Birds Caribbean Conference
Wildlife professionals, ornithologists, educators, tourism interests, community leaders, students and others shared information and lessons learned about the latest avian research and initiatives to conserve birds and their habitats in the Caribbean.
Keynote speakers addressed topics as diverse as community based bird monitoring, conservation photography, ecosystem services, economics and ethics of bird conservation. Whilst parallel sessions focused for the first day on bird conservation on Jamaica subsequent days included sessions addressing applied research, ecology and conservation, bird monitoring and the Caribbean waterbird census, restoration and capacity building for conservation.
Of particular interest were sessions on the Caribbean Birding Trail initiative, fundraising and how to get sponsorship, use of social media and photography to promote bird conservation and invasive species management. There were training and workshops, round-table discussions and focused working group meetings to promote applied conservation and collaboration. Pre and post conference workshops and field trips allowed delegates to learn new skills and experience bird conservation work in action.
The meeting was attended by park staff from Parke Nacional Arikok Aruba, STINAPA Bonaire and STENAPA as well as staff from ECHO and a board member of the St. Maarten Nature Foundation. Amongst the Dutch Caribbean delegates, Hannah Madden, Paulo Bertuol and Michaela Roberts gave presentations on their work.
The BirdsCaribbean was not only an information rich conference, it was a great place to network and share ideas on the environmental challenges that birds are facing in the Caribbean.