Our winter migrants are here! The “Butterfly Bird” (the female American Redstart, who flutters her bright yellow tail feathers in our hibiscus bushes) touched down in our yard first, about two weeks ago. The Black-Throated Blue Warbler potters around under our apple tree, looking very smart in crisp black and slate-blue, with a pure white front. And we spotted a Yellow Warbler – a flash of brilliant color in our tall hedge, picking insects off the leaves. They must be celebrating something! Oh, here it is…
(Kingston, Jamaica) October 18, 2013 –
Today the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) , the largest single organization devoted to wildlife conservation in the Caribbean, announced the renaming of the organization to “BirdsCaribbean.” The name change reflects the proactive, multi-faceted, and inclusive nature of the organization, which continues in its role of assisting wildlife professionals, educators, and community members throughout the Caribbean in their efforts to understand and conserve birds and their habitats.
The organization also launched a new logo featuring the Bananaquit, a conspicuous and well-known bird common on most islands. “The shorter new name and lively logo reflect our interest in making our organization more accessible and well-known in wider Caribbean society,” commented Lisa Sorenson, Executive Director of BirdsCaribbean . “We need to reach more people and engage them in the wonderful world of birds and our mission to conserve the Caribbean’s rich but threatened natural heritage.” said Sorenson.
In the new strategic plan, which was presented and discussed at the organization’s 19th Regional Meeting  on Grenada (July 27-31, 2013), over the next five years the organization will shift from volunteer-led to one directed by full-time staff (an Executive Director, Programs Director and Administrative Assistant) under the supervision of an elected board of directors.
“Our new name and structure better positions us to serve as a leader in Caribbean conservation and support our partners,” said Dr. Howard Nelson, President of BirdsCaribbean . He added that, “We are very proud of our 25 years of service to the Caribbean conservation community and we are excited about what having full-time staff will mean for BirdsCaribbean.” Nelson remarked that under BirdsCaribbean’s new strategic plan the organization aims to work with a broader suite of partners, expand educational and monitoring programs, and promote best practices for the conservation of biodiversity more widely using the region’s unique birds as flagships for conservation.
Key elements of the new strategic direction include further developing BirdsCaribbean to work with and through its partners in the Caribbean and the rest of the world to promote conservation of birds and their habitats by:
- Serving as the Caribbean’s primary forum for sharing best practices, tools, innovations, and lessons learned about the conservation of birds and their habitats.
- Expanding and developing flagship programs, for example, the highly successful Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival that draws over 100,000 participants from 23 independent Caribbean nations each year  and the Caribbean Birding Trail, an economically beneficial program promoting nature-based tourism Caribbean-wide .
- Generating core operational funds needed to sustain full-time staff, field projects and Caribbean-wide education programs.
Tel: 1 876-807-4971.
Tel: 1 242-393- 1317.
If you would like more information, visit the BirdsCaribbean Facebook page and you may also follow them on Twitter @BirdsCaribbean. Why don’t you consider becoming a member? Help support and protect our beautiful birds!
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. BirdsCaribbean is the largest single regional organization devoted to wildlife conservation in the Caribbean. It is a 501(c) 3 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.scscb.org.
2. Dr. Lisa Sorenson is Executive Director and Past President of BirdsCaribbean. She develops and oversees all projects and programs of the Society, including the Caribbean Waterbird Census monitoring program, Caribbean Birding Trail Project, Caribbean BirdSleuth, the West Indian Whistling-Duck and Wetlands Project, and others. Sorenson, an ornithologist and conservation biologist, has been working in the Caribbean for 28 years.
3. The theme of the 2013 conference, held every two years, is “Bird Conservation in a Changing Climate.” For further information on the conference program, keynote speakers and meeting report please visit: https://sites.google.com/site/scscbmeeting2013/home
4. Dr. Howard Nelson has extensive research, policy and teaching experience in wildlife ecology, forestry and biodiversity conservation. He was also the biodiversity specialist at the Environmental Policy and Planning Division of Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Planning, Housing and Environment. Currently, he is the Coordinator for a Regional Biodiversity and Sustainable Development MSc Programme, and a lecturer at the UWI. He is also a member of the Board the Guardian Life Wildlife Trust of Trinidad and Tobago.
5. The Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival is a celebration of the region’s unique bird life. Celebrated for one month, the festival calls attention to the fact that more than 25% of the Caribbean’s bird species (148 of 564) are endemic—that is, they exist nowhere else on the planet. Local conservation organizations throughout the Caribbean celebrate through an array of events, including bird and nature walks, presentations, art and photography exhibits and competitions, radio quizzes, bird calling contests, beach clean-ups, tree plantings, distribution of materials, and more.
6. The Caribbean Birding Trail is a newly launched initiative by BirdsCaribbean  with funding from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund. The mission of the CBT is to create and promote nature-based, authentic experiences that engage visitors and locals with the unique birds of the Caribbean and connect them to the extraordinary places, diverse cultures and people of each island. The CBT is a metaphorical trail that, when complete, will include important birdwatching sites throughout the entire region; using birds as a focal point for engaging birders and non-birders with the local nature and culture that lies beyond the beach. For more information, visit http://www.caribbeanbirdingtrail.org.
- Celebrating the Lives of Migratory Caribbean Birds (petchary.wordpress.com)
- Interpreting Jamaican Heritage Through Birds: the Caribbean Birding Trail (petchary.wordpress.com)
- Support for the Campaign to Protect Goat Islands is Growing (petchary.wordpress.com)
- Dominica celebrates migratory Caribbean birds (dominicanewsonline.com)
- In Caribbean, push to create no-take reserves (bigstory.ap.org)
The fate of the Portland Bight Protected Area, including Goat Islands, remains hanging in the balance. Despite some efforts by local journalists to obtain more information on whether the area will be sacrificed as a “logistics hub” to be constructed and operated by a Chinese firm, China Harbour Engineering Company, the Jamaican Government has continued to play its cards very close to its chest, not volunteering any information at all.
