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Driving Conservation August 2007 – May 2008

Monday 5 May 2008.

Driving Conservation – Results during August 2007 – May 2008

During this period, the results of the project Driving Conservation, with the support of Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund, show how the project successfully reached 25.413 people from beginning to end. This number is 145.7% of the main goal of 17,440, which greatly exceeded our target.

The Parrot Bus visited 227 schools, which corresponds to 315.28% increase over our target of 72 schools, motivating children and youth to become part of the environmental education group “Escuelas Amigas de las Aves.”

Children, youth, and adults have been encouraged to participate in Bird Festivals such as the Migratory Bird Festival during the month of October. Over 7,000 people were directly involved and more than 5 million Colombians received information about the festival. The fourth annual Blue-billed Curassow Festival celebrated in August, over 800 children from Puerto Pinzon – Boyacá and other communities where poverty is very severe participated in the Festival.

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Another very important contribution achieved by the Parrot Bus is the facilitation to established 95 new environmental education groups across the four ecological routes; we strongly believe that this innovative education tool – The Parrot Bus had touched thousands of heart from children and youth motivating them to be part of the new generation of conservationist.

ProAves identified that many children were carrying slingshots with the sole purpose of hunting birds, in order to tackle this problem ProAves launched a national Slingshot Amnesty campaign against hunting birds across Colombia through The Parrot Bus and delighted when over 330 children voluntarily handed slingshots and traps to ProAves staff from the mobile environmental education classroom.

The Amnesty has been a great success, with a total of 346 weapons used to hunt birds for sport handed in by children across Colombia. Weapons included 326 slingshots, 20 guns, and 5 traps voluntarily surrendered to ProAves staff in 9 departments of Colombia in recent months. Many of the slingshots were highly refined and extremely lethal against birds; we estimate many thousands of birds were killed by the weapons voluntarily handed in during early 2008.

Key accomplishments during August 2007 – May 2008

- Achieved environmental education and conservation awareness through Parrot Bus visits to 15 departments, 48 municipalities, 227 schools and 24262 students and 1151 members of the communities.  

- Directed 193 competitions in the Parrot Bus and provided gifts and encouraged children to be proud of their natural heritage. 

- Strengthened and established 240 “Amigo de las Aves” ecological groups at key localities in the Four Ecological Route corridors.

- Made 6 national-level television programs promoting the Parrot Bus.

- Wrote 6 articles published in newspapers and magazines highlighting the Parrot Bus purpose and its great results for conservation.

- Broadcast 14 local radio programs at the different locations along the four ecological routes.

- Organized 6 workshops for teacher members of the “Escuelas amigas de las aves”.

- Distributed 3,347 posters; 32,412 stickers; 15,765 booklets; 11,288 bookmarks, miniguides 200.

- Collected 346 weapons used to hunt birds for sport handed by children during the visits of the parrot bus, weapons include 326 slingshots, 20 guns, and 5 traps.

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