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WHSRN in the Pacific Flyway: Northwest Mexico
WHSRNews: 30 September 2016
In April, July, and August, the WHSRN Executive Office conducted complementary workshops in Northwest Mexico on the themes of Site Assessment, Good Governance, and Community Engagement. The workshops were organized and facilitated by the WHSRN specialists in these areas—Meredith G. Morehouse, Diego Luna Quevedo, and Laura Chamberlin, respectively—to strengthen management at WHSRN Sites in a comprehensive way, to benefit shorebirds and local communities. Each activity helps to advance the goals of the Pacific Flyway Shorebird Initiative.
The WHSRN Site Assessment Tool (SAT) is used to understand the current ecological/social/economic condition of the site, and identify and prioritize the threats and actions needed. The results serve to inform future management decisions at the site level as well as our knowledge of the obstacles or threats to shorebird conservation in this part of the Pacific Flyway. The same can inspire new lines of coordinated actions among partners. In this regard, SAT results are also useful as a basic guide during a Good Governance workshop and/or a strategic planning workshop on Community Engagement. The workshops in Northwest Mexico had many participants in common, which helps to maintain continuity and coordination of activities.
Ensenada, Baja California
In April, 15 participants gathered at Terra Peninsular’s headquarters to complete an individual SAT for two sites simultaneously: Complejo Lagunar San Quintín WHSRN Site and candidate site Bahía de Todos Santos. The latter is also a priority for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), in support of the Arctic Migratory Bird Initiative (AMBI). The workshop was made possible thanks to local coordination by co-facilitator Eduardo Palacios (CICESE) and financial support from the U.S. Forest Service - International Programs. Participants included representatives of Terra Peninsular, CICESE, GANO, CIBNOR, ProEsteros, and Baja California Protected Natural Areas Department.
At the beginning of August, Terra Peninsular was again the host for the workshop “Good Governance for the Conservation of Shorebirds,” focusing on the San Quintín WHSRN site. A total of 21 managers and decision-managers participated, including representatives of nongovernmental organizations, aquaculture producers, and Federal, State, and Municipal governments, as well as consultants specialized in communications and environment. Collectively they developed a Governance Action Plan that included agreements and proposals for WHSRN site management, the creation of an officially protected area, and the design of a Management Plan. Some also made a field trip to visit the WHSRN site.
San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora
At the end of July, 10 participants gathered at the headquarters of the Upper Gulf of California and Colorado River Delta Biosphere Reserve, under the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), to complete individual SATs for two sites WHSRN simultaneously: Upper Gulf-Rio Colorado and Tóbari Bay. The workshop was made possible thanks to local coordination by co-facilitator Adriana Hernandez of the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABCS) and co-organizers Roberto Carmona (UABSC) and Alejandra Fonseca of Pronatura Noroeste, in addition to the financial support of U.S. Forest Service - International Programs. Participants included representatives of CONANP, UABSC, Pronatura Noroeste, and CEDES.
The next day began the preliminary planning workshop with these same partners to develop some strategies and mechanisms to engage local communities of the Upper Gulf-Rio Colorado to conserve shorebirds as well as Pejerrey (fish species). Pejerrey eggs are an essential source of food for migratory birds, much like the relationship between horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) and Red Knots in the Delaware Bay—the focal site of coordinator Laura Chamberlin.
At the beginning of August, Pronatura Noroeste hosted the Good Governance workshop, focusing on the Upper Gulf-Rio Colorado WHSRN Site. The 15 participates were directly involved in the management and decision making at the site, including representatives of nongovernmental organizations, the local communities, and Federal, State, and Municipal governments. Collectively they developed a Governance Action Plan, with proposals and agreements for the urgent management and protection of Pejerrey spawning grounds, and a public-use program at the reserve. The latter two workshops were made possible by a contract from Pronatura to Manomet, for their project “Protection of Critical Habitats for Red Knot, Mexico” with funding from the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act grants program. WHSRN specialists had additional support from the U.S. Forest Service - International Programs.
For more information, please contact WHSRN staff: Laura Chamberlin (email@example.com), Community Engagement Coordinator, Maryland, USA; Diego Luna Quevedo (firstname.lastname@example.org), Conservation Specialist, Santiago, Chile; Meredith G. Morehouse (email@example.com), Conservation Specialist, Maine, USA.