Anyway, I thought I would share with you this list – by no means exhaustive – of all the organizations that are in support of the campaign to save this precious piece of our ecological and cultural heritage. Many are overseas, and this shows the strong network of scientists and environmentalists working in the field. As we should be aware, scientists nowadays are global creatures, sharing information and discussing their findings and research across borders. They collaborate all the time on field expeditions and programs (such as the Caribbean Birding Trail which includes Jamaica and this protected area) and meet regularly – in person and online.
Incidentally, before I share this list I wanted to let you know that the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce, which apparently spearheads the logistics hub, will be hosting a one-day conference on the project in Kingston on Tuesday, November 12. Ironically, this coincides with a two-day meeting of the Iguana Support Group at Hope Zoo, which will bring together representatives of several zoos in the United States and elsewhere that have collaborated with Jamaican zoologists over the years on the breeding program for the Jamaican Iguana – which was saved from the brink of extinction in 1990. Now the iguana’s habitat is severely threatened by the hub. One politician (the Minister of Transport & Works Omar Davies, who has an interest in the logistics hub) dismissed the iguana as “two likkle lizard” that cannot get in the way of “progress.”
If I have made any errors in this list – or have omitted anyone that I should have included – please let me know. I will update this blog post, accordingly, and keep it updated.
- Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
- Avian Research and Conservation Institute, Gainesville, Florida
- Birds Caribbean (formerly the Society for the Conservation & Study of Caribbean Birds)
- Caribbean Birding Trail
- Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM)
- Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Puerto Rico
- Centre for Biological Diversity
- Chester Zoo UK
- Conservation International
- Countrystyle Community Tourism Network, Jamaica
- Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (eLaw)
- Feel Like a Biologist
- 51% Coalition: Women in Partnership for Development and Empowerment through Equity, Jamaica
- Fort Worth Zoo
- Greenpeace NZ
- HuffPost Green
- I.F.R.O.G.S (Indigenous Forest Research Organization for Global Sustainability)
- Iguana Specialty Group (ISG)
- International Iguana Foundation (IIF)
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
- Jamaica Civil Society Coalition
- Jamaica Environment Trust
- Jamaicans for Justice
- Misty Mountain Herbs, Jamaica
- Mockingbird Hill Hotel, Jamaica
- National Coalition Jamaica
- NoMaddz Bongo Music
- North American Reptile Breeders Conference
- One World Wildlife
- Project Noah
- Queensland Ecotourism Authority, Australia
- Ramsar Convention (the Portland Bight Protected Area is a Ramsar Wetland of Importance)
- Reptile Lovers ACE (Awareness, Conservation & Education)
- San Diego Herpetological Society
- San Diego Zoo Global
- Seven Oaks Sanctuary for Wildlife, Jamaica
- Southern California Herpetological Society & Rescue
- The Reptile Report
- United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK)
- Vietnam Herpetology
- Wildlife Nature
- World Wildlife Fund
And thousands of people from Jamaica and around the world have signed the petition on change.org, which is here: http://www.change.org/petitions/no-to-port-on-goat-island-jamaica-no-trans-shipping-port-portland-bight-protected-area-jamaica?share_id=eqkTTbjcGd&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition If you have not signed it yet, please consider doing so and share with anyone who may be interested. Even if you have, do take the time to read the interesting information, articles etc shared on the page and join the ongoing, daily updates and conversation on Facebook: No! To Port on Goat Island Jamaica.’
In case you missed it, please see this statement from Jamaica Environment Trust, who first raised concerns over the logistics hub plans: http://www.jamentrust.org/education/media/media-archive/2004-archive/160-statement-from-jet-on-goat-islands.html
And here is the statement from the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition, which includes JET and many other non-governmental and community-based organizations: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Six-reasons-against-port-on-Goat-Islands_14960085
And enjoy/share this song! https://soundcloud.com/jamentrust/dont-mess-with-goat-islands Lyrics: Inilek Wilmot; Vocals: Quecee; Music: Jeremy Ashbourne.
Please support the campaign to preserve and protect the Portland Bight Protected Area, and Goat Islands! It is Jamaicans’ birthright…
Please find below a press release from the Caribbean Birding Trail, a project of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds. The CBT’s Interpretive Plan (see link below) is well worth reading and contemplating. It focuses on crucial issues for Jamaica, including tourism and development – and the potential of eco-tourism, which I have touched on in previous articles. It provides options, practical solutions and opportunities to enhance and protect Jamaica’s precious ecological and cultural heritage (such as the Portland Bight Protected Area/Goat Islands, and Cockpit Country) in a sustainable way.
Do contact Holly Robertson directly for further information on the Caribbean Birding Trail and related issues.
Everybody loves a good story. When a story is told well we are engaged and entertained. Chances are that we will walk away remembering what was said and perhaps be transformed by what we heard.
Jamaica is full of stories waiting to be told. Take, for instance, Cockpit Country. Fractured limestone, collapsed caves, undulating hills and valleys, and sinkholes make this region what it is today—an ecosystem and landscape like no other in the world. Cockpit Country supports outstanding biodiversity and species of plants and animals unique to the region. It is also a place of historical significance; the Tainos, Spanish, Africans, British, and Maroons are all integral to the narrative of Cockpit Country. Local legend recounts dramatic battles, mythical warriors, and an unprecedented history of conquest, land seizure, human enslavement, and liberation.
The Caribbean Birding Trail (CBT) seeks to tell these stories and offer interpretation  of Caribbean heritage by using the region’s vast cultural and natural resources as the storylines. The CBT is a newly launched initiative by the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB)  with funding from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund. The mission of the CBT is to create and promote nature-based, authentic experiences that engage visitors and locals with the unique birds of the Caribbean and connect them to the extraordinary places, diverse cultures and people of each island.
