City Bogota, Colombia
Start Date Apr - Jun 2019 (flexible)
Length of Placement 12 Months
Language Requirements Spanish
Spanish Reading: Level 4, Writing: Level 4, Speaking: Level 4
Language Scale: http://www.cusointernational.org/languageratingscale
Please submit a Spanish Resume and Statement of Interest
Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only
Cuso International Colombia is searching for a volunteer like you to support our partner organization, Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia (PNN), who is in the process of strengthening their ecotourism activities of selected protected areas, in coordination with the institutional, social, ethnic and community actors of the territories where these areas are located.
According to PNN, ecotourism is conceived as "a conservation and management strategy that contributes to the effective management of the protected areas system, to generation of social benefits for the local communities and the regions. Furthermore, ecotourism contributes to the generation of sustainable productive and alternative livelihoods for populations located in the neighboring areas of influence of the national parks, as well as to the education and awareness of all the actors involved in its activities of the importance of the natural and cultural heritage, and finally, to the financial sustainability of National Parks to achieve its mission in Colombia."
As a volunteer, you will support and accompany initiatives related to sustainable tourism and land use management, in four different National parks where the institution along with other local, regional and national actors is participating in a pilot program to develop improved public policy on land use. These four National Parks/Protected Areas include: La Paya National Park (PNN) in Puerto Leguizamo, Putumayo; Flora and Fauna Sanctuary (SFF) Los Colorados in San Juan Nepomuceno, Bolivar; SFF El Corchal Mono Hernandez in San Onofre, Sucre and Arjona, Bolivar; and Serrania de Chiribiquete in San José del Guaviare, Guaviare.
You'll be working mainly out of the office in Bogota, and coordinating with different teams within PNN, with local actors and tourism operators, ethnic groups and "campesinos." Your work as a volunteer will support the development of the land use pilots in areas regarding tourism and livelihoods, and falls within the programmatic areas of Cuso International, specifically sustainable livelihoods and management of natural resources, and adaptation to climate change.
Check out PNN's Guide for Ecotourism Planification: http://www.parquesnacionales.gov.co/portal/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/guia_planificacion_ecoturismo_pnn.pdf
NOTE: In case of any discrepancies between the placement description in Spanish and English, the Spanish version takes take precedent.
As a volunteer, you will:
- Acquire an in-depth knowledge about the national system of protected areas of Colombia – SINAP –, the planning and institutional management of ecotourism and sustainable tourism in national parks and their surrounding buffer zones, land use management processes in and around where national parks are located, and the legal framework for tourism in Colombia. This activity will be carried out with the support of the relevant teams in National Parks alongside the design of the volunteer workplan.
- Support a literature review of recent international cases related to land use management and tourism around protected areas, and the conformation of tourist destinations in and around protected areas (definitions, methods, results of each case).
- Support the documentation of the current state of tourism in and around three protected areas - PNN La Paya, PNN Serrania de Chiribiquete, SFF Los Colorados.
- Support the information technology and radiocommunication team (GSIR) to upload and manage data in the information management system-SIGIF- for ecotourism and sustainable tourism, depending on the field work.
- Based on identification and analysis of needs in each territory, support the organization (design, logistics, reporting) of workshops carried out in the focused territories, along with other events that are proposed.
Essential Academic Qualifications:
- Professional training in ecology, biology, forest sciences, geography, environmental and conservation sciences, or tourism. Post-graduate studies in tourism is desirable.
Essential Professional Background:
- Planning tourism programs or projects - be they in eco-, natural or sustainable tourism.
-Communication: Ability to listen, ask questions, express concepts and ideas in an effective way, understand the dynamics of groups and the effective design of meetings, and communicate in writing in Spanish with conciseness and clarity.
-Flexibility: capacity to adapt and work in different and varied situations, and with people or groups of different social and cultural contexts.
Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia
Colombia is one of the richest countries in biological and cultural diversity in the world. This diversity is represented in 59 natural areas that belong to the Systems of National Natural Parks, which represent 14,268,224 hectares (142,682 km2) of the country’s total surface area; 11. 27% of this is continental and 1.5% of it is marine area. Additionally, 26 of these areas are inhabited by indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.
The mission of the Parques Nacionales Naturales (PNN) is to manage and coordinate the National System of Protected Areas (SINAP) within an environmental legislation framework, with the aim of conserving biological diversity and ecosystems found in the country, to provide and maintain environmental goods and services, to protect cultural heritage and natural habitats in which traditional cultures develop as part of the national heritage and promotion of sustainable human development, all under principles of transparency, solidarity, equity, participation and respect for cultural diversity.
Their vision is to be a public body positioned in the national arena, with international recognition and social legitimacy, with technical capacity, an effective organizational structure, political influence and financial soundness, that exercises environmental authority in the National Natural Parks System, leading processes of conservation, administration and coordination of protected areas, contributing to the environmental zoning of the country.
For more information, please visit: http://www.parquesnacionales.gov.co
Cuso International terms and conditions allow you to lead a modest and healthy lifestyle while being effective in your placement. This support package will cover basic living expenses for one volunteer and is not intended to cover home-based expenses (ex. loans, support payments, etc.) or luxury items such as imported items in placement or international personal travel.
- Modest monthly living allowance (varies depending country)
- Accommodation while in placement
- Return airfare and visa/work permit costs
- Cost of required vaccinations, antimalarial medication and health insurance
- Pre-departure training and in-country orientation
- Travel and accommodation for reintegration debriefing weekend
- Modest support for accompanying partners and dependents going on placement with you for 12 months or longer (Return flight, emergency medical insurance, vaccinations)
- Access to Employee Assistance Program while in placement and upon return
- Cuso International assessment day (Candidates must cover the first $200 of the most cost-effective travel expenses and all accommodation costs).
- Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course and for in-country orientation
We ask each volunteer, regardless of placement length, to raise $2,000. All volunteers receive support from Cuso International to help achieve the goal through fundraising. If the volunteer chooses not to fundraise or is unable to achieve the fundraising goal, he/she can make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor to support our work.
Depending on the nature of the placement, volunteers are encouraged to provide e-volunteering support to the local partner or Cuso International before or after the field placement. Volunteers also have the option of requesting support from an e-volunteer to help them with their work while they are in placement.
Residency and Citizenship
The majority of Cuso International volunteer applicants are residing in Canada at the time of application and during the pre-departure process. Occasionally we received applications from volunteer applicants who are residing outside of Canada at the time of application. In both instances, between your application date and placement start date, we must be able to contact you and you must be able to contact us easily and promptly throughout the process.
We may require your passport and would need to be aware of your current place of residence and any travel plans you may have during this time. You will also require unrestricted access to Canada during this time for assessment and training, as applicable.
Leaving your country of residence can have significant effects on your citizenship status in that country. It is your responsibility to research the consequences of travelling to Canada during the pre-departure process if you are living outside of Canada and of leaving your country of residence for a placement with the immigration authority where you live.
By applying to this placement, you accept full responsibility for any consequences related to your citizenship, residency and immigration status or penalties as a result of travel to an assessment day, training course, international placement or other Cuso International related travel.
You must check the implications that apply to you, but examples include:
- Canadian permanent residents may need to make arrangements with immigration authorities before travelling. These arrangements allow them to travel without risk to their status in Canada. Without them, residency status may be withdrawn.
- Citizens of other countries, including those visiting Canada on a visa, may have travel restrictions.