Andrew Dobson, President of the Bermuda Audubon Society, and a well-known Caribbean conservationist, has received the President’s Award of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) at the organization’s 17th biennial conference in Antigua earlier this month. The SCSCB is the largest regional organization devoted to wildlife conservation in the Caribbean.
The conference, entitled ‘Beyond the Beach Birds and Tourism for Sustainable Islands,’ focused on the potential of bird watching in eco-tourism. World tourism experts met with conservation professionals, eco-tourism operators, scientists and local communities, to discuss how eco-tourism can contribute to conservation and poverty reduction. The Caribbean has been identified as one of the top five ‘hot spots’ for conservation in the world because of its rich biodiversity. Dr. Lisa Sorenson told the conference that a quarter 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. She said: “The Caribbean is ideally poised to reinvent itself as one of the most attractive destinations in the world for bird tourism.” She also announced the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) initiative, which is being developed for the Caribbean region by the World Bank, MacArthur Foundation, the Government of Japan and Conservation International.