Critical to the CBT’s mission is its interpretive strategy—a guide for how to tell the story of the region’s abundant biodiversity. Professional interpreter Ted Eubanks of Fermata Inc, worked with the SCSCB over the past year to craft this strategy that has now been made available to the public in a document called The Caribbean Birding Trail – An Interpretive Plan for Seven Key Biodiversity Areas in Grenada, Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
For Jamaica, the SCSCB focused on Cockpit Country and Portland Bight Protected Area (PBPA). The PBPA is another area largely unknown to the international – and perhaps local – population. It is the largest protected area in Jamaica and comprises 1,880 square kilometers of dense forests, vibrant wetlands, colorful coral reefs, lush seagrass beds, offshore cays, and human communities that depend on them. The natural and cultural treasures of both Cockpit Country and the PBPA are currently threatened by development schemes. Perhaps the reason is that the story of their value has yet to be told.
The Caribbean Birding Trail Interpretive Plan contains much more than just the interpretive strategy. It also contains an in-depth tourism market analysis of the Caribbean tourism industry, comprehensive Resource Assessments of each Key Biodiversity Area, and recommendations for building capacity and promoting the sites.
Local partners that reviewed the plan are very enthusiastic about being part of the CBT and having this new tool. The next step will be to implement certain recommendations made within the plan for Cockpit Country and the PBPA—actions that will build the capacity of the local communities to raise awareness about the unique ecosystems in which they live and to be able to share this with those fortunate enough to visit these spectacular sites.
The Interpretive Plan can be downloaded from the CBT website at the following link: www.caribbeanbirdingtrail.org/interpretation/. For more information about how to visit these areas, please visit www.caribbeanbirdingtrail.org and look under Sites.
For more information, and to arrange an interview, please contact:
Holly Robertson, Caribbean Birding Trail Project Manager, Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: (608) 698-3448
NOTES TO EDITORS:
According to the National Association for Interpretation, interpretation is a mission-based communication process that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the interests of the audience and meanings inherent in the resource. It is a process of conveying information about an interpretive site or resource by telling a story rather than reciting facts. A wide variety of people are involved in the interpretive guide profession, such as tour guides, museum docents, volunteers, cruise directors, naturalists, park rangers, zoo docents, and bus driver guides. For more information, visit www.interpnet.com. Environmental interpretation is often applied to eco-tourism, because travelers seek to learn and connect with the new places they are visiting. Effective interpretation, therefore, can help reveal meanings behind the landscape and help create a lasting memory and experience for visitors, whether local or international.
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.scscb.org & http://www.caribbeanbirdingtrail.org.
Captions to the photos below:
Jamaican Tody. By Ricardo Miller. A species of bird endemic to Jamaica that can be found throughout the island, from coast to mountains.
Portland Bight Protected Area, by Ted Eubanks.
Cockpit Country, by Ted Eubanks.
The migration of birds around the world never ceases to fascinate me. It is a wonderful mystery of nature, about which there is so much more to be learned and understood. Perhaps not many of us know, though, that some of the bright, familiar birds that we see in Jamaica around this time of year have arrived on our shores from other parts of the hemisphere. Please find below a press release from the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds on International Migratory Bird Day. If you want to learn more about the Society, see the contact information at the end of this article.
Meanwhile, we await the arrival of the American Redstart in our Kingston garden. A little late this year? Let’s enjoy, cherish and appreciate our migratory birds!
The Caribbean, with its distinctive cultures and wildlife, can seem isolated from the continental Americas, but these islands play an important part in the life cycle of many migratory birds that travel thousands of miles to visit the Caribbean each year. Coming from as far away as the Arctic and South America, these birds unite the Western Hemisphere. This October, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) events throughout the Caribbean will celebrate these birds and the amazing journeys they make each year.
IMBD events, which take place in countries from Canada to South America, are organized in the region by the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) . SCSCB, the largest organization devoted to wildlife conservation in the Caribbean, will coordinate month-long region-wide activities centered on Saturday October 12th which will mark the zenith of activities. 2013 marks the sixth year that the SCSCB has organized IMBD events throughout the Caribbean.
The theme for IMBD this year is the life cycle of migratory birds. Most migratory species in the Caribbean breed and nest in North America during the summer and spend the winter in warmer areas, like the Caribbean. While preserving breeding areas for these birds is important to their survival, many species spend most of the year (up to nine months) in their southern wintering grounds. By understanding the life cycle of these birds, we come to realize that each habitat along their migratory route is necessary for their survival.
In many respects, the Caribbean is one of the most important habitats for these birds. Approximately 350 species of birds that breed in North America migrate each year to spend the winter in Latin America and the Caribbean, including many species of songbirds, hawks, egrets, and ducks, among other well-known groups. Additionally a smaller number of species migrate from South America into the Caribbean to breed during the summer. Our islands therefore share these species with North and South America and are a vital part of the migratory chain that connects our hemisphere.
“Most people really don’t know that the birds that they see and love are in fact species that spend their summers and winter months in separate, far away, countries!” said Anthony Levesque, Regional IMBD Coordinator, while noting that because most birds migrate mostly during the night, their epic movements, though frequently spectacular in numbers, are often unnoticed by the public.
Unfortunately the long-term survival of about a third of these migratory species is of concern because of sustained declines in their populations over recent decades. “There are just much fewer numbers of even some of the more common and well-known species now relative to their numbers a few decades ago,” remarked Dr. Lisa Sorenson , Executive Director of the SCSCB at the launch of the festival. However, new regulations to manage the hunting of some migratory species have been passed on several islands this year, and many Caribbean nations have been taking steps to protect key habitats for these birds.
Another SCSCB project, the Caribbean Birding Trail (CBT) , aims to promote bird watching in the region amongst both residents and tourists. The CBT is a collection of important birding sites throughout the Caribbean. The project seeks to increase support for conservation of bird habitat by making birding sites more accessible and sharing the fascinating stories of our local and migratory birds.
Public activities to mark IMBD will include a diverse array of events such as bird-watching excursions, lectures, seminars, school-based art competitions, church services, and media campaigns all in recognition of the region’s still unappreciated role in one of the world most important animal migrations.
