25 September 2009

WILD9 - The 9th World Wilderness Congress

For the first time ever, the WWC will convene in Latin America from 6-13 November, in the city of Merida, Yucatan, in the heart of the Mayan world. Many of the world's leading conservation experts, politicians, academics, corporations, artists, native peoples, students and many others will gather in Merida, Mexico to debate and act upon the most urgent environmental issues of our time.

With Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón as the Honorary Host of WILD9, the schedule is already filled with leading names in conservation today. Wilderness and Climate Change is a central theme – driving the message that protecting wild nature eliminates at least 1/4 of the carbon threat.

WILD9 is a project of The WILD Foundation, Unidos para la Conservacion, and many collaborating organizations, institutions and government agencies from Latin America and around the world.

Other topics such as Freshwater and Underground Wilderness, Climate Change and Biodiversity, Fire in Nature, Transboundary Conservation and Connectivity, Marine and Oceanic Wilderness, and the Role of Human Communities in Nature will guide the trainings, plenary sessions, local excursions, working and poster sessions, cultural events and celebrations. In one of many associated sessions, the world’s best conservation photographers will participate in the first RAVE (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition) of Mexico’s unique Yucatan Peninsula.

James Balog, a professional American photographer whose work revolves around the relationship between humans and nature, will present a keynote during the plenary sessions at WILD9, the 9th World Wilderness Congress. It will be an eye opening to hear about Balog’s photography experiences and conservation work!

James Balog has garnered numerous awards, including the Leica Medal of Excellence, premier awards for nature and science photography from World Press Photo, the 2007 Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure and the 2008 Outstanding Photographer of the Year from the North American Nature Photography Association. He has exhibited work at more than a hundred museums and galleries around the world, and is the author of seven books. Balog was the first photographer ever commissioned to create a full plate of stamps for the U.S. Postal Service, a 1996 release featuring America’s endangered wildlife.

For the most up-to-date information, visit the WILD 9 website regularly and be sure to visit the page dedicated to The Land of The Maya !

15 September 2009

Festival de Tortugas Marinas Tulum Fri. October 16, 2009 - Sun. October 18, 2009

The traditional Tulum Sea Turtle Festival will take place from October 16 - October 18th. The event is organized by the Flora, Fauna and Culture of Mexico organization (FFCM) and other companies as well as the public and government organizations of Tulum and Solidaridad.

The Sea Turtle Festival is a free event for the whole family, and encourages the participants to learn about sea turtles that are considered to be endangered species, and to familiarize themselves with the various organizations that are trying to protect them. Many artistic, environmental and cultural activities will also be a part of the festival. And... for the first time in its history and due to its big success and additional day has been added in order to do some more environmental activities and baby turtle releases in Akumal.

Currently, the Festival is conducted as a joint effort of civil society, private and government sectors in which companies and organizations such as the Parque Xcaret, Akumal Ecological Center, the CESIAK, the House of Culture Tulum, Xel-Ha Park, the Autonomous University of Quintana Roo, Tulum Municipality, the Municipality of Solidaridad, Global Vision International, Echo Bay Foundation, Workshops Zero, the Commission of Natural Protected Natural Areas, the Ministry of Urban Development and Environment State Government of Quintana Roo, the Directorate-Xcacelito Xcacel Sanctuary, the Hotel Nueva Vida de Ramiro, Save the Children Foundation and the Origins of Quintana Roo.

Activities are organized by various associations and institutions dedicated to environmental and cultural work, such as the Ecological Center of Akumal, the Eco Bahia Foundation and the Environmental Management Department of Tulum and Solidaridad’s municipalities. Also, the Sea Turtle Sanctuary Xcacel-Xcacelito will recreate a collective experience through a symbolic liberation of the baby sea turtles. Each participant will be able to be a part of this project, which is a tribute to the oldest inhabitants of our beaches and sea.

If your in the area, come join the fun!

14 September 2009

Xcacel needs your help!

Courtesy of Marti Johnston

As many of you may know, Playa Xcacel, here in the Quintana Roo, Riviera Maya, Mexican Caribbean, is an important nesting site for the green and loggerhead turtles. It has a designation as a state protected turtle sanctuary. There is a long and very dubious background that leads to the current moment where land on the northern border of the protected area is in the approval process for development of yet another resort community; a third incarnation of the project now called Punta Carey. They have filed their impact statement to SEMARNAT , Mexico's environmental ministry. It is in violation of various environmental laws and a refute has been filed and is now in the hands of SEMARNAT as well. It is my understanding that by next week 9/18 SEMARNAT is supposed to have a reply.

Sign the petition here: Xcacel needs your help!

Please take a few minutes to look at this link, sign the petition and pass it on. The effects and fall-outs of these type of illegal projects touch the Mesoamerican Reef, mangroves, underground rivers, as well as the endangered turtle species....it is all connected, and is part of the patrimony of us all as global citizens.

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