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shorebirds

Designing Coastal Solutions

Designing Coastal Solutions

Last month ACS led a workshop focused on designing new solutions to coastal challenges in Latin America. Held at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City, over 30 scientists, architects, and planners participated, representing multiple countries along the Pacific coast of the Americas. We spent a day working with experts from Canada to Chile on designing a program that would promote new solutions across Latin America. Working with partners Cornell University and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, ACS is designing a ten-year fellowship program to tackle environmental challenges in coastal areas.

The goal of the Coastal Solutions Fellows Program is to build, train, and support a collaborative network of scientists, developers, and planners who are designing and implementing new evidence-based solutions to coastal environmental challenges in Latin America. For the next decade, the Program will support the development of innovative solutions for conservation and development in Latin America along the Pacific Americas Flyway. From Mexico to Chile, dozens of coastal sites provide critical habitat for millions of migrating shorebirds. Shorebirds exemplify the connectedness, wonder, and complexity of nature by migrating annually from breeding sites in the Arctic to key wintering sites in Latin America. Many species are endangered, partly because these coastal sites are threatened by development, climate change, and other dynamic processes. Coastal Solutions Fellows will collaborate across sectors to develop new evidence-based approaches to improve the protection of shorebirds and their habitats in Latin America along the Pacific Americas Flyway.

The greatest threats to the Pacific Americas Flyway in Latin America are various types of business as usual coastal development, including urban, tourism, and aquaculture. These threats are exacerbated by current and projected impacts associated to climate change. Effective solutions that target and reduce these threats will require collaborations between scientists, planners, and developers. Yet, opportunities for developing cross-sector collaborations are rare. The Coastal Solutions Fellows Program exists to spark new collaborations between scientists, planners, and developers by promoting peer-to-peer learning, providing strategic trainings, and challenging fellows to develop site-based coastal solutions along the Pacific Americas Flyway.

Conservation Landscape Assessment of Panama Bay, Panama

Conservation Landscape Assessment of Panama Bay, Panama

Panama Bay is one of the most important wintering and stopover areas for shorebirds in the western hemisphere. In 2015, Advanced Conservation Strategies conducted a Conservation Landscape Assessment of Panama Bay for the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. A research team, including natural scientists, social scientists, architects, and land use planners, conducted primary and secondary research, including stakeholder interviews across all sectors in Panama City. The goal was to assess the state of shorebird habitat protection in Panama Bay and how it fits into the larger landscape and dynamics surrounding the Panama City metropolitan area. Advanced Conservation Strategies also provided a series of broad, forward-looking recommendations to improve wetland and shorebird protection. 

Panama Bay Landscape Assessment

Panama Bay Landscape Assessment

ACS recently returned from Panama where we are conducting a Landscape Assessment of Panama Bay. The Bay is one of the most important wintering grounds for shorebirds in the western hemisphere. As Panama City continues to develop at a rapid pace, many challenges are emerging around striking a balance between development and the protection of the coastal habitats surrounding the city. As part of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation's Marine Birds Program, ACS is talking with all stakeholders in Panama City, across all sectors, to help better understand the dynamics around development and what solutions and strategies will help protect the important mangrove and mudflat habitats surrounding Panama City.