Official Title: Assistant Coordinator of the Conservation Cotton Initiative,
“My environmental professor taught me an important message in college: ‘Protecting the environment implies at the same time the maximum protection of humanity.’ We all have a valuable role in conservation. We all have to remember that conservation starts within ourselves. What role a person chooses depends on the intensity of one‘s feelings for the environment. There are many careers in conservation; one can develop their personal interests into a career that can help.”
Although she had always been concerned about the environment, Nafis had not considered pursuing an environmental career until she was required to investigate the ecosystem services in her country, Madagascar. Madagascar is one of the top conservation priorities on the planet with its unique rainforests, wildlife, and culture. Nafis knew that she could really help her country protect its natural resources and cultural identity.
Her studies of environmental conservation allowed Nafis to realize why there are tremendous efforts to promote conservation. There is still much to be done to help people understand that the environment in Madagascar is worth protecting and how valuable it is to the survival of humanity throughout the world.
For some time, Nafis helped find funding opportunities for various environmental incentives throughout Madagascar. She worked with many different kinds of people from the agricultural, scientific, and business communities to try to find good methods and solutions for conservation of the natural biodiversity and the Malagasy people.
In her current role, Nafis helps coordinate a project in the southern part of Madagascar that helps local cotton farmers "go organic." She is part of a team that develops training sessions that enhance community members' understanding of the health and financial benefits of switching to organic farming, and supports them as they change from conventional to organic methods of agriculture.
Nafis never stops learning and experiencing new and awesome discoveries and feels that she has one of the most fascinating and exciting jobs ever!