We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Fonoteca Nacional de México to expand Biosphere Soundscapes through Mexico in 2015. Fonoteca is a leading international organisation renowned for protecting the sound heritage through conservation implementing a wide range of innovative projects that promote a culture of listening. Our first major project is hosting a Biosphere Soundscapes Lab launching in May 2015 leading into our first residency program in Mexico in October 2015.
Mexico currently has over 40 biosphere reserves spanning across the country and includes some of the most critical environmental and cultural sites on earth. The Biosphere Soundscapes team are focussing the first phase of the project around the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.
In the language of the Mayan peoples who once inhabited this region, Sian Ka'an means 'Origin of the Sky'. Located on the east coast of the Yucatán peninsula, this biosphere reserve contains tropical forests, mangroves and marshes, as well as a large marine section intersected by a barrier reef. It provides a habitat for a remarkably rich flora and a fauna comprising more than 300 species of birds, as well as a large number of the region's characteristic terrestrial vertebrates, which cohabit in the diverse environment formed by its complex hydrological system.
It was established in 1986 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. With the participation of scientists, technicians, students, fishermen, farmers, rural promotors and administrators, together with regional and international partners, they have successfully carried out more than 200 conservation projects. The reserve includes some 23 known archaeological sites of the Maya civilization including Muyil.
We will also be working with Amigos de Sian Ka'an, the local organisation in the biosphere reserve whose objectives are the identification, protection and management of areas with high biodiversity value as well as those critical for maintenance of the life cycles of endangered, threatened and migratory species in the Riviera Maya and providing environmental education through interdisciplinary projects.
Biosphere Soundscapes Mexico is currently managed by our Associate Producer Emmanuel Galvan Martinez in collaboration with Dr Leah Barclay. We are greatful for the support of Fonoteca Nacional de México to launch this project in 2015. We will be announcing further information about our residency program in May 2015 and you can follow the development of this project via our labs, residences, masterclasses and community.
The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 is a landmark global forum on protected areas. The Congress will share knowledge and innovation, setting the agenda for protected areas conservation for the decade to come. Building on the theme "Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions", it will present, discuss and create original approaches for conservation and development, helping to address the gap in the conservation and sustainable development agenda.
Biosphere Soundscapes director, Dr Leah Barclay, was invited to speak about the value of Biosphere Soundscapes in the ‘inspiring a new generation’ stream.
This stream will empower the growth of an enduring global initiative for a new generation to experience, connect with, be inspired by, value, and conserve nature. It will bring the powerful voices of young people from across the globe to the Congress, along with key partners in the conservation community, corporate and social leaders, educators, and others, to share their experiences, perspectives, knowledge, skills, technologies, and ideas in innovative and creative ways, and empowering them to take leadership to ensure the on-going stewardship of nature. The stream will support a shared vision to connect a new generation to nature and ensure new leadership and engagement of young people in support of inter-generational partnerships for parks, people and planet.
The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 will articulate the vital role of protected areas in conserving nature while delivering essential ecosystem services and position protected areas within goals of economic and community well-being, and demonstrate how this can be achieved in practice.
For parks, it will strengthen conservation targets whilst engaging a varied audience from government to general members of society who care about the health of our planet.
For people, it will engage with development sectors and inspire citizens to connect with nature.
For the planet, it will demonstrate nature-based solutions to global challenges such as climate change, health, and supporting human life.
For the first time, the Congress will collate and communicate the most compelling and inspiring solutions to global challenges. It will help create new sustainable commitments for protected areas across the conservation, development and business sectors. This will be the promise of Sydney.