two international students to take part in a 12-week DESMAN* programme in May this year. The programme was designed to equip conservation professionals from underprivileged backgrounds with a range of skills to maximise their effectiveness at managing or participating in conservation projects worldwide.