At any time, ecoplan:net is involved in a number of challenging and frequently leading-edge consulting projects.
Presently, three business plans, two development strategies and two tourism training workshops are underway or approaching completion.
ECOTOURISM BUSINESS PLANNING
Tortuguero Ecolodge and Rainforest Education Centre Feasibility Analysisclient: Southlands International Inc.location: Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
ecoplan:net and RBA architects have just completed a comprehensive feasibility analysis for the development of an environmentally responsible ecolodge and Rainforest Environmental Education Centre. The facility, including 30 duplex cabins will be located in a wildlife reserve adjacent to Tortuguero National Park on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast.
Lac Matagami Ecolodge and Model Forest Business Planclient: City of Matagamilocation: Lac Matagami, Northern Quebec, CanadaThe business plan has resulted in the investment and construction of Canada's first total design/operation ecolodge In order to meet the design criteria for sustainable wood products, a model forest will be established in collaboration with a local forestry company.The facility will consist of:- 12 unit lodge/dining area- 12 cabins- 14 ecotents (split level)- Interpretation and Resource Centre (Sustainable Living)- Extensive Trail Network
The off grid ecolodge generates electricity from a microhydro installation, solar and wind energy.
The facility will be promoted to the ecotourism. soft adventure and educational travel markets in Quebec, eastern US and Europe (Germany, France, Netherlands, UK).For design criteria see the publication on Ecolodge Design Criteria.
Northern Destination Management Agency Business Plan and Marketing Strategyclient: Lunehiver Inc. for the James Bay Development Corporationlocation: 700,000 sq. km. Region of Northern Canada including James Bay/Hudson BayThe business plan is the catalyst Canada's First Ecotourism/Adventure Travel Regional Destination Management Agency. The firm was established with an investment from several Quebec and Canada development corporations, local companies and ecoplan:net ltd.
The company was launched with a $1.2 million CDN marketing budget. ecoplan:net is also responsible for ongoing marketing management, tour product development and hospitality/guide training.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLANNING
Chisasibi Community Master Planclient: Cree Nation of Chisasibilocation: Northern James Bayecoplan:net/ROYLumby was retained in 1999 to prepare a comprehensive community development plan. This is the largest Cree Community and is growing at a rate of 30 - 40 houses per year.The planning process involves:- urban design for the Town Centre- new housing expansion plans and subdivision layout- comprehensive community landscape planting plan- vehicular/pedestrian circulation plan- ongoing public participation sessions/workshops
The plan will be completed by July 2000.
LITERACY ENHANCEMENT STRATEGY
Canada's Aboriginal Literacy Enhancement Strategy - Phase IIclient: National Literacy Secretariat and CODE inc.location: Canada's Aboriginal CommunitiesIn 1999, ecoplan:net was retained by CODE inc., with support from the National Literacy Secretariat, to prepare Phase I of a National Literacy Enhancement Strategy for the Aboriginal Population of Canada.Functional literacy levels in this community are notoriously low, thus restricting full participation in the Canadian economy.
Phase II builds on that document and will generate a comprehensive strategic 10 year plan. This 'blueprint' will identify the action, costs and responsibilities, and initiatives to guide literacy enhancement.
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLANNING
Elizabeth Harbour Marine Resource Management Planclient: Commonwealth Secretariat, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Bahamaslocation: Exuma, Bahamasecoplan:net recently completed the final draft of the Bahamas first Marine Resource Management Plan.
During the preparation of the Sustainable Tourism Development Policies by ecoplan:net, in 1995, Elizabeth Harbour was identified as one of the most threatened environments in The Bahamas. Excessive runoff from the George Town Area and direct sewage discharge by recreation boaters, into the pristine waters of the Harbour, were causing significant changes in water chemistry, reef destruction and algal bloom.
ecoplan:net, working in collaboration with the Exuma Environment and Tourism Advisory Committee prepared a detailed 5 year implementation plan to arrest the current pollution, restore and enhance lost ecosystems, launch an environmental awareness campaign and establish the Elizabeth Harbour Sanctuary as a Protected Area.
The plan calls for establishing a Community Management Trust (ComManTrust) to implement the plan.
ECOTOURISM/SUSTAINABLE TOURISM WORKSHOP
ecoplan:net is currently customizing two of its most popular workshops for clients in Canada. They include:
- Ecotourism Planning, Product Development and Marketing Train-the-Trainer Session (12-days)
- Sustainable Tourism Planning and Policy Development Session (4-days)The workshops will be presented during the months of May and June to approximately 40 participants each.