In January of 2011, Dr. Lina Eugenia Daza Rojas was appointed Executive Director and under her leadership there have been a number of significant changes, many of which helped generate the achievements listed below.
- There is much to celebrate! Like the establishment of two new Natural Reserves. We are proud to announce an increase of 23% in the total areas protected by ProAves for a total of 28,075 hectares, 5,321 more for 2011.
- The publication of the Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia in Spanish which brings together the original artwork of the 1,889 species recorded in Colombia.
- The rediscovery of the Santa Marta Tree Rat after 113 years. This magnificent and enigmatic rodent was observed by two research volunteers in the Natural Bird Reserve of ProAves El Dorado.
- The first ever signing of Reciprocal Water Agreements for 8 properties (Environmental Service Payments). These agreements protect 2,650 hectares of forested wilderness and the once critically endangered Yellow-eared parrot’s foraging and breeding habitat.
- Cerulean Warbler Conservation Coffee is now on sale, and is certificated “Specialty Coffee” by Rainforest Alliance for the second year in row.
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- During 2011, multiple environmental education activities were conducted, like the Fuertes’s Parrot Festival, the Migratory Bird Festival, the Blue-billed Curassow (el Paujil) Festival, the Festival of Threatened Parrots of Colombia and the tenth edition of “Reconcile with Nature Campaign”. These activities created fun and educational field trips and workshops involving about 18,000 children, as well as young adults throughout Colombia with the aim of educating and inspiring the Colombian youth about their countries amazing biodiversity.
- In December 2011, a revamped ProAves website www.proaves.org was launched with new and innovative designs making the website much more user friendly. Now users can easily find the latest conservation news in Colombia and enjoy greater interactivity with social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Youtube.
- For the fifth consecutive year ProAves and EcoTurs participated in the 2011 Bird Fair which was held in the UK. This is the biggest event in the world for birds and was an incredible opportunity to promote the great work being done by ProAves in conservation. The Women for Conservation Project was showcased along with the Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia as well as the various tour packages offered by EcoTurs for people passionate about birds and conservation in Colombia.
- During 2011, EcoTurs managed the tours of 629 Birders visiting ProAves Reserves. Two new eco-shops, with local sustainably produced products by Women for Conservation and conservation coffee were opened at Las Tangaras and Chestnut-capped Piha Bird Reserves.
- Two very important training events for our staff and the communities surrounding the reserves took place; the Fifth Training Course of protected areas in the El Pauji Reserve and the Ecological Guidance Course at the Reinita Cielo Azul Reserve. These two events brought together 15 forest guardians of ProAves and key issues were addressed for both personal growth and development for our employees and for the work being performed in the field.
- ProAves Executive Director Lina Eugenia Daza participated in the First South American Members Forum of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) held from the 13th to 15th of July in the city of Lima, Peru.
- Deputy Director of Restoration and Conservation Heidy Valle participated and presented at the meeting of the Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) held from the 23rd to 26th of May 2011 in Washington DC. The goal was to present the progress of the campaign “For the pride of Roncesvalles – El Espinal and the Reciprocal Water Agreements”.
- With these achievements, new responsibilities and challenges are faced for 2012. After twelve years of tireless commitment to conservation, research and education ProAves will continue to stay committed to the conservation of birds and their habitats in the country of Colombia.
We sincerely thank all of our supporters and hope that our 2012 conservation achievements will be even greater than the ones from 2011! Thank You!