Union of companies linked to nature and ornithological tourism that carry out a large part of their activity in the Natural Park of l'Albufera.
Ornithological tourism is a sustainable tourism modality that day by day is acquiring a greater relevance within the tourist offer of our country. In the Valencian Community this activity has been carried out for years by private sector companies, which are dedicated to nature tourism and birdwatching.
The aim of the Association is to become a stakeholder with the different administrations responsible for the planning of the tourist offer so that the birdwatching is contemplated for its importance and has the corresponding presence and diffusion within the sector of nature tourism. The founder companies of the association (Actio Birding, BirdWatching Spain, Valencia Birding and Visit Natura) work to improve the conditions to make possible and offer a tourist use of quality nature committed to the conservation of the natural environment and cultural heritage of the territory. These are intended to serve as a link between the private sector, the administration and NGOs in the field of ornithological tourism. They also aim to generate an official framework for the emerging sector of ornithological tourism.
To this end, the association shows an environmental commitment that takes the form of active collaboration in conservation projects and a self-demand that leads them to abide by the ethical code of the bird watcher (http://www.seo.org/wp-content/uploads/tmp/docs/codigo_conducta.pdf) proposed by SEO/BirdLife (http://www.seo.org/).
The Association is a non-profit association. It works thanks to the work of its six members. The members belong to each of the companies mentioned above. The association does not have a staff budget. However, the association can develop services through commissions, subsidies, grants, etc.
Evidence of success
Permits have been obtained for access to restricted natural areas, managed both by the Regional Ministry of Environment and by Foundations and NGOs, which reflects the compatibility of this type of tourism with the conservation of these spaces.
On the other hand, it has been possible (together with the Department of Tourism, in collaboration with other public administrations and several NGOs) to publish the first promotional material of birdwatching in the Valencian Community.
Potential for learning or transfer
They promote the union of small companies, within a protected space, through a series of activities:
participation in congresses and events related to ornithological tourism,
development of annual meetings with both the administration and conservation associations to ensure sustainable ornithological tourism,
development of conferences, talks, workshops and events as a dissemination tool,
Always following its own code of good practice:
the welfare of the birds must come first,
the habitat must be protected,
do not alter the behaviour of the birds in the slightest,
when you find a species of endangered bird, report carefully,
you mustn't harass wandering species or weirdness,
respects the regulations on the protection of birds at all times,
respects the rights of landowners,
respects the rights of people in the observation area,
share your appointments with other local observers,