This section includes a brief description of some of my more memorable projects:
Environmental Entrepreneurialism – Ecuador
A post-graduate diploma in Sustainable Community Entrepreneurism is the goal of a 3 year partnership between College of the Rockies (COTR) (Cranbrook, Canada) and Universidad de Espiritu Santo (UEES) (Samborondon, Ecuador). Initiating in August of 2008, the diploma will be developed by integrating courses from Environmental, Business and Tourism disciplines and with input from relevant public and private sector institutions in the field. The postgrad program will be offered at UEES and will enable students and professionals from diverse areas of study to develop knowledge and skills that integrate entrepreneurial activiteis with community development. Graduates will become familiar with responsible business operations that meet environmental, social and economic criteria and create opportunities for local participation at all levels. For more information on the program, visit COTR International
Socio-economic Monitoring of Communities in the Chongon-Colonche Mountain Range- Guayas & Santa Elena, Ecuador
This Nature Conservancy, Ministry of Environment and Nature Foundation project funded the development of a socio-economic monitoring protocol for communities that form part of the Protection and Conservation System in the Chongon-Colonche Mountain Range. A local group of monitoring coordinators from 22 communities was founded and participated in the development of a monitoring framework which was piloted in 3 communities. The project included the participation of community members from the outset, training a core group of 10 persons on the concept of monitoring and identifying local socio-economic impacts, fears and expectations as the basis for relevant indicators. Participants then created a monitoring plan that they got to execute and evaluate for quality of results and efficiency of process. In the end we used the results to develop a monitoring protocol, or road map, for all communities in the region. The project was a particular challenge in terms of community representation among women and socio-economic organizations, as well as in terms of local capacity. Most participants required more capacity building than the project was able to provide.
Sustainable Beach Management Program (POP)- Guayas, Ecuador
POP (Programa de Ordenamiento de Playas) is a participative program that promotes sustainable tourism practices among beaches in the Guayas province. Funded by the provincial government, the program includes a combination of infrastructure, formation of local leaders, capacity building and environmental monitoring that ultimately seek to conserve natural resources, improve the tourist experience, and increase local income and quality of life. Inspired by international beach certification programs like Blue Flag, POP is implemented in 3 sequential 5 month phases. I worked with POP in 2 areas: General Villamil and Puna Island, both of which demanded extremely different community relations strategies. For more information on these experiences, visit my blog. For more information on the program, visit the POP project website.
PAO (Programa de Agricultura Organica) initiated as a 6 month pilot project financed by the provincial government, aimed at involving marginalized, peri-urban communities in organic agriculture through capacity building, construction of community gardens, development of promotional tools and by undertaking marketing and feasibility studies for the commercialization of garden products. I was involved in the socialization of the project and developing leadership skills amongst participating communities in Duran, Samborondon and Valle Hermoso. For more information, visit the PAO project website.
Eco-efficiency Program, Guayaquil, Ecuador
This was a private sector program (on-going) focuses on assisting small and medium sized businesses to become more environmentally friendly. The program was piloted in a consulting company with 60 employees, including managers and support staff, and led by a small team of two persons (Director and Coordinator). The objectives of the program were to increase environmental awareness within the company, identify and mitigate impacts and decrease consumption of energy and water, and other materials. It includes internal organization of committees and eco-efficiency leaders, the use of environmentally conscious products, development of a waste management system and identifying and monitoring goals.For more information, visit the program website.
Asia Pacific Education for Sustainable Development Monitoring Project – Asia Pacific Region
This 2006 international project was a partnership between UNESCO Bangkok, IUCN CEC and Macquarie University (Australia). It aimed to develop Asia-Pacific Guidelines for the Development of National Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Indicators. Being the first ESD project dedicated solely to indicators in the world, it took on an innovative process of involving specialists from all around the globe in a facilitated dialogue about the nature and scope of these indicators. Comments, suggestions and feedback from the participants shaped the development of the guidelines document and an ESD indicator framework.develop materials to encourage dialogue and feedback, undertake analytical research, compile input and write guidelines on how to develop ESD indicators. A select number of countries from the Asia-Pacific are now piloting the guidelines. For more information on the project, visit the UNESCO Bangkok website
Sustainable Tourism: A Work in Progress, Guayaquil, Ecuador
This Canadian International Development Agency financed, Association of Canadian Community Colleges administered project was implemented by College of the Rockies and Niagara College from 2000-2005. The canadian colleges partnered with an Ecuadorian University and the Pro-Forest Foundation to facilitate sustainable, community based eco-tourism. The project worked in the following areas: ecological restoration, capacity building, small business development and microcredit banking. For more information visit the College of the Rockies project website.