Environmental governance project in Aceh provides young Canadians international development experience
Oct 25, 2006
The Environmental Governance in Aceh Province (EGAP) project is a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA, Canada Corps Branch) funded initiative designed to incorporate environmental considerations into selected post-tsunami spatial planning activities in Aceh, Indonesia. The project was developed to support Aceh livelihoods recovery projects currently being implemented by CARE International and is providing five young Canadian professionals with first hand experience in the implementation of overseas development projects.
The young Canadian environmental specialists recently returned from Indonesia where they assisted reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in two project areas in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (Aceh) Province, Indonesia. Coastal resources in both areas were severely impacted by the earthquake and tsunami of December 26th, 2004 and a subsequent earthquake on March 28th, 2005. The Canadian specialists were enlisted to conduct post-tsunami assessments of coastal resources and provide recommendations for the sustainable management of these resources in the future.
The EGAP project is providing the young Canadian professionals with an opportunity to apply professional skills developed in Canada to a unique and challenging development situation. On-the-ground activities have provided the young Canadians with a better understanding of the difficulties of implementing disaster recovery projects.
“I think we have gained a better appreciation of why the reconstruction process in Aceh is taking so long”, said Melanie Ptashynski, an environmental specialist with Hatfield Consultants Ltd., a Vancouver-based environmental consultancy. “Some great development work is being done, but the monumental size of the task combined with over 250 NGO’s and donor agencies implementing individual projects makes for a complex and often confusing situation on the ground. We have really learned to remain flexible and to communicate well.”
The team recently completed field investigations and are currently assisting Senior Indonesian and Canadian Environmental and Governance Specialists to design appropriate spatial plans for redevelopment of the project areas. Project outputs will be used in support of planned CARE International livelihoods recovery activities in the project areas.
Project teams members will be conducting presentation and outreach activities over the coming months, to communicate to Canadians their experiences working in Aceh.
Young Canadian Professionals (left to right): Danika Affleck, Nara Mehlenbacher, Melanie Ptashynski, Ian Hatton, and Matt Henderson
HATFIELD CONSULTANTS PARTNERSHIP
Tel.: +1 604 926 3261
Toll-Free: 1 866 926 3261