Above: South West Catchments Council's Emily Hugues-dit-Ciles, Mike Christensen, Joanna Hugues-dit-Ciles and Nerilee Boshammer are certified environmental practitioners.
The EIANZ and landcare sector joined forces this year in a partnership to increase opportunities for environmental practitioners.
Historically, EIANZ membership has included a proportion of practitioners in the natural resource management (NRM) and landcare space, however South West Catchments Council (SWCC) and EIANZ both recognised opportunities to increase this membership base through targeted engagement.
With this in mind, WA Division Vice-President Andrew Del Marco MEIANZ CEnvP met with the SWCC Management Team in 2016 to discuss opportunities to work together more closely in future to develop a program for greater inclusion of NRM professionals.
“Professional certification of NRM practitioners is important for staff, employers and prospective employers. And it shows community volunteers and the broader community that all environmental practitioners place a high importance on a professional code of conduct, training and development and a high environmental ethic”, said EIANZ WA Vice President Andrew Del Marco.
"It amazes me that we expect our accountants, engineers and lawyers to be certified or accredited, but not the people that are professionally responsible for protecting the environment. Well done to the South West Catchments Council for taking leadership on this initiative”.
In a partnership to facilitate greater professional accreditation for landcare practitioners and more collaboration across organisations, SWCC and EIANZ worked together this year for a number of SWCC Management staff to gain accreditation through the Certified Environmental Practitioner Scheme. As a result, four staff are now fully accredited.
“When I approached Andrew to come and speak to SWCC staff, it was with a view to facilitating a change in the NRM and Landcare sector and in other areas of environmental practice. I want those who work in our NRM field to be formally recognised for the great professional environmental work they do and for their environmental industry credentials.”, said SWCC Operations Manager Steve Ewings.
In turn, EIANZ has now extended its network of practitioners and has access to a broader scope of works to draw upon.
It is hoped that this will be the first step in a mutually beneficial journey towards a more highly skilled NRM and Landcare sector, leading to further environmental outcomes.
Further information on the Certified Environmental Practitioner Scheme can be found here >