2003 Environmental Leadership Program

Environment and Labour (to April 1/08)

December 23, 2002 11:06 AM

While most people are enjoying the holidays, many university
students are already thinking about what they want to do when
their courses end in April. For the adventurous types, working on
environmental projects in the remote hill-top villages or dense
jungles of Costa Rica may be the answer.

For the 11th consecutive year, the Environmental Leadership
Program is giving young Nova Scotians an unforgettable
opportunity to learn about a different culture while helping to
protect the environment at home and abroad.

This year, six Nova Scotians between the ages of 20 and 24 will
be selected to join other young people from Newfoundland and
Labrador and New Brunswick to travel to Costa Rica and work
alongside locals on challenging environmental projects.

The young Canadians will live with local families from May to
June 2003, and then return home with their Costa Rican
counterparts to spend July and August working on environmental
projects in their own communities.

Emily Harris, co-ordinator of the Nova Scotia Youth Conservation
Corps -- one of the program's main sponsoring agencies -- said
that because the program does not pay wages, the experience is
more about self-exploration and acquiring life skills.

"The program gives participants an opportunity to gain valuable
local and international work experience, and develop transferable
job skills," said Ms. Harris. "They also develop an appreciation
of the international dimension of environmental work and learn
the value of teamwork in solving problems and communicating
across cultures."

The program does cover all living and travel expenses and an
honorarium is paid out upon completion.

Past participant Mark Stewart, 20, of Antigonish, agrees that
despite the modest financial pay-off, the program was well worth
the valuable experience he gained.

"The four months I spent on the program last summer will stay
with me forever," he said. "I will use these experiences and feed
off of them for the rest of my life."

For Sacha Siddall, 23, a participant from Dartmouth, living in a
foreign country was the most rewarding part of the job.

"This program gave me the opportunity to travel to another
country, experience another culture, learn a new language and
meet many caring and wonderful people," said Ms. Siddall. "It has
changed my life."

The deadline for applications is Feb. 1, 2003. Applicants should
be eager to learn about the environment, willing to work on a
team, and have a desire to learn more about Costa Rica. A working
knowledge of Spanish is not required.

"Most participants pick-up the language quickly," said Ms.

Established in 1993, the Environmental Leadership Program is a
partnership between the Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps,
Canada World Youth, the Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and
Labrador, the New Brunswick-Miramichi Community College and
Taller Internacional de Servicios (TAIS). TAIS is a non-profit
environmental and community-development organization based in San
Jose, Costa Rica.

For more information on the Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps,
go to www.gov.ns.ca/enla/ess/ycc/ .


     The Environmental Leadership Program is currently accepting

applications from young Nova Scotians interested in traveling to

Costa Rica to help create a healthier environment.

     From April 29th to September 1st, six Nova Scotians will

participate in a cross-cultural exchange along with other young

people from Atlantic Canada.

     The group will travel to Costa Rica for two months to work

on environmental projects. They will then return home with their

Costa Rican counterparts to work on projects in their own


     The deadline for applications is February 1st, 2003.

Applicants should have an eagerness to learn about the

environment, the ability to work in groups and a desire to learn

more about Costa Rica.


Contact: Robert Moffat
         Environment and Labour
         E-mail: moffatrj@gov.ns.ca

kjd         December 23, 2002        11:05 A.M.