Help Luena represent Brazilian whales at the WWC!

by Luena Fernandes in Queensland, Austrália

Help Luena represent Brazilian whales at the WWC!


raised of £2,000 target
43% 12 days left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by October 2nd 2019 at 2:48am

Attending the WCA World Whale Conference and WHS Summit to share and learn from WCA partners and experts from around the world!

by Luena Fernandes in Queensland, Austrália

I graduated as a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Zoology from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK, in 2003 and as an MSc in Ecology Applied to Environmental Management from the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), Brazil, in 2016, during which I developed an Integrated Framework to Assess Whale-Watching Carrying Capacity. I was an Environmental Education Coordinator/Researcher at NGO Instituto Baleia Jubarte (IBJ), the Brazilian Humpback Whale Institute in Bahia, between 2005 and 2011 and since 2015. I worked as a Visitor Reception Coordinator at the largest Visitor Centre of NGO Projeto Tamar (Sea Turtle Conservation Project), Bahia, Brazil, between 2012 and 2015. I also worked at NGO Centro Golfinho Rotador (Spinner Dolphin Centre), Fernando de Noronha, Brazil,  during 2007. I am currently studying for a PhD in Ecology at UFBA and my PhD project will evaluate the influences of whale-watching tourism on the behaviour and acoustic ecology of humpback whales in Praia do Forte, northeastern Brazil, in partnership with IBJ. In 2015 I attended the WCA World Whale Conference in the Azores, Portugal, for the first time, where I represented the IBJ and presented our whale-watching incentive, monitoring, education and research initiatives with local operators along the coast of Bahia.  I also presented a short update on the cetacean captivity in Brazil and presented Praia do Forte/Bahia as a WHS candidate site.  Since then I have been serving the WCA partnership, as chair of the Science Working group during two successive votes, as regional representative for Latin America and the Caribbean between 2016 and 2017, and in the Whale Heritage Site Steering Committee.  In the WWC in Durban/SA in 2017, I helped organize the Whale-Watching Science Workshop and presented Brazil's proposal to create a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary.  In the next few years I hope to continue my research into the sustainable management of the whale-watching industry locally in Brazil and to contribute to the development of responsible whale-watching worldwide as an alternative to commercial whaling, to support cetacean research and conservation and to generate job and income opportunities for coastal people. My passions include filling the science-policy gap and translating scientific knowledge to different audiences and sectors of society to promote environmental and marine conservation. I also want to use the skills acquired during my PhD project to investigate other anthropogenic impacts on humpback whale, namely from commercial ship traffic in their migration routes and breeding grounds.  Attending the WCA WWC and WHS Summit in Hervey Bay, Australia is the pinnacle of the last two years contributing to its construction and to furthering WCA's vision and goals.  Meeting the partners from around the world, sharing experiences, and also meeting scientists, advocates, policy makers and other important stakeholders is an invaluable opportunity to positively influence the development of sustainable cetacean tourism and cetacean-human interactions worldwide.  I will use the funds raised here to represent Brazil in this important Conference and contribute with my skills and experiences to strengthening the partnership and making this another productive and unforgettable Meeting!  I will also bring home all the important lessons and exchange of knowledge to share with my colleagues and collaborators to improve our practices and further help the WCA to spread its message and vision in this part of the world.  Please help me represent Brazil and Latin America at the WCA WWC and WHS Summit 2019!

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