Aves Argentinas launches a national fund for IBA conservation
Aves Argentinas (BirdLife in Argentina) is inviting applications for a new grants programme, "CONSERVAR LA ARGENTINA", aimed at promoting the conservation of the country's Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and threatened birds. In its first year the programme will finance a dozen projects, with sums of up to 15,000 pesos (US$ 4000).
The grants programme is supported by BirdLife International, the AP Leventis Foundation, Secretaría de Turismo de la Nación (Argentina) and Fundación YPF.
"This is an unprecedented programme for our country. We need urgent action at our IBAs, since half of them have no protection of any sort", explained Andrés Bosso, CEO of Aves Argentinas.
The grant is open to NGOs, study groups, government offices of all levels, schools, corporations, organized volunteer groups, researchers, naturalists and private individuals. The projects will address issues such as resolution of conflicts and public awareness of IBA sites; site and species conservation action and planning, habitat improvement or restoration; research, including conservation studies, baseline inventories, site monitoring, species census, evaluation and development of innovative conservation practice; and environmental education, including awareness campaigns, ecotourism development, and training technicians and teachers.
Aves Argentinas' Science Director Adrian Di Giacomo, who is in charge of the IBA programme, explained that the grant scheme would direct the efforts of local and national conservationists towards Argentina's 266 IBAs and 50 globally threatened bird species.
"This is an unprecedented programme for our country" —Andrés Bosso, Aves Argentinas
Aves Argentinas' Head of Conservation Gustavo Marino added, "this key tool will allow us to direct our efforts toward a greater number of key sites, as well as supporting local conservation initiatives that could well become sustainable. It complements Aves Argentina's own project work."
"Grants that strengthen environmental education capacities and ecotourism will allow thousands of people to experience the wonders of the bird world, and to contribute toward IBA conservation", said Eduardo Haene, Head of Education.
The selected projects will be announced during October 2009 and grants will be awarded to the winners in public ceremony.
"For donors to be contributing funds at this time of economic hardship underscores the commitment towards biodiversity conservation", said Andrés Bosso.
"This scheme clearly reflects the spirit of our organisation's mission, created 93 years ago to study and conserve Argentine birds and their habitat. We are proud to continue the work with an ever-increasing membership", said Gustavo Costa, president of Aves Argentinas.
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BirdLife comprises more than 100 conservation organisations working together to promote sustainable living as a means to conserve biodiversity.
Credits: Aves Argentinas