|Protecting wetlands, wildlife top concerns at workshop|
|Thursday, 11 March 2010 22:00|
Two representatives from the Turks and Caicos Islands recently attended a regional four-day workshop on monitoring waterbirds and wetlands that was held in Negril, Jamaica.
The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) put on the event entitled “Promoting Caribbean Wetland Conservation: A Training Workshop for Monitoring, Education, and Conservation.”
“The workshop was timely because the organization is planning a national bird monitoring programme that aims to promote waterbird and wetland conservation in the country,” said Jonathan Sayao, Education Officer with the National Trust who attended the workshop. “This environment is of a huge importance to TCI’s biodiversity and a great natural treasure that must be preserved.”
Sayao and Rhodriquez Ewing, conservation officer with the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources, joined participants from 17 countries in the Caribbean and the United States.
The training workshop included a number of topics:
“TCI has one of the largest Ramsar sites in the world (on North, Middle and East Caicos),” Sayao said. “These sites are home to an immense number of bird species, both residents and migrants, which makes them a top priority in terms of conservation plans and strategies.
“The protocols discussed in the workshop and the hands-on techniques we’ve gained are good start-up materials to initiate an adaptable monitoring scheme for the country’s wetlands,” Sayao said.
“Another good thing that came out of the workshop is our involvement to the Caribbean Waterbird Census which is having its pilot activities this year,” Ewing said.
Ann Sutton, SCSCB officer based in Jamaica, was happy with the workshop’s results.
“The information generated by the CWC can be used by habitat managers to improve wetland management as well as at a national level for system planning and zoning,” she said. “It can also be rolled up to measure national and regional population trends and support international conventions such as the Ramsar Convention and the SPAW Protocol of the Cartagena Convention.”
SCSCB President Lisa Sorenson stressed the importance of bird monitoring on a global scale.
“Bird species are the best available indicators of overall habitat quality and of the ongoing and expected impacts of climate change.”
The workshop was funded by the Organization of American States, Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative.
Other partners and collaborators included U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wetlands International, Ramsar, SPAW-RAC, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, BirdLife International, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Waterbird Conservation Council, USDA International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Negril Environmental Protection Trust, National Environment Planning Agency (Jamaica) and the Bahamas National Trust.
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TCI Protected Areas Series
The fp is publishing a series of articles on the Turks and Caicos Islands Protected Area System to increase public awareness and respect for the beauty and value of this "beautiful by nature" country.
The authors, marine ecologist Marsha Pardee and terrestrial ecologist Kathleen Wood, are long-time TCI residents and respected scientists in their fields.
Below are links to their articles, plus related news articles, documents and laws.
- 29/7/10: Chalk Sound National Park: Beauty and ecology
- 22/7/10: Protected Areas designations and differences
- 15/7/10: Long-term prosperity vs. short-term gain
- 8/7/10: Protected Areas save environment, generate revenue
- 5/8/10: Frenchman’s Creek: Prime real estate of TCI wetlands
Related news articles
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Links to environmental documents and laws