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MONDAY 26 – FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER 2015, AZORES, PORTUGAL

The World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) in partnership with the Azores Promotion Board would like to invite you to the WCA World Whale Conference and Whale Heritage Sites Summit, taking place at the Teatro Faialense, Horta, Azores, 26-30 October 2015.

Slide1Attendance of the Conference is free for WCA Partners and attendees resident in the Azores. Non-partners and non-residents can attend by paying the annual membership fee to join the WCA. Attendance of the Whale Heritage Sites Summit is free to all attendees. We welcome your involvement and input in these two important meetings, which we hope will have a positive impact for whales and dolphins both in the Azores and worldwide.

World Whale Conference 26-27 October 2015
The World Whale Conference will see whale and dolphin experts, charities, and whale watching companies from across the world arriving in the Azores to discuss how the World Cetacean Alliance and its Partners can work together to effectively protect cetaceans through four global programmes:
1) Stopping cetacean captivity
2) Responsible whale and dolphin watching
3) Threatened and data deficient species (with an emphasis on beaked whales)
4) ghost fishing gear and entanglement.

Whale Heritage Sites Summit 28-30 October 2015

Slide2To promote whale watching to the public and encourage the adoption of responsible whale watching practices in destinations across the world, the World Cetacean Alliance is developing an accreditation scheme that will lead to the designation of Whale Heritage Sites. This will allow destinations leading the way in sustainability and responsible management of whale and dolphin watching to be rewarded with greater public awareness.

It will also generate an appreciation of the culture and heritage surrounding cetaceans and whale watching in destinations amongst consumers, and provide tour operators wanting to feature sustainable whale watching initiatives within their programme a clear starting place from which to look.

Whale Heritage Site status will be designated to destinations that:

– Celebrate the cultural importance of whales and dolphins by engaging communities and tourists with the arts, science, music, education and events

– Maintain the highest standards of responsible whale and dolphin watching

The Whale Heritage Site concept will be launched at the Whale Heritage Sites Summit. At this three day meeting, representatives from tourist destinations, international institutions and the private sector will come together with global experts in tourism, sustainability and whale watching to discuss the Whale Heritage Site concept and agree the criteria for site designation.

Help us by attending and discussing what you think a Whale Heritage Site should be like? Your ideas, along with the ideas of other interested parties, will then be taken forward in a pilot project in the Azores in 2016 to attempt to establish the World’s first Whale Heritage Site. Other destinations interested in achieving Whale Heritage Site status will also be asked to register their interest at the Summit in October.

TeatroProgramme in brief (full itinerary will follow soon)

Sunday 25 October: Excursion
– Whales, dolphins and volcanoes!

Monday 26 October: World Whale Conference and AGM
– Global programmes to protect cetaceans

Tuesday 27 October: World Whale Conference
– Global programmes to protect cetaceans

Wednesday 28 October: Whale Heritage Sites Summit – Day 1
– Welcome, keynote speech, presentations, defining criteria, discussions

Thursday 29 October: Whale Heritage Sites Summit – Day 2
– Presentations about Azores, expert endorsement, next steps, launch, launch party

Friday 30 October: Workshop. Azores – planning for Whale Heritage Site status
– Meeting of Azores stakeholders to agree Azores Whale Festival plans and discuss responsible whale watching

For more information please contact Dylan Walker at dylan@worldcetaceanalliance.org or call the WCA on +44 (0)1273 355011.

If you would like to attend the conference and/or Summit please register below.

We look forward to welcoming you to the World Whale Conference and Whale Heritage Sites Summit this October.

Regards,

Dylan Walker, WCA Secretariat, and Francisco Gil, Azores Promotion Board