By César Guerrero / Executive Director of Terra Peninsular
- Dates: May 16 and 17, 2018
- Location: Hampton Inn, St. Simons, Georgia, United States
- Facilitators of the workshop: Allan R. Rhodes Espinoza from Asesores en Ecoturismo Genuino and Rosa María Vidal Rodríguez from Colorado State University
- Name of the workshop: Bird-Related Ecotourism Training Workshop
- Participants of Terra Peninsular: César Guerrero Ávila and Ernesto Salmerón
- Name of the organization that funded the project: Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)
Some shorebirds travel thousands of miles using migratory routes year after year. Within the animal kingdom, they are very ambitious migrants who visit innumerable sites throughout the world, where they carry out vital processes of their life cycle. Unfortunately their numbers are falling rapidly and the habitats they visit are lost at accelerated rates.
The protection of these birds and the habitats they use is an important international conservation priority that requires coordinated efforts within each of the countries through which these birds fly during their vast migrations from pole to pole. One of these efforts is the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) that since 1986 has protected more than 44 million acres of strategic habitats for these birds in 16 countries of the American continent.
The workshop on bird ecotourism was an activity organized by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) as part of the conservation project of shorebirds included in the Operative Plan 2017-2018, that seeks to strengthen local economic activities that have a direct impact on the conservation of shorebirds, this in collaboration with partners from eight sites of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.
Since tourist activities -and, more specifically, ecotourism- related to birds can contribute significantly to increase the capacities of local communities to protect such habitats, this workshop gave us an excellent opportunity to acquire knowledge, tools and best practices that will allow us to promote a sustainable ecotourism. Especially in Mexico in the sites of Bahía de Todos Santos and the Upper Gulf of California and Colorado River Delta, as well as to exchange experiences in other parts of the North American continent.
Objectives of the workshop
- Exchange strategies and techniques to offer sustainable ecotourism activities related to birds.
- Promote the exchange of experiences and learning among the participating sites.
- Examine training, communication and dissemination materials on ecotourism in sites of importance to shorebirds.
It is of great importance for Terra Peninsular to be part of this transnational initiative. It is an honor and a great responsibility to participate in a regional, collective and concurrent effort. Today we learned tools like the Team Canvas model, and the board of experimentation and confirmation of hypothesis Javelin, which will help us to continue strengthening our community effort to create, together with our local partners, a bird-related tourism strategy (avitourism) for the northwestern region of Mexico.
WHSRN sites that participated and representatives of each site
- Bay of Fundy – Kerry Lee Morris-Cormier (TNC-Canada)
- Copper River Delta – Erin Cooper (US-Forest Service) / Cathy Long (Cordova Chamber of Commerce)
- Georgia Barrier Islands – Laura Chamberlin (Manomet)
- Delaware Bay – Vanessa Loverti (USFWS)
- Bahía de Todos Santos – César Guerrero (Terra Peninsular) / Ernesto Abel Salmerón (Contacto Salvaje)
- Upper Gulf of California and Colorado River Delta – César Guerrero (Terra Peninsular)