Davao City hosts 1st Asian Bird Fair and 6th Philippine Bird Festival

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/19 August) – Davao City, home of the country’s national symbol – the Philippine Eagle, will host next month’s 1st Asian Bird Fair and 6th Philippine Bird Festival.

At least 18 foreign organizations with 46 delegates have confirmed participation in the bird fair on September 23 to 26.

The decision to hold an Asian Bird Fair was made during the 9th Thailand Birdwatching Fair in Samutprakarn, Thailand on November 22 and confirmed on March 14 this year during the 11th Raptor Watch Week in Tanjung Tuan, Malaysia.

The Bird Conservation Society of Thailand, Chinese Wild Bird Federation, Malaysian Nature Society, Nature Society of Singapore, Wild Bird Club of the Philippines and the Wild Bird Society of Taipei — the founding organizers – agreed to “establish, support and promote an annual Asian Bird Fair” to “encourage friendship, collaboration and the exchange of experience and best practices among the bird clubs of Asia; foster bird-watching as an eco-tourism activity;
highlight bird festivals, bird fairs and bird races in the region; and promote the host
cities/countries — their natural beauty, wild bird conservation efforts, eco-adventure activities
and cultural heritage.”

The Asian Bird Fair will be held annually in a different city and will be hosted by a bird club/society. This year’s host is the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines.

Delegates will be welcomed by Mayor Sara Duterte with a dinner at the Matina Town Square on September 23.

On Friday, September 24, there will be a parade of colors and a Pledge to Mother Nature during the opening ceremonies at the Waterfront Insular Hotel.

Festival chair Alice Villa-Real will deliver the opening remarks followed by another welcome remarks by the mayor.

Grade 4 to 6 students will be given a “Birding Basics” lecture followed by an “Interactive Learning Experience with Dr. Bo (veterinarian Roberto Puentespina). There will be a “Bird Quest” before lunch.

In the afternoon, high school students will be treated to a “Birding Basics,” again followed by an “Interactive Learning Experience with Dr. Bo” and “Bird Quest.”

A video on Avian Archipelago will be shown.

Selected students will then join the Beach Walk where they will explore tidal flats.

There will be simultaneous lectures by the Katala Foundation of Palawan, Bird Conservation Society of Thailand with Gawin Chutima talking about Birdwatching in Thailand; Bird Conservation Nepal with Dr. Hum Gurung on Exploring the Unexplored Ecotourism product in protected areas of Nepal.

Another forum will be hosted by the Chinese Wild Bird Federation under President Charles Cheng and the Borneo Bird Club with chairman Cede Prudente talking about the Birds of Borneo.

On Saturday, September 25, the festival will open at 8 a.m. There will be a program on Identifying the Bird at 9 a.m. followed by a World Wide Fund lecture at 9:30 a.m. then an Art Workshop with Robert Alejandro. Another Identifying the Bird session will follow before noon.

Simultaneous lectures will be held on various topics. Basic Bird Photography by the Philippine Bird Photographers; the Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network with Lim Kim Chye discussing Raptor migration in Asia, with reference to the Philippines; the Hornbill Research Foundation with Dr. Vijak Chimchome discussing “An overview of hornbill research and conservation in Thailand,”

A Conservation Forum will follow at the Kalaw Function Room after lunch.

At the forum, Danish ornithologist Arne Jensen will discuss the Current Status of Philippine Birds. This will be followed by a presentation from the Philippine Eagle Foundation. An open forum will follow and the forum will be closed by Dr. Aldrin Mallari.

While the forum is going on, Robert Alejandro will again conduct another art workshop. There will be Identify the Bird sessions and yet another Beach Walk for selected students.

The closing dinner will be at The Marco Polo hotel.

On Sunday, September 26, the delegates will proceed to the Philippine Eagle Center for birdwatching and tour. After lunch they will proceed to Eden Garden Resort where they will hold the farewell dinner and stay overnight.

On Monday, September 27, some delegates will leave for Manila while others will depart for “post-festival birdwatching trips.” (MindaNews)