To view reports and photos of from IMBD in the Caribbean and in North America, for downloadable IMBD resources, and for updates on ongoing and planned activities, kindly visit the website of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds at: www.scscb.org, and Environment for the Americas: http://www.birdday.org.
For more information, and to arrange an interview, please contact:
Anthony Levesque (Regional Coordinator of IMBD Caribbean) Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds, Tel: +590 – 690 752 104, Email: email@example.com
or Scott Johnson, Bahamas National Trust, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds 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.scscb.org.
2. International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) is the largest-known bird conservation and education event of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. IMBD was initiated in 1993 by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. It is currently coordinated by Environment for the America, Boulder, Colorado, under the direction of Susan Bonfield, Executive Director. For more details, see: http://www.birdday.org/birdday
3. Lisa Sorenson is Executive Director and Past President of the SCSCB. She develops and oversees all projects and programs of the Society, including the Caribbean Waterbird Census monitoring program, Caribbean Birding Trail Project, Caribbean BirdSleuth, the West Indian Whistling-Duck and Wetlands Project, and others. Sorenson, an ecologist and conservation biologist, has been working in the Caribbean for 28 years.
4. The Caribbean Birding Trail is a newly launched initiative by the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB)  with funding from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund. The mission of the CBT is to create and promote nature-based, authentic experiences that engage visitors and locals with the unique birds of the Caribbean and connect them to the extraordinary places, diverse cultures and people of each island. The CBT is a metaphorical trail that, when complete, will include important birdwatching sites throughout the entire region; using birds as a focal point for engaging birders and non-birders with the local nature and culture that lies beyond the beach. For more information, visit http://www.caribbeanbirdingtrail.org.
The Portland Bight Protected Area (the PBPA) is the largest protected area on the island of Jamaica. It was created in 1999 by the Jamaican Government under the Natural Resources Conservation Act. It encompasses 1,876 sq km of coastal land and sea, including cays such as the Goat Islands. It is home to birds, iguanas, crocodiles, manatees, sea turtles and fish, as well as other flora and fauna. It includes three fish sanctuaries and endangered habitats such as dry limestone forest and mangrove.
This large area of diverse landscapes and natural treasures is now threatened by reported plans for a proposed logistics hub/trans-shipment port to be constructed by China Harbour Engineering Company. There is a petition site where you may register your concern about this here: http://chn.ge/1ecZdCO I urge you to sign and share with your friends and contacts who care about our increasingly fragile environment.
On August 23, environmentalists and civil society groups announced that they plan to take legal action against the Jamaican Government (the Ministry of Land, Environment and Climate Change and the Attorney General) after the Minister of Environment himself signaled that the project is under consideration, during a visit to China. Since then, very few details have been forthcoming; but much of the discussion has been on the outlying Goat Islands only. However, it must be emphasized that any bulldozing of the islands or dredging of the surrounding marine environment would have a devastating effect reaching far beyond this area. At this point we do not know how much larger the project plans are, although it has been reported that CHEC are looking for a total of 3,000 acres for the logistics hub. We still await details from the Jamaican Government.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) has posted an extensive, beautiful photo album of the PBPA, compiled by U.S.-based naturalist Ted Lee Eubanks – 100 images! You can see this at their Facebook page (Caribbean Birds) and I am sharing a few photos below (although this blog format does not do them justice). The link to this wonderful photo album is http://tinyurl.com/mnmmpt9
- Jamaica is one of eight countries that has committed to The Nature Conservancy‘s Caribbean Challenge Initiative. This means Jamaica has committed to conserving at least 20% of its nearshore marine and coastal environments in national marine protected areas systems by 2020; and to creating a National Conservation Trust Fund endowed by new sustainable finance mechanisms (such as tourism fees), dedicated to solely to funding park management. Jamaica’s commitments (and those of private sector supporters, such as Sandals Resorts/Sandals Foundation) are here: http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/caribbean/cci-summit-commitments.pdf As The Nature Conservancy notes, “With 70% of the population living along the coast, Caribbean lives and livelihoods directly depend upon healthy marine and coastal resources. Alarmingly, the Caribbean is increasingly threatened by development, pollution, overfishing and climate change.”
- The Portland Bight wetlands and cays are one of four designated RAMSAR sites in Jamaica, since 2006. According to the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), a government agency, “The site has significant value for the country. Notably there is a range of endemic and rare plants, extensive fish life and several small coral cays.” Jamaica is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (since 1998). Note that part of one of the Jamaican RAMSAR sites, the Palisadoes – Port Royal Protected Area, was bulldozed and destroyed during the reconstruction of the airport road in 2010 through a project funded by the China Exim Bank. Jamaica’s Supreme Court ruled that NEPA breached the legal standard for the holding of public consultation for the development.
Please find below more information on this remarkable area, now threatened by development, and the great efforts of non-governmental AND government agencies, as well as overseas entities, to preserve and sustainably manage its resources:
Since the PBPA was created, it has been managed by the non-governmental organization Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM), which works with various government agencies and non-governmental organizations to ensure that the area is protected. Most importantly, C-CAM works closely with residents and other stakeholders – including farmers, fisherfolk, business people and landowners – through continuous outreach. Residents learn about – and implement – climate change mitigation, sustainable fishing, forestry and farming practices, such as rainwater harvesting. The aim is to contribute to the local economy sustainably, while improving the quality of life of residents.
C-CAM’s programs in the PBPA include a Biodiversity Conservation Program, and special attention to the dry limestone forest of the Hellshire HIlls, Portland Ridge, the Brazilletto Mountains and Kemps Hill. There is also some of this very special habitat on the Portland Bight Cays. This forest has close to 300 plant species, including 53 endemic species – that is, they exist nowhere else in the world. Why are plants important? They have many purposes and uses for humans, including their often unexplored medicinal potential. The Forestry Department has recommended that all of this precious and increasingly rare habitat be set aside for conservation purposes.
