John Cathro began his career in forestry as a tree planter in 1985. In 1992, after volunteering on reforestation projects in Africa and India, he earned his MSc in Forestry and its Relation to Land Use from Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He also holds a Masters in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

John has worked professionally in the resource sector in British Columbia, Canada since 1994. In that time his work has taken him around the world as a consultant, mediator and advisor to many groups including communities, private companies, indigenous groups, governments, and environmental organizations. Today, John’s scope of experience spans resource sectors on four continents.

The services of Cathro Consulting are most frequently called upon when there is conflict over social, environmental, economic and cultural values. John’s central role is understanding the complex human relationships that arise when trying to balance human needs, ecological requirements and natural resource use. His job is to identify the core elements within complex systems to develop strategic solutions that promote resiliant collaboration between communities, governments and companies.

John’s list of professional accomplishments demonstrates this approach. An incisive analyst, a prolific writer and a motivated facilitator. He is able to listen to others, assert his own ideas and work as a part of a team.


At home in Kaslo, in the heart of the Kootenays in the south eastern interior of British Columbia, John and his wife Kare manage a small, efficient homestead for themselves and their two young sons, Zack and Reed. They maintain sustainable, organic growing practices and produce much of their own food. The Cathro family enjoys a vibrant, active community life in their community, hiking, camping, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and volunteering with community organizations.

Although his work is increasingly in demand, John is able to balance the vitality of his career with his rich home life. This means working hard at important work, while embracing family and community.