Posted on 22 September 2005
Ever wanted to get your hands really dirty? Well, that’s exactly what Canon employees from across Europe did as part of an outdoor volunteer programme in a Swedish national park.
Find out more about the WWF-Canon-PAN Parks partnership.
Ever wanted to get your hands really dirty? Well, that’s exactly what 25 Canon employees from across Europe did from 6–10 September in a Swedish national park as part of an outdoor volunteer programme.
The programme, organized by Canon Europe, WWF International, and PAN Parks, had Canon staff help improve the quality and maintenance of existing hiking trails and other tourism facilities within Sweden’s Fulufjället National Park
Fulufjället, designated a national park in 2002, is home to some of Sweden’s most unique vegetation and abundant wildlife, including elk, bear, lynx and beavers. It also boasts the country’s highest waterfall at 93m and has 150km of walking trails.
It is on these trails that Canon staff spent their time working. Volunteers helped repair old and damaged footbridges and build new walkways so that visitors can navigate their way around the park and not trample on protected plant species or damage the delicate marshlands. They also erected trail markers on a 10km stretch, as well as on the outer perimeter of the park. This essential maintenance work ensures that the park’s boundaries are clearly defined and that no damage occurs to areas of outstanding natural beauty.
“The tasks we had were rough but rewarding and I am very happy that I had the opportunity to do something so concrete for the environment and nature,” said Sari Holmqvist of Canon Finland.
"I will absolutely encourage all to take the challenge, if that kind of chance should come again.”
Canon, a world-leading innovator and provider of imaging and information technology solutions for individuals and businesses, has been working with WWF in Europe, Middle East, and Africa since 1998. With Canon's support, WWF has been able to completely digitize its image collection and to make it readily available online for its global network of offices.
WWF has also been able to commission professional photographers to cover and illustrate its programmes and projects, and to further enhance its image collection. Apart from providing WWF programmes and projects with financial investment and value in kind, the partnership with Canon also generates opportunities to raise awareness of conservation through promotional materials and activities, product and retail promotions, communications at events and exhibits, as well as targeted merchandising.
The commitment between the two also includes raising employee awareness within Canon Europe and providing an opportunity for Canon staff to participate in “hands on” conservation projects, such as the PAN park volunteer camp.
The PAN (Protected Area Network) Parks initiative — an independent foundation established by WWF and the Dutch Molecaten Group — aims to create a European network of wilderness protected areas; improve nature protection by sustainable tourism development; and provide a reliable trademark which guarantees nature protection and is recognized by all Europeans. As of March 2005, there are five certified PAN Parks: Fulufjället, in Sweden, Oulanka in Finland, Bieszczady in Poland, Central Balkan in Bulgaria, and Retezat in Romania.
“The time spent in Fulufjället has proven to be a rewarding week,” said James Leipnik, Canon Europe’s Chief of Communication and Corporate Relations.
“Not only was it a good opportunity for networking and exchanging ideas with Canon employees from other Canon subsidiaries, the participants also have enjoyed the satisfaction of directly and substantially contribute to a healthy planet and a greener Europe."
"This Pan Parks Programme illustrates that Canon is a company that recognizes it has responsibilities beyond its every day business domain," he added.