The critically endangered Jamaican Iguana also lives in the dry limestone forest. It was actually considered extinct until 1990, when it was rediscovered. The Jamaican Iguana Conservation Programme has been supported by a number of local and overseas agencies, including the International Iguana Foundation, Hope Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Fort Worth Zoo and several other zoos in the United States. The fate of this amazing and unique creature still hangs in the balance, however, due to destruction of habitat and predators such as domestic dogs. Head of the Iguana Recovery Group Dr. Byron Wilson, of the University of the West Indies, observes, “We must keep up the fight, because otherwise, the iguana will drift into extinction.” Gone forever.
C-CAM also has a Cave Conservation Programme (there are 53 known caves in the protected area, some with unique species). It established a Fisheries Management Council in 1995 to work on the many challenges for fishermen – including over-fishing, coral reef degradation, pollution and invasive species (C-CAM spearheaded a major public education program on the invasive Lion Fish, for example). With the support of government agencies, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and organizations such as the California-based Seacology and UC-Rusal, three Special Fisheries Management Areas were established in 2010. C-CAM works with local gun clubs to control game bird shooting in the area; and with the government’s NEPA on a Watershed Management Programme. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has also partnered with C-CAM on a Climate Change Adaptation Programme, along with two government agencies – NEPA and the Planning Institute of Jamaica – in Old Harbour and Portland Cottage in particular. The coastal area is particularly vulnerable to storms.
I hope that all of this helps you to understand some facts about the Portland Bight Protected Area and that you will explore further. I do hope that wisdom will prevail.
A couple more articles:
http://repeatingislands.com/2013/09/04/i-live-for-art-an-ecocide-romance-on-youtube/ ”I live for art: an ecocide romance” on YouTube: repeatingislands.com
http://petchary.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/protecting-our-fish-earth-day-part-1-2/ Reblog from April, 2012: Opening of field office for fish sanctuaries, Salt River
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Six-reasons-against-port-on-Goat-Islands_14960085 Six reasons against port on Goat Islands: Jamaica Observer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Jamaican-Iguana-fighting-for-survival_15000242 Jamaican Iguana fighting for survival: Jamaica Observer
The following links will provide more information on SOME of the partnerships that support/have supported this protected area:
http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/caribbean/cci-summit-commitments.pdf Commitments Announced at the Caribbean Summit of Political and Business Leaders under the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) (British Virgin Islands; May 17 – 18, 2013)
http://larc.iisd.org/news/caribbean-states-become-biodiversity-champions/ Caribbean states become biodiversity champions: International Institute for Sustainable Development
http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/caribbean/caribbean-summit.xml Inaugural Caribbean summit rallies support for conservation: The Nature Conservancy
http://www.seacology.org/project/60-jamaica/ Seacology project in Portland Bight/Jamaica
http://www.iguanafoundation.org/s18-107-Jamaican-Iguana-Project.aspx The International Iguana Foundation/Jamaican Iguana Project
http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/caribbean/jamaica/index.htm The Nature Conservancy Caribbean Challenge Initiative: Jamaica
http://glispa.org/?page_id=363 Global Island Partnership: Caribbean Challenge Initiative
http://www.caribbeanbirdingtrail.org/partners/jamaica/ Caribbean Birding Trail: Partners – Jamaica
http://www.ramsar.org/cda/ramsar/display/main/main.jsp?zn=ramsar&cp=1-30-168%5E16567_4000_0__ The Annotated RAMSAR List: Jamaica
http://www.greenantilles.com/2011/12/09/wetlands-of-international-significance-in-jamaica-a-new-one-has-been-designated-another-is-being-disfigured/ Wetlands of international significance in Jamaica: A new one has been designated, another is being disfigured: greenantilles.com
All the photographs below, all taken in the Portland Bight Protected Area, are by Ted Lee Eubanks. Thanks so much to Ted for sharing these! The full album of 100 photos can be found at the “Caribbean Birds” Facebook page.
Kingston has sprung to life. The traffic is back, school is in, and it’s been a lively week so far.
More drama: The pending/possible challenge to Andrew Holness‘ leadership from former Finance Minister Audley Shaw seems to have stirred things up in the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). Previously calm (even stagnant) JLP waters are looking rather rough at the moment. Bobbing up and down on the waves on Monday night was a busload of rowdy delegates, which descended on party headquarters apparently in support of “the leader.” Also at sea were two prominent women in the party (former Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange, and Joan Gordon Webley). There was a confrontation. Ms. Grange agonized over the matter on radio this morning, using words like “hypocrisy.” And these two ladies are veteran politicians, not young hotheads! I think they all need to take a deep breath.
“Spotlight” on the rabble: Now one learns that most of those delegates (who act as a kind of Greek chorus for the main actors, I suppose) are not even eligible to vote for a new leader! And talking of noisy crowds, I am commenting on the issue of these party parties in the latest issue of “Spotlight,” a beautiful monthly online magazine edited by Reggae Film Festival founder, cultural activist and author Barbara Blake Hannah. Ms. Blake Hannah also takes a pointed look at the recent Grand Gala, and the marketing of tourism in her home parish of Portland. She also invites you to be “royal”! Read more here: https://t.co/gLcDsSkAAo
Remember those Cuban lightbulbs? The media is quite distracted by the JLP shenanigans. But the corruption trial of former Member of Parliament Kern Spencer (a former young bright spark of the People’s National Party) and his associate, which was delayed for over a year thanks to the manipulations of various lawyers, started up again this week. It’s hard to think that far back; the whole affair – a major scandal at the time – seems lost in the mists of time. Let us please try and refocus and pay close attention to what transpires in court. More to follow.
Did I say corruption? Former Contractor General Greg Christie shared a number of very useful documents on corruption from the World Bank on Twitter this week. Here’s the link: http://www.scribd.com/mobile/users/WorldBankPublications/collections/3382219
And remember Mr. Richard Azan? We don’t need to cast our mind too far back, but this gentleman has got somehow lost in the mix. As one of his comrade councilors predicted, perhaps it was a “nine-day wonder.” We were told by the Prime Minister and others that the Member of Parliament and Junior Minister was deemed “innocent” of any wrongdoing in the construction of illegal shops until reports had emerged on the matter. That was back in April. The summer has passed, and it now emerges that a report from the Ministry of Local Government has absolved Mr. Azan. Well, I never! We still wait to hear the results of the Contractor General, who is also investigating. Not a peep out of his office so far.
