Experts brainstorm ways to conserve, protect shorebirds


A two-day workshop focused on shorebird conservation commenced on Thursday to educate stakeholders to raise awareness about the critical roles shorebirds play in Guyana’s ecosystems and to build collaborative networks for their protection.

Guyana’s extensive coastal region and numerous wetlands provide critical habitats for shorebirds, serving as important feeding and resting sites, especially during migration.

The two-day workshop is being hosted by Manomet Conservation Sciences, a non-profit organisation dedicated to applying science and engaging people to sustain our world by focusing on areas such as bird conservation, resilient environments, sustainable economic development, and climate change. Manomet believes collaboration and shared knowledge are key to effective conservation efforts.

“Shorebirds are vital indicators of the health of our coastal ecosystems,” said Candacie Brower-Thompson, an environmental education and communications specialist, at the opening of the workshop at the Cara Lodge in Georgetown.

Environmental Education and Communications Specialist, Candacie Brower-Thompson

“They play a critical role in maintaining the balance of these habitats and contribute to biodiversity,” she added.

The workshop’s theme is “Shorebird Conservation in Guyana: Building Multi-Disciplinary Networks of Collaboration.”

Participants include researchers, technical experts, conservationists and governmental authorities with the aim of fostering a multi-disciplinary collaboration.

Rob Clay, Ph.D. in Manakin Studies and Vice President of Flyways, presented remotely via Zoom. He explained the significance of shorebirds and the necessity of conservation efforts.

Arne Lesterhuis, Senior Shorebird Conservation Specialist, emphasised the importance of Guyana’s coastal regions for shorebirds.

Senior Shorebird Conservation Specialist, Arne Lesterhuis

“We’re trying to establish work and collaborations in Guyana because it’s one of the most important wintering sites for millions of shorebirds who are present here for most of the time,” Lesterhuis said in an interview.

Participants from various organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the South Rupununi Conservation Society and the Guyana Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission are engaging in discussions to explore conservation strategies and roles in protecting shorebirds.

The workshop will continue on Friday, offering further educational sessions and collaborative activities aimed at enhancing shorebird conservation efforts across the region.

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