Supporting local forestry in Iceland
Date du début: 1 janv. 2015,
Date de fin: 31 déc. 2016
The Icelandic Forestry Association (IFA) runs a great number of different projects in the field of afforestation and environmental improvements. Many of these projects require outdoor work during summer, such as planting, trail maintenance or wood construction. Since its creation in 1930 the IFA has different types of partners. Among those, local volunteers and schools took a great part in the work of the association. Therefore the IFA has a long experience in working with people seeking for self accomplishment and gaining experience and knowledge.
Aware of the interest of people in the IFA activities, the association has started a new volunteer hosting project in summer 2011. The main goal of this project is to give the opportunity to people from all over the world to come and support the IFA in Iceland.
In this project the association hosts volunteers for two weeks. There are usually between 5 to 8 volunteers per camp.
For 2015, the IFA has decided to start a new type of volunteer hosting. The project will host 5 EVS volunteers for 5 month.
The EVS volunteers will be involved in all sort of projects with the different partners. However one type of partnership that will be most common is the partnership with local forestry association. These local forestry association are based in most of the little towns of Iceland. They are runs by volunteers who are often very busy on their professional life or are retired and thus have limited time or physical abilities to conduct physical forestry works. The local association have small or medium afforestation project that mostly aim a providing recreational areas for local inhabitants and enriching biodiversity. The EVS volunteers will help such local association to conduct small projects including path making, planting and branch picking. By spending one or two weeks in such small communities the EVS team will bring a great deal of energy to the people and that is always appreciate by the locals. Past and current camps under such partnerships have always very positive feedback from the volunteers and the locals.
Participants should first of all be interested in Nature and physical outside work. Education on environmental matters would be a positive thing, knowledge and experience in forestry will be appreciated. Participants with a forestry related professional project are especially welcome. This project can include young people with fewer opportunities, however there is no adapted frame for physically and mentally disabled people. Once training complete participants need to be able to work and live on their own responsibility. The main point is the maturity of the participants and their physical ability to carry out outdoor demanding task. In the recent past experience of the IFA, there has been both young and old participants showing great motivation and achieving quality work. Participants need to have a fluent communication in English or French. Gender balance is important for good group dynamic, the number of participants for this project is 5, there should be 2 or 3 participants of each gender.
The IFA is based in Reykjavik. The projects of the IFA are spread all around Iceland. Afforestation and forest management are often run in cooperation with the local forestry associations that are based in most of the small towns of Iceland. This means that the projects the EVS volunteers will be working on are spread around the whole country. Mobility of the work is a key element of this EVS hosting and stands as a strong attraction for the EVS applicants because they will have the opportunity to work and travel all around Iceland. Because of that mobility and also for practical and comfort reasons, the EVS team will have a car devoted to them. Volunteers will have to drive for work purpose and will have the opportunity to use the car for their own needs ( leisure, shopping..) during non-working time.
This team of EVS volunteers will work for an increased Biodiversity and fight soil erosion in Iceland. Their work and energy will support local Icelandic volunteers in their environmental projects. Better access to forest areas will allow more public use and environmental awareness. Volunteers themselves will gain solid experience in outdoor working and learn on forest science and management.
The EVS project will also be a window for local Icelanders and all Icelandic partners into the European actions for youth and mobility.
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