ObservaNatura has been held every year since 2009. It is currently the only fair in Portugal dedicated to Ornithology Tourism, a subgroup of nature tourism focusing on birdwatching, either directly or using binoculars or telescopes. It also includes photography, painting and drawing associated with nature.
The growing interest in nature tourism resources, and particularly birds, could become an important advantage for preserving nature and biodiversity. Experiencing birds' environment first-hand and observing them in their natural setting draws visitors' attention to the value of the resources directly and indirectly linked with the bird species in question and their habitat. This type of tourism, which is potentially sustainable in protected areas, also brings significant advantages to local communities, by introducing them responsibly to the natural treasures which surround them, at the same time as they provide an excellent experience for visitors.
The extensive programme for the "ObservaNatura" fair includes workshops, mini-courses, guided birdwatching tours through the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve on foot and by boat, and bird banding sessions., It is a chance for nature tourism companies, non-governmental organisations, visual material companies and tourists interested in birdwatching to meet, based on the values of biodiversity. Herons, spoonbills and flamingos are just some of the species which can be observed at this time of year.
The fair has free entry, and is organised by the Institute for the Preservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF)/Sado Estuary Nature Reserve and Tróia-Natura, with many partners, including the Portuguese Tourist Board, Setúbal City Coucil, the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds, the Setúbal Bay Association and Birds & Nature.
Throughout ObservaNatura 2012, the ICNF, the Portuguese Tourist Board and the Lisbon Tourism Association will be promoting a fam trip for Dutch, Spanish, British and Belgian tour operators.
International tour operators will be present at the fair on the morning of the 13th for speedtrading, and to meet and do business with Portuguese tourism companies who have signed up for the event.
See the full programme at http://www.observanatura.com
Source: Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e da Biodiversidade, I.P.