OK, then? So the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) has withdrawn its call for the resignation of Television Jamaica Chairman Milton Samuda, after he apologized for confiscating tapes of an interview with two athletes whom Samuda represented as their attorney. As they used to say on one television show, “Really, PAJ? Really?” This debacle raised multiple issues of press freedom. It’s a disturbing business, and a former PAJ President has expressed his anger at the PAJ’s latest move online. Another former PAJ president is also describing the actions of the journalists throughout as “totally spineless.” Investigations into the incident are reportedly ongoing. Good grief!
Protest the logistics hub on Facebook: There is a Facebook page now (No! to port on Goat Island, Jamaica) to protest the proposed logistics hub in the Portland Bight Protected Area (Goat Islands and beyond). Do “like” if you are concerned about this issue here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/no.onportgoatisland/
And view a photo album there too: The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) has posted a beautiful photo album on its Facebook page, entitled “Portland Bight Protected Area 2013-2013.” Do browse through the photographs, taken by naturalist Ted Lee Eubanks of the U.S. Audubon Society, which show the amazing biodiversity of the area.
HOW many “active gangs”? Police say there are 67 “active gangs” operating in the lovely tourism mecca of Montego Bay, and that they are expanding. And there is the lotto scam connection. Do you ever visit Montego Bay, Minister Bunting, to see what’s really going on? Is anyone coming up with any solutions?
Jet skis/Live at Seven: I was very glad to see that Live at Seven last night addressed the issue of jet skis, which I raised in my blog of August 28. The regulation and licensing of these machines, whose macho operators have caused mayhem at our tourist resorts – including serious injury and deaths – appears to be problematic. Why? The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) – a government agency, which is responsible – has questions to answer. We must do better.
Another shootout downtown: This is almost a weekly occurrence – a shootout between gunmen and police. I ask again: Is downtown really safe for Jamaicans to live and work?
And I have decided not to comment on the distressing photo of Roger Clarke that has circulated widely on social media since Sunday evening. You can see it at the link below. Well, by saying “distressing” I suppose you know how I feel about it, anyway. Enough said!
Meanwhile, major kudos are due to:
The Jamaica Observer (again): For their continued coverage of the proposed destruction of the Portland Bight Protected Area. An article today focuses on the endangered Jamaican Iguana, which is again threatened by the possible Chinese development. The newspaper reports that the twenty-year-old iguana conservation program was funded and supported by overseas donors (including two U.S. zoos) It notes that the development of an area where it has been re-introduced would certainly deter donor agencies from supporting future conservation efforts. I made the point in an earlier blog that all the support from overseas will evaporate if all the efforts (and money) for environmental projects is literally bulldozed.
ECCO Magazine: The new online environmental magazine (ECCO stands for Environmentally Conscious Consumer Operations) held its virtual launch yesterday on Twitter, and an interesting Twitter Chat with the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) took place today. Take a look at their beautiful website: www.eccomagazine.com - and join the conversation on social media (@ECCOMagazine and on Facebook). You can also read JET’s newsletter here: http://content.yudu.com/Library/A2efti/THEJETTERVOL1NO6/resources/index.htm
UTech Mentoring Program: Congratulations to the staff and alumni of the University of Technology (UTech) as well as private sector supporters on the launch of their 5th Annual Mentoring Program today. It is an excellent program that will no doubt empower students and encourage them along their career path in these difficult economic times.
There were five murders between last night and today. Despite the regular attempts at massaging the “major crime” figures, it is clear that murders are not down compared to last year. And that, for me, is the most major crime. Moreover, the police allegedly shot dead a pregnant woman – just over a year after a policeman shot dead a pregnant woman in Yallahs, St. Thomas in early September, 2012. My condolences to all the family and friends who mourn these Jamaicans:
Unidentified man, Olympic Gardens, Kingston
Orrett Walford, Lyndhurst Crescent, Kingston
Mario Jackson, 24, Linstead, St. Catherine
David Todd, Linstead, St. Catherine
Pamela James, Flanker/Montego Bay, St. James
George Kelly, 42, Lilliput, St. James
Donovan Murray, 34, Burnt Savannah, Westmoreland
Evon Gayle, 31, Burnt Savannah, Westmoreland
Dean McIntosh, 33, Negril, Westmoreland
Killed by the police:
Felicia Henry, 21, Dempshire Pen/Central Village, St. Catherine
Articles and links of interest:
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130902/lead/lead4.html Cedar Grove Academy opens: Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130902/lead/lead8.html Ganja has potential to attract high-end tourists: Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130902/lead/lead6.html School of Marijuana: Research facility to be established: Gleaner
http://digjamaica.com/blog/2013/09/02/dollar-continues-to-weaken/ Dollar continues to weaken: diGJamaica.com
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130903/lead/lead1.html No jobs for grads: Experts predict almost 20,000
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=47687 Roger Clarke blazes social media with the “chicken back” dance: Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130903/lead/lead3.html Source: Azan emerges unscathed in Spaldings report: Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=47744 Cuban light bulb trial: No oversight unit established to monitor program: Gleaner
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/editorial/Environmental-preservation–economic-development-not-mutually-exclusive_14987651 Environmental preservation, economic development not mutually exclusive: Jamaica Observer editorial
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130902/business/business1.html Yes, go to hell! Get on with Goat Island, megaprojects: Gleaner
http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads-114/34958 No agreement on Goat Island – Dr. Davies: Jamaica Information Service
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/environment/Jamaican-Iguana-fighting-for-survival_15000242 Jamaican Iguana fighting for survival: Jamaica Observer
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130902/lead/lead91.html Milton Samuda apologizes to PAJ: Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=47719 Gunman hospitalized after shootout in Kingston: Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130902/news/news5.html Police boast human rights efforts: Gleaner
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Dempshire-Pen-residents-protest-police-killing-of-pregnant-woman Dempshire Pen residents protest police killing of pregnant woman: Jamaica Observer
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130902/cleisure/cleisure3.html Brand Jamaica August 10-18, 2013: Garth Rattray column/Gleaner
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130902/lead/lead1.html Homosexuals are not targeted for violent crime, say experts: Gleaner
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/30/jamaica-anti-gay-violence_n_3844356.html Jamaica anti-gay violence continues to escalate: Huffington Post
http://www.npr.org/2013/09/02/217296757/examining-jamaicas-homophobia Examining Jamaica’s homophobia: NPR
Dear readers: What is a Whimbrel, you may ask? A Whimbrel is a large, graceful wading bird, similar to a curlew, with a haunting cry, long legs and a long slender beak that curves downwards. It migrates great distances (as you can see below) from the Arctic down to South America, and through the Caribbean. Like all our birds, it is extraordinary, and precious. There is just a chance that you might see this lovely shorebird in Jamaica, passing through, around September. If you do, please wish him well on his way.
