Cynthia Adeline A. Layusa, Calayan Rail Project
Cynthia started her career in conservation as a humpback whale research volunteer and joined the Calayan Rail Project, which saw the initiation of a long-term conservation programme on Calayan Island and the building of conservation skills of local stakeholders, to help secure the future of a newly discovered flightless bird species in northern Philippines. In 2007, she was part of a project funded by the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) that successfully built the capacity to conserve this bird and led to a larger project gaining new information and the establishment of a local wildlife sanctuary. Cynthia has received leadership training and mentoring support from the CLP and has been willing to support other early conservationists. Cynthia became the youngest president of the Biodiversity Conservation Society of the Philippines which resulted in the publication of multiple journals. She has raised funds to host events and support for others and has helped craft national policies.
Cynthia’s activity raises awareness about the Philippines’ biodiversity and designs infographics that are shared widely. During the pandemic, she organised the Biodiversity Online digital forum and an online workshop series for students. Alongside this she has been the team leader and lead author for the Philippine Biodiversity Toolkit, a reference material freely available to more than one million students throughout the country.