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Internship in Ecosystem Sustainability and Health - Volcán de Buenos Aires, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Statut : Comblé
Organisation : York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies
Acronyme : York, FES
Type : Établissement d'enseignement
Mandat : The mission of York University is the pursuit, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge. We promise excellence in research and teaching in pure, applied and professional fields. We test the boundaries and structures of knowledge. We cultivate the critical intellect. York University is part of Toronto: we are dynamic, metropolitan and multi-cultural. York University is part of Canada: we encourage bilingual study, we value tolerance and diversity. York University is open to the world: we explore global concerns. A community of faculty, students and staff committed to academic freedom, social justice, accessible education, and collegial self-governance, York University makes innovation its tradition.
Adresse : 4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario,
M3J 1P3
FAX: (416) 736-2100
Veuillez visiter le site Internet de l'organisation offrant ce stage pour connaître ses exigences avant de lui envoyer votre curriculum vitae.
Personne ressource : Martin Bunch
Courriel : bunchmj@yorku.ca
Pays : Costa Rica
Ville : Volcán de Buenos Aires
Secteur : Destination plurisectorielle ou transversale
Description du stage : Costa Rica has long been a leader in land-based conservation initiatives. However, there is a growing recognition of an emerging "water crisis" in the country characterized by increasing contamination, diminished flow of many rivers, and increased seasonality of flow. This crisis has major implications for human health and ecosystem sustainability. The problem is being addressed on a national scale by the writing of new and innovative legislation, the Costa Rican "water law."

The Rio Volcan de Buenos Aires and the Rio Peñas Blancas are smaller watersheds that drain parts of the Talamanca Mountain Range into the Rio Terraba, the principal hydrological system in southern Costa Rica and a major site for hydroelectric and river basin development. This river basin is the poorest area of Costa Rica, and also the site of the remaining indigenous peoples of the country. The region has also been identified as one of the "hotspots" of biological diversity.

This project addresses the impacts on human health of the socio-economic, hydrological, and ecological changes that are occurring in the Terraba Basin and in the myriad of micro-watersheds that drain into the Terraba from the surrounding highlands. The Terraba River empties into the Pacific through a complex of critical wetlands of economic and ecological significance.

Local residents are looking to understand why these rivers, and the ecosystems they support, are changing, and to restore both land and water in their area. They also want to foster alternative, sustainable industries, and to promote open dialogue about water among diverse individuals and groups. A focus on the relationships between health and well-being and the complex local environmental situation will guide the development of such alternatives.

In Canada
1. Undertake training in participatory methodologies to development activities targeted to environment and health.

2. Disseminate (via outreach) internship experiences

3. Through debriefing, contribute to evaluation and improvement of intern roles and management of the internship program.

Overseas
In Costa Rica the interns will be responsible for:

1. Strengthening the institutional capacity of CoopeAgri and RioArte to design and implement action-oriented programs at the local level that encompass the relationships between changing ecological and hydrological conditions and human health, in the context of sustainable development. In this role intern tasks will include (but are not limited to):

- organizing and facilitating participatory workshops
- interviewing local actors and documenting local knowledge
- collating and disseminating information generated by project activities

2. Organizing and networking among local NGOs and community groups to strengthen their capacity to conduct outreach in human health and ecosystem change.

3. Training of mid-level managers of CoopeAgri in the importance of human health and ecosystem change in the sustainability of their development activities.

4. Training of key NGO personnel and community leaders in participatory formulation of action plans to create awareness and to improve human health as part of rural sustainability.

5. Imparting leadership skills and analytical abilities to key personnel and community members.

6. Maintaining communication among Overseas and Canadian host organizations.

7. Making input into the definition of the new Costa Rican "water law" based on the experience of local communities and organizations.
Organisation d'accueil : CoopeAgri R.L. Corporación Cooperativa
Détails au sujet de l'organisation d'accueil : CoopeAgri R.L. is a cooperative enterprise that integrates economic, social and environmental factors in alternatives for sustainable development focused on improved well being of its members and others living in the South of Costa Rica.

York University and the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) have been associated with CoopeAgri since 2001 when we began to work with local farmers in sustainability certification of coffee. CoopeAgri's model farm, El Grano Tico, became the sustainability model and was the first farm to be certified by the Misistry of Agriculture of Costa Rica (actual on-site inspection of farms is done independently by the Instituto de Cafe, INCAFE). We have continued to work together to get other coffee farms certified. In 2003 Dr. Howard Daugherty of FES set up a formal business relationship between CoopeAgri, York, and Timothy's World Coffee, the latter to market CoopeAgri's "Las Nubes" coffee thrughout Canada in Timothy's 160+ outlets. Las Nubes Coffee is a specialty coffee certified both 'sustainable' and 'fair trade.' Sale of the coffee by Timothy's contributes to York's Fisher Fund for Neotropical Conservation.