Please find below a press release from the Society for the Conservation of Caribbean Birds. And please share this story with anyone who loves our birds and our environment.
When “Machi,” a Whimbrel carrying a satellite transmitter, was shot and killed in Guadeloupe in September 2011, the international bird conservation community had a rude wake-up call about what was happening to migrating shorebirds in the French West Indies. The fact was that tens of thousands of shorebirds representing several species were being shot by hunters each fall. Swift action by the Society for the Conservation of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB)  and its members and partners, including AMAZONA (the local bird conservation organization) , has resulted in significant progress on the issue of shorebird hunting.
Whimbrels are amazing long distance migrants. Machi had been tracked for over 27,000 miles (44,000 km) back and forth between the breeding grounds in the Hudson Bay Lowlands of Canada to wintering grounds on the coast of Brazil. In 2011, we had learned from the satellite tracking study being conducted by the Center for Conservation Biology  that Machi, after hunkering down in Montserrat during Tropical Storm Maria, flew to Guadeloupe where she met her end. Ongoing tracking studies have shown that Whimbrels like Machi and other shorebirds utilize the Caribbean islands to rest and refuel, take refuge from dangerous storms, or spend the winter. However, the journey ends for many that attempt to stop in Guadeloupe, Martinique, or Barbados, where sport hunting of shorebirds remains a popular tradition.
At the time when Machi and a second satellite-tagged Whimbrel named Goshen were killed, there were no daily bag limits in the French West Indies, and no protection for species of conservation concern, such as the Red Knot. Thankfully, due to proactive advocacy, there have been some positive changes in hunting regulations since Machi’s death.
Following the shooting of the two shorebirds and in light of the fact that populations of many shorebird species are declining in the Americas, SCSCB organized a letter writing campaign targeting decision makers in environmental departments of the French government as well as other key authorities and international organizations. Many SCSCB members and partners sent letters to these officials, urging them to take actions in support of a more sustainable and responsible harvest. They also wrote about the issue in their local newspapers, websites, and blogs (see links to some of these below).
As a result of this international campaign and months of dedicated work by the National Hunting and Wildlife Agency (ONCFS) together with other departments and local hunters, there has been a change in policy which benefits migratory shorebirds that rely on these islands’ mangroves and wetlands as wintering and critical stopover sites during their long migrations.
The Ministère de l’Environnement and the Fédération Départementale des Chasseurs de la Guadeloupe and Fédération Départementale des Chasseurs de la Martinique have acted to place some restrictions on shorebird harvest: First, the Red Knot (beginning in 2012) and Solitary Sandpiper (2013) were closed to hunting on Guadeloupe and the Red Knot was closed to hunting on Martinique in 2013. The Ministère de l’Environnement in Paris is also considering long-term removal of the Red Knot from the list of hunted species. Second, a bag limit of 20 birds per day per hunter was instituted in Guadeloupe in 2013. This action of setting bag limits, initiated by an Overseas Department, is a rare action for the French hunting community and regulatory agency. Finally, a three-year moratorium on the shooting of Whimbrels and Hudsonian Godwits was put in place in Martinique in 2013.
The SCSCB community is encouraged by these outcomes. Lisa Sorenson, Executive Director of SCSCB commented, “Machi’s death drew attention to the fate that awaits hundreds of thousands of other shorebirds that pass through the Caribbean in the future, and provided an opportunity to encourage these governments to adopt more sustainable hunting regulations. There is still much work to be done, but we consider the change in hunting laws to be a very important and significant conservation outcome. Machi did not die in vain.”
Said Howard Nelson, President of SCSCB, “We applaud the French government’s and the Fédérations des Chasseurs of Guadeloupe and Martinique actions on this issue, and we want to thank our members and partners for their help in bringing about this positive change.”  He added, “We all need to remain vigilant about issues like this throughout the region as we continue to work to conserve resident and migratory birds for future generations to enjoy.” Nelson remarked that the Society supports broader social and ecological values of shorebirds and that in the longer term, he was hopeful that this would support meaningful behavior change on the islands.
Links to articles on the shooting of Machi and Goshen:
For more information, and to arrange an interview, please contact:
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.scscb.org.
2. AMAZONA is a not-for-profit organization in Guadeloupe, dedicated to the study and conservation of birds in Guadeloupe. For more information, visit: http://www.amazona-guadeloupe.com
3. This tracking project is a collaborative effort between The Center for Conservation Biology, The Nature Conservancy, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, and Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.
4. SCSCB thanks its many partners (too numerous to name individually) throughout the Caribbean, the Americas and beyond for their help with this letter writing campaign and efforts to raise awareness about the issue.
