April 2024 – Updates from our Community-led Mangrove and Migratory Bird Conservation project

April 2024 – Updates from our Community-led Mangrove and Migratory Bird Conservation project

We’re down to our last few activities for our Community-led Mangrove and Migratory Bird Conservation project in Bais City, Negros Oriental. As the bird migration winds down for this season, we’re also drawing closer to our project turnover.

Last April 5-7, 2024 we held to back-to-back activities – 1) A community dialogue on co-designing a conservation and sustainable livelihood plan and 2) A pilot run of our bird watching tour process.

Our stakeholders – the United Fisherfolk Association of Capiñahan – went through a series of activities to map out the past, current, and future states of their community using the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) data gathering approach. The goal of PRA is to develop a set of practical approaches and methods to allow community members to share, enhance, and analyze their knowledge of life and living conditions as a means to plan and take action.

We then went through a series of pilot bird watching tour sessions that allowed the members to practice their spiels and get a feel of how to conduct bird watching tours in their area.

A total of three pilot bird watching tour sessions were conducted. We were graced by the presence of Wild Bird Club of the Philippines member and Executive Director at PENAGMANNAK INC. Mr. Pol Cariño who acted as our key observer and evaluator for one of the sessions. His feedback as an experienced bird watcher was highly valuable to the project’s process building efforts.

Nine students from Negros Oriental State University (NORSU) also posed as test audience/tourists during our last session. They expressed how educational and eye-opening the tour was, having seen many different bird species. They mentioned that they would not have known that migratory birds can be found in their city if they were not included in the pilot tour. This gave them renewed appreciation for their city’s biodiversity and they’re looking forward to bird watching tours as one of its recurring ecotourism activities.

Overall, another fun and productive fieldwork that moved us closer to our project goals.

Next up! A project turnover ceremony will be held in May 2024 as we hand-off the project to our stakeholders with the support of their Local Government Unit (LGU). Watch out for these updates!

P.S. If you missed the first few updates from our past activities, feel free to breeze through the posts below:

Flying for Hope: Towards Migratory Birds Conservation

Olango Island Birdwatching Immersion Tour

Community-led mangrove and migratory bird conservation project updates

Training on Bird Identification for Ecotourism and Conservation