1ST ANNOUNCEMENT: 32ND ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM ON SEA TURTLE BIOLOGY & CONSERVATION 11 – 16 MARCH 2012, HUATULCO, OAXACA, MEXICO

ANA R. BARRAGÁN

President, International Sea Turtle Society; Programa Nacional para la Conservación de las Tortugas Marinas, CONANP. Camino al Ajusco 200, Col. Jardines en la Montaña, Mexico DF 14210, Mexico

Email: abarragan@conanp.gob.mx

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The Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, conducted every year by the International Sea Turtle Society (ISTS), is a unique event that draws participants from around the world, from across disciplines and cultures to a common platform: sea turtle conservation. The symposium encourages debate, discussion and the sharing of knowledge, research techniques and lessons in conservation to address questions in biology and conservation of sea turtles and their habitats. The 32nd Annual Symposium will be held in Mexico for the third time, but will be its first visit to the beautiful state of Oaxaca, a wonderful region with strong cultural relationships with sea turtles; Bahías de Huatulco, where the meeting is convened, is a paradise located in the southern coast of the Mexican Paci c, with nine bays of brilliant cobalt blue waters. Bahías de Huatulco offers natural settings that invite visitors to alternative tourism, extreme sports and ecotourism activities. With the imposing South Sierra Madre as a background, 36 beaches compose this paradise isolated from the mainland by 21,000 hectares of dry forest that’s part of a natural protected area.

Theme: Time for Innovation

This time the Symposium will be focusing on innovative aspects of sea turtle conservation: new techniques, new approaches and new actors. For conservation and research groups in many countries, Mexico included, it is time to revisit the objectives and conservation strategies that have been in place for decades, and go a step beyond the routine; it’s time to open up to a new generation of players with new ideas and new energy, to learn from difficulties of the past and to adopt and reinforce the successes.

When and Where?

Symposium dates: 13 – 16 March, 2012

Workshops and Regional Meetings: 11 – 12 March, 2012

Venue: Las Brisas Huatulco Resort (http://www. brisashotelonline.com/huatulco)

For 2012 we expect about 800 participants from 70 countries around the world. The Symposium’s venue is located in Tangolunda Bay, about 5 km from the port of Santa Cruz Huatulco and a 30 minute ride from Huatulco International Airport.

Symposium Agenda

The Mini-Symposium “The Sea Turtles of Mexico” will celebrate the conservation and research about these species in this country, home of one of the oldest sea turtle conservation programmes in Latin America. We’ll also host numerous thematic oral and poster sessions to discuss the main subjects regarding sea turtle biology. Prior to the main academic Program, we will host several regional meetings and workshops that will enrich our knowledge and complement our capacities for reaching our conservation goals.

Travel and accommodation

Huatulco is an ideal destination that has something for everybody. Huatulco National Park offers a range of activities from fantastic diving spots to mountain trails for bird watching. La Crucecita and Santa María Huatulco towns have all kinds of handcrafts shops and restaurants, where you can enjoy the great, world-renowned Oaxacan cuisine.

The hotel offers the All-Inclusive system, which means that all delegates that stay in the venue will have access to all the hotel facilities and meals and drinks covered. Las Brisas is a fantastic hotel with beautiful white-sand beaches, 20 hectares of lush gardens and many restaurants, meeting halls, swimming pools and outdoor spaces, so we hope that it will promote interaction with other delegates, networking and catching up with old friends. More information on registration and hotel booking will come soon.

Online symposium information

Information about the 2012 Sea Turtle Symposium will be available online at: iconferences.seaturtle.org.

By registering as a member of the International Sea Turtle Society (at seaturtle.org), you will be sent regular updates of symposium related information including deadlines for submission of abstracts and applications for travel grants, symposium schedule and other related activities and announcements.

Contact information

For queries and inputs, please contact:

ISTS President
Ana Rebeca Barragán (abarragan@conanp.gob. mx)

Program Co-Chairs
Eduardo Cuevas and Shaleyla Kelez (ecuevas@ pronatura-ppy.org.mx; skelez@gmail.com)

Program Coordinator
Dubose Grif n (grif nd@dnr.sc.gov)

Workshop and Regional Meetings Coordinator Alan Zavala (anorzaga@ipn.mx)

Symposium Coordinator
Gonzalo Villalobos (gonzalo.villalobos@prodigy. net.mx)