This summer I have been interning with the Québec-Labrador Foundation (QLF). QLF is a non-profit organisation based in the Atlantic Northeast that runs projects and programs for environmental conservation, community cohesion, and the promotion of cultural heritage. QLF fosters the development of leaders who will serve as stewards for the their communities, heritages, and landscapes.
QLF was founded in 1961 with the intent to foster community initiatives in eastern Canada. Since then, QLF has expanded its work across international borders, and now has Alumni and Programs all over the world. Its mission is to promote global leadership, develop rural communities, and create models for stewardship of natural resources and cultural heritage.
These are some examples of QLF’s recent programs, both local, regional, and international:
- For the Protecting Coastal Biodiversity Programs, QLF works with rural communities in Newfoundland and Labrador to protect and restore the biodiversity of coastal and inshore waters. The projects address significant threats to coastal biodiversity, namely the increase in pollution and debris deposited and washed ashore. QLF works with local community leaders with the aim of reducing plastic waste entering the ocean and increasing the public’s knowledge of the harmful effects of plastic debris in the ocean and along the shores.
- “The Sounds Conservancy Marine Program exists to protect the estuaries and coastal waters of the Sounds of southern New England and New York from Long Island Sound to Nantucket Sound; and to secure the protection of its marine resources through a small grants program to encourage marine education, research, advocacy, and conservation.”
- “The Middle East Exchange Program, in its third decade in 2017, convenes conservation leaders from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf States. The program uses the environment as a bridge to mutual understanding and reconciliation, and to launch cooperative bioregional conservation initiatives across political boundaries, cultural frameworks, and socioeconomic borders.”
It is not only those that are biologists and conducting the fieldwork that can get involved with QLF, and the internship opportunities they offer. QLF a robust organisation with many different roles and priorities, and welcomes engaged and eager young professionals who have a passion for their work.
I was attracted to QLF and QLF’s work because I am very interested in environmental conservation. I believe that the protection of the landscape and the biodiversity of our regions is very important; in particular, that it is paramount for international collaboration on these projects so that everybody is working together towards a sustainable future. I graduated from Skidmore College this May as a Political Science major in the Class of 2019, but my focus has been on international relations. I have previous professional experience working in environmental policy, so I was hoping these perspective could be of use to QLF’s mission. Personally, due to my rural Irish heritage, I am particularly interested in the intersection of conservation and culture, which QLF are committed to also.
QLF is a fantastic and worthy organisation that has taught me a lot about responsibility and community. In my second and third blog posts I will be discussing their mission further, and also explaining my role here, and how future Skidmore students can get involved with QLF in the future.
Image is courtesy of qlf.org and is of Gros Morne National Park, in western Newfoundland, where QLF runs projects.