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Fwd: [BirdsCaribbean] ECOTOURISM FOCUS FOR THE FIRST MEETING IN THE OECS OF REGION'S LARGEST CONSERVATION SOCIETY!

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  • Bruce Potter, IRF
    ... -- -- 37 Years of Environmental Service to Small Tropical Islands -- Island Resources Foundation Fone 202/265-9712 1718 P St NW, # T-4 fax 202/232-0748
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 19, 2009
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      >To: SCSCB SCSCB LIST <BirdsCaribbean@yahoogroups.com>,
      > Lisa Sorenson <lsoren@...>
      >From: Leo Douglas <knowbout@...>
      >Sender: BirdsCaribbean@yahoogroups.com
      >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) [1], 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 [2], 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
      >the islands.
      >
      >
      >
      >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
      >meeting.
      >
      >
      >
      > 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:
      ><mailto:lrd2107@...>lrd2107@.... Tel:
      >917-569-0820.
      >
      >
      >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
      >details, see:
      ><http://www.nmnh.si.edu/BIRDNET/SCO/index.html>http://www.scscb.org
      >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
      >years.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >


      --
      --
      37 Years of Environmental Service to Small Tropical Islands
      --
      Island Resources Foundation Fone 202/265-9712
      1718 "P" St NW, # T-4 fax 202/232-0748
      Washington, DC 20036 Potter cell: 1-443-454-9044
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