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IBA news: a coffee connection in Puerto Rico


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From the Birding Community E-bulletin, November 2013:

 

In August, the Puerto Rican Ornithological Society (Sociedad Ornitológica Puertorriqueña, Inc. or SOPI) signed an agreement with Cafiesencia, a local NGO, to collaborate in promoting economic sustainability and biodiversity conservation through the production of "Ecological Shade-grown Coffee" in the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) of Maricao and Susua in Puerto Rico.

The Maricao and Susua IBA is home to the Puerto Rican Nightjar and Elfin-woods Warbler. It also supports populations of many Neotropical migratory birds, and 18 restricted-range species including the Puerto Rican Tody, the species being featured on the branding of coffee produced by participating farmers.

Cafiesencia has invited SOPI to participate in a set of educational and training exercises, including the establishment of bird monitoring plots. Both organizations will work with coffee farming communities to implement practices that best benefit birds, forests, and people. SOPI is assisting in the marketing of the shade-grown coffee since it represents an important way to conserve birds and secure a premium price, thereby improving the livelihoods of the farmers.

In the words of Lisette Fas, the Executive Director of Cafiescencia, "It is important to maintain agriculture and conservation in harmony as they will both benefit each other in the long-term"

For more on the agreement, see here: www.birdlife.org/community/2013/09/agreement-for-birds-coffee-and-people-in-puerto-rico/

And for more information about SOPI's conservation work, see here: www.avesdepuertorico.org/

For additional information about IBA programs worldwide, including those across the U.S., check the National Audubon Society's Important Bird Area program web site at: www.audubon.org/bird/iba/

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