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Perspectives: Preserving Natural Resources

boy artist in rain forestA television program on CNN, devoted its most recent edition to the benefits of Eco Tourism, stating two cases in Africa (both in Kenya) and one in Costa Rico at Monteverde Rain Forest. We will comment on their findings, several of which are similar to what we discovered in Addis Ababa and the Rift Valley of Ethiopia. This is timely, being on the heels of our article on Ecotourism Symposium in Nigeria and the coming event this December in Yaounde, Cameroon, a French speaking country in West Africa. More to come. Photos courtesy of Artists for Kids Trust, North Vancouver, BC. Local artists and children from throughout the province meet at camp near Squamish. See item.

kides hugging treeEcotourism: Employment in
the Environmental Industry

Preservation: Land- Culture - Wildlife
Ask a group of environmental employers to name the greatest challenge facing their organization and you are likely to hear a common refrain, employee recruitment and retention. In a knowledge-based sector such as the environment, employers recognize that the hiring of highly-skilled employees and the creation of a work environment where they will remain and prosper are critical factors in their companies success. In response to this growing issue, CCHREI has recently begun work on the Environmental Recruitment Retention Learning (ERRL) project. ERRL focuses on the use of employer/employee partnerships with a goal of developing solid human resource plans that meet the current and future needs of both parties.

Retention of skilled employees is of particular concern for environmental employers as the industry is made up predominantly of SMEs (small to medium sized enterprise). Smaller companies have the greatest difficulty absorbing the tremendous costs associated with high employee turnover, a cost that KPMG, Merick & Company, Hewlett Packard and Fortune gauge is as much as 1.5 times an employee's annual salary. Employers across the country are concerned with these costs, in fact a poll conducted for Mercer Canada by the Angus Reid Group revealed that attracting and retaining quality employees is a major priority of Canadian CEOís, second only to increasing profits. Despite an increased awareness of these issues a recent Conference Board of Canada study indicates that employee turnover rates have increased 10% over the past year.

One potential reason for an increase in the employee turnover rate may lie in the fact that employers are simply unaware of the critical factors that contribute to job satisfaction. The tendency has been to use monetary compensation as a means of attracting and retaining staff, yet, in a 1999 Hay Group study of over half a million employees in 300 companies found that of the 50 identified retention factors, pay was the least important. In a similar study performed by Unifi Network, a unit of Price Waterhouse Coopers, the number one reason cited as why people commit to an organization was 'opportunity to learn.'

Recognizing the value that employees place in continued learning the ERRL program ensures that participants receive the training that will most benefit their careers and their company's productivity. Using CCHREI's national occupational standards as a foundation, ERRL creates on-line skill profiles to determine specific areas where environmental practitioners would benefit from professional development and training opportunities. On-the-job training is then integrated with distance education and traditional classroom methods to allow the identified skill gaps to be filled. This creates a proactive work atmosphere where employers are given the opportunity to raise their current employees' potential productivity.

ERRL emphasizes the mutually beneficial practice of employers and employees working together to focus on life long learning and skills development. In implementing this program, CCHREI is providing an essential tool to environmental employers and practitioners by enhancing the professional development of a sector that demands a highly skilled workforce. If you are an environmental employer interested in becoming involved in the ERRL project please contact Robyn Barton at


Sustainable Cities: A compelling environmental challenge worldwide, in both developing and industrialized nations;what solutions are being implemented and what are the emerging technological options that hold the most promise. The sixth in a series of biennial events, GLOBE 2002 is produced by the GLOBE Foundation, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to developing the business of the environment. For more information on GLOBE 2002 visit the GLOBE Foundation website at http://www.globe.ca>www.globe.ca.

Member countries pledge:
TO ESTABLISH machinery for protection of ecology, natural resources and wildlife.

TO ENHANCE the quality of the tourist visit by easing the entry and exit formalities.
TO CREATE good infrastructure assuring easy access and to use trained personnel to highlight each country's unique appeal.
TO ESTABLISH rigid codes of quality for accommodation and services, making sure the local tourist economy does not overshadow the attraction.

TO WORK with transportation companies to make travel safe, comfortable and convenient. The Travel Industry pledges:

TO PREPARE the visitor by providing detailed information on the culture, etiquette and mores of the host country.
TO PROVIDE clients with opportunities to participate in ecological and environmental programs.
TO ADHERE to a strict code of truth in advertising by accurately describing facilities and costs.

Visitors should be encouraged:

TO RESPECT the land and water, not only to avoid damaging abusing or littering, but to contribute to the preservation and protection of these resources.
TO ENJOY the wildlife in its natural habitat and refrain from harassment of these magnificent creatures.
TO HONOR the sensitivities, customs and culture of the people they are visiting and observe local rules of etiquette and behavior.
TO SHARE and exchange cross-cultural ideas and to keep an open attitude to local values.
TO CONTINUE this habit of caring and concern upon returning home, by not supporting industries that harm ecosystems and the environment.


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