For Vince Deschamps, his experience in working with a non-profit environmental agency with Cuso International in the early 90s has come full circle. This year, he started working as a Program Director with the Nature Conservancy of Canada where he has been able to apply many of the lessons learned while on a volunteer placement nearly 30 years ago.
Vince volunteered with World Wildlife Fund (as it is known in Canada) in Indonesia. Among his responsibilities, he worked to conserve national parks and critically endangered species, assess threats to these lands, as well as look at how communities living in the area can benefit from conservation measures. “We were looking at conservation in its truest sense—you can’t have conservation without people,” he said.
With the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Vince is working in sensitive conservation areas, including the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island, examining the habitats, wildlife, and how to keep people in the equation. Vince has also been able to apply this experience in his work with First Nation communities in northern Ontario.
“People and environmental issues; it still resonates in everything I do. This is what I started learning with Cuso International, and it’s still having an impact today.”