The New Development of Bird Watching, in Colombia

MinCommerce, Industry and Tourism: “We want to be No.1 in bird watching”

In her speech at the VI International Congress of Birdwatching ‘Birds of High Mountains
for Bird Lovers’, which was held in Manizales, the capital of Caldas (Colombia), the
Minister indicated that in order to achieve this goal, large routes of bird watching will be
designed for the Eastern, Western and Central Andes, the Coffee Produccion area and the
Eastern Plains.
“That’s why we need to work together towards the same direccion, developing a quality,
responsible and sustainable tourism that allows us to take advantage of the full potential
of a rich and unique nature like ours.”
For the start-up of bird watching routes of the Coffee region and Arauca, the Ministry
approved tourist infrastructure projects for more than $ 1,400 million in works to be
carried out in the Serranía Alto del Nudo, in Dosquebradas (Risaralda) -where they will
build four lookouts- and in the municipality of Tame (Arauca) where trails for bird
watching will be built.
We are also working on the creation of product clubs, made up of local operators, service
providers, guides, regional tourism offices, national parks, universities and government
entities, whose objective is to contribute to the conservation of bird species and their
ecosystems, develop bird watching tourism and promote it.

The Government is investing important resources in nature tourism, through more than
15 projects in 10 departments: Amazonas, Santander, San Andrés and Providencia, Meta,
Vichada, Chocó, Valle del Cauca, Risaralda, Arauca, and Bolívar. In this regard, she
affirmed that there are already clubs in the Coffee Cultural Landscape, Magdalena, Tolima and Cundinamarca and we are working to consolidate the Antioquia and Casanare clubs.
Given that the requirements of bird watching make it indispensable to train those who
dedicate themselves to this activity, the Ministry issued resolution 823 so that
ornithologists and biologists can make the homologation of the guidance with the SENA
in just six months. Additionally, the guides are offered online courses through the
“English for tourism” platform and face-to-face training with native trainers so that they
have English proficiency.
With the support of the PTP Productive Transformation Program, the Good Practices
Guide for bird watching in Colombia was delivered, where the parameters are established to carry out this practice with the required rigor and within the international standards of quality and sustainability that we want to develop for tourism in the country.
The Minister noted that thanks to the end of the conflict this type of tourists can now
reach previously unthinkable areas, where bird watching tourism will enhance the
economy of the so-called Areas Most Affected by Conflict, ZOMAC. “As a Ministry, we
have identified great opportunities to promote private investment in these areas,
promote the creation of new companies and the formalization of small businesses, taking advantage of the tax benefits that will be granted to those who invest there.” In these remote regions work is also being done to promote the formation and formalization of tourism businesses and the training of guides.

The bird watching allows to stimulate the senses and a communion with the nature,
through the observation and identification of birds in their natural habitat. Colombia is
the country with the greatest diversity of birds in the world, it has 1,921 species of birds
-which represent 20 percent of the existing ones on the planet-, of which 79 are
endemic, that is, they are only found naturally in the Colombian territory; 193, almost
endemic and 139, considered threatened or at risk of extinction.

Thus, there is great potential in this country for bird watching. The end of the armed
conflict and the promotion of ecotourism can help to position Colombia as one of the
most important destinations for bird watchers from all over the world. Bird watching
tourism is already developed in a few countries; and there are thousands of birders and
nature watchers who travel every year, and willing to spend money for their passion.
(official information in the following link). >Bird watching=avistamiento de aves< avistamiento_de_aves > Colombia, el pais de las Aves

Author: Jean Philip

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