While I was in Grenada, I was staying at St. George’s University (near the capital, St. George’s) on its True Blue Campus, which was founded in 1976. True Blue (lovely name) seems to be the name of the area, and it’s quite appropriate, as you can see from the photos I am sharing with you below. I was attending the 19th Conference of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds. Please look out for future blog posts on the many issues covered, including conservation, culture, development and all the other factors affecting our environment and our birds. For more information, see the BirdsCaribbean Facebook page, visit the website at http://www.scscb.org or follow us on Twitter @BirdsCaribbean.
Blue sea, red roofs, blue sky…
For more on St. George’s University, which is a private, offshore institution offering a range of programs mainly in the medical field, take a look at their website: http://www.sgu.edu.
Dr. Howard Nelson, President of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB), the largest organization devoted to wildlife conservation in the Caribbean, has described the Society’s 19th international meeting in Grenada as a resounding success. The theme of the conference, held on the St. George’s University campus from July 27-31, 2013 on the island of Grenada, was “Bird Conservation in a Changing Climate.” Over 200 individuals attended the meeting including 165 international delegates from 37 countries. Important issues discussed included the threats and management needs of Grenada’s now iconic national bird, the Grenada Dove.
Dr. Lisa Sorenson, Executive Director, said, “Given the threat of climate change to the survival of the critically endangered Grenada Dove, the international focus was timely and essential.” Bonnie Rusk, Founding Director of the Grenada Dove Conservation Programme, believes there are fewer than 150 doves left in the wild. Its coastal dry forest habitat is threatened by hurricanes and fires, which are exacerbated by region-wide climate change trends of increasing drought and more severe storms. Loss of habitat from development and predation by mongoose, rats and feral cats are other important causes of the dove’s extremely small and fragmented population.
Dr. Nelson noted that both local and international support is urgently needed to prevent further population decline and possible extinction of this uniquely Caribbean bird. Nelson noted that the dove had now become a symbol of the urgent need to ensure that human development does not lead to extinction on islands. Conference delegates toured the bird’s habitat in small groups and had the opportunity to see Grenada’s iconic dove along with other species found only on Grenada, such as the endangered Grenada Hooked-billed Kite.
Mr. Tyrone Buckmire, chair of the Grenadian Organizing Committee said he was thrilled that Grenada hosted this year’s meeting in the Isle of Spice. Senator Simon Steil, Parliamentary Secretary in Grenada’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment and Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture Alexandra Otway-Noel addressed the meeting’s Opening Ceremony.
The meeting provided an unparalleled opportunity for sharing of information and dialogue about the science, management, education, and community outreach and engagement needed to conserve Caribbean birds and their habitats, especially under the threat of climate change. Key presentations, developments and outcomes of the meeting included:
- Reviews of the effects of climate change on biodiversity conservation in the Caribbean and mitigation strategies by Drs. Adam Terando and Ruth Blyther, and others.
- The development of an alien invasive species eradication plan for the habitat of the Grenada Dove that seeks to manage the rat and mongoose threat to nesting doves.
- A workshop on building and expanding the Caribbean Birding Trail, an unprecedented effort led by the Society to connect many countries, islands and languages in a pan-Caribbean bird watching interpretive trail.
The society’s members also reviewed a new five-year strategic plan that proposed far- reaching changes to the Society’s structure and program of work. Key elements of the new strategic direction include a re-branding of the organization and a strengthened approach for working with and through regional partners to promote conservation of birds and their habitats. Nelson said this would involve the organization:
- Serving as the Caribbean’s primary forum for sharing best practices, tools, innovations, and lessons learned about the conservation of birds and their habitats.
- Expanding and developing flagship programs, such as the highly successful Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival that draws over 100,000 participants from 23 Caribbean nations.
- Generating core operational funds needed to hire and sustain full-time staff, field projects and Caribbean-wide education programs.
Many local persons attended the conference including tour guides trained under the Caribbean Birding Trail Project; Grenada Scouts, who assist with the conservation of the Grenada Dove; concerned members of the public; and the staff of the Grenada Fund for Conservation and Grenada Forestry Department. Major sponsors of the conference were St. George’s University, Grenada Fund for Conservation, the Grenada Forestry Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Wildlife Without Borders and Division of Migratory Birds), The Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Forest Service – International Programs, Rare Species Conservatory Foundation, Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, Bermuda Audubon Society, Caribbean Horizons, Sunsation Tours, True Blue Bay Resort, Blue Horizons Garden Resort, Osprey Lines Ltd., De La Grenade Industries, Grenada Distillers, Grenada Scouting Association (volunteers), Grenada Board of Tourism, Belmont Estate & The Grenada Chocolate Company, Island Catering, and the Grenada Art Community.
For more information, and to arrange an interview, please contact:
Grenadian Local Organizing Committee Rep: Tyrone Buckmire, Executive Director, Grenada Fund for Conservation, St. George’s, Grenada. Email: email@example.com
For more information on the Grenada Dove, please contact: Bonnie L Rusk, Grenada Dove Conservation Programme, St George’s, Grenada. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 473-403-3361, 473-440-2934 (Grenada).
1. Dr. Howard Nelson has extensive research, policy and teaching experience in wildlife ecology, forestry and biodiversity conservation. He was the biodiversity specialist at the Environmental Policy and Planning Division of Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Planning, Housing and Environment. Currently, he is the Coordinator for a Regional Biodiversity and Sustainable Development MSc Programme, and a lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI). He is also a member of the Board of the Guardian Life Wildlife Trust of Trinidad and Tobago.
2. 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.scscb.org.
The theme for this year’s conference is closely related to the global theme for Earth Day 2013, “The Face of Climate Change.” International Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd. For further details see:
Conference Details: For further information on the conference program, keynote speakers and sessions please visit: https://sites.google.com/site/scscbmeeting2013/home
The Caribbean Birding Trail is being organized by the SCSCB to create and promote nature-based, authentic experiences that engage visitors and locals with the unique birds of the Caribbean, and connect them to the extraordinary places, diverse cultures and people of each island. For more information, please visit: www.caribbeanbirdingtrail.org.