Fwd: [BirdsCaribbean] ECOTOURISM FOCUS FOR THE FIRST MEETING IN THE OECS OF REGION'S LARGEST CONSERVATION SOCIETY!
>To: SCSCB SCSCB LIST <BirdsCaribbean@yahoogroups.com>,--
> Lisa Sorenson <lsoren@...>
>From: Leo Douglas <knowbout@...>
>Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 08:01:34 -0700 (PDT)
>Subject: [BirdsCaribbean] ECOTOURISM FOCUS FOR THE FIRST MEETING IN
>THE OECS OF REGION'S LARGEST CONSERVATION SOCIETY!
>For Immediate Release
>(Photos of conference available from Leo Douglas at email below).
>NEWS RELEASE Monday July 20, 2009
>ECOTOURISM FOCUS FOR THE FIRST MEETING IN THE OECS OF REGION'S
>LARGEST CONSERVATION SOCIETY!
>St. John, Antigua, July 20, 2009. Between July 13-18, the Society
>for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) , the
>largest single organization devoted to wildlife conservation within
>the Caribbean, held its 17th biennial meeting in Antigua in the
>eastern Caribbean. The meeting, held under the theme Beyond the
>beach-Birds and Tourism for Sustainable Islands, is the first
>meeting of the Society in any Organization of Eastern Caribbean
>States (OECS) country, and the first to focus primarily on
>ecotourism. World tourism experts met with some of the region's
>most prominent eco-tourism operator, conservation professionals,
>scientists, and local communities to discuss how ecotourism can
>contribute to the business of conservation and poverty reduction.
>According to Dr. Lisa Sorenson , President of the SCSCB, the
>conference was a rare opportunity to raise awareness of the
>potential for bird tourism to be a tool for sustainable livelihoods
>in the Caribbean. The Caribbean has been identified by the leading
>conservation organizations as one of the top five "hot spots" for
>conservation in the world because of its rich biodiversity.
>Sorenson noted that an astonishing 25% of the Caribbean's 560
>resident bird species are found nowhere else on the planet. Levels
>of endemism for plants, frogs and lizards are even higher. Sorenson
>remarked "The Caribbean is ideally poised to reinvent itself as one
>of the most attractive destinations in the world for bird tourism."
>She noted that there is a huge opportunity for expansion of
>community-based tourism and related rural livelihood programs within
>Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Honorable Baldwin Spencer
>attended the opening session of the meeting. He welcomed the SCSCB's
>efforts to enhance sustainable tourism in the region. The Honorable
>John McGinley, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture,
>Government of Antigua who addressed the opening, spoke passionately
>about the urgent need for Caribbean tourism to move beyond its sun,
>sea, and sand image. The Minister said that nature tourism is a
>global multi-billion dollar industry and the fastest growing sector
>of the tourism market.
>Sorenson explained that "the SCSCB looks forward to helping the
>countries of the region to make the best of this opportunity by
>providing inspiration, ideas, strategies, tools, partnerships,
>contacts and training. Making this a reality will take funding."
>Sorenson was therefore pleased to announce a new initiative known as
>the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) that is being
>developed for the Caribbean region by the World Bank, MacArthur
>Foundation, Government of Japan, and Conservation International.
>Sorenson noted that the Fund is expected to be a unique funding
>mechanism designed to promote working alliances among academia,
>government, and civil society towards comprehensive approaches to
>biodiversity conservation and management and in developing regions
>like the Caribbean. The CEPF held a regional workshop at the SCSCB
> The meeting was attended by a wide variety of persons from almost
>every island state in the Caribbean, all of whom shared a common
>interest in the conservation of birds and their habitats. As well as
>ecotourism and funding, sessions focused on education, monitoring,
>research, control of invasive species and practical approaches to
>conservation of species such as West Indian Whistling Duck,
>seabirds, parrots and White-crowned Pigeons.
>-------- ENDS --------
>For more information, and to arrange an interview, please contact:
>Leo Douglas, Columbia University, New York, NY, 10027 USA. Email:
>NOTES TO EDITORS:
>1. The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds
>(SCSCB) is the largest single regional organization devoted to
>wildlife conservation in the Caribbean. It is a non-profit
>organization whose goals are to promote the scientific study and
>conservation of Caribbean birds and their habitats, and to promote
>greater public awareness of the bird life of the region. For more
>To learn more about the festival, click on "Programs" and "Caribbean
>Endemic Bird Festival."
>2. Lisa Sorenson is also Coordinator of the West Indian
>Whistling-Duck and Wetlands Conservation Project of the SCSCB, a
>public education and awareness programme on the importance and value
>of the regions wetlands and birds. Sorenson, an ecologist and
>conservation biologist, has been working in the Caribbean for 25
37 Years of Environmental Service to Small Tropical Islands
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1718 "P" St NW, # T-4 fax 202/232-0748
Washington, DC 20036 Potter cell: 1-443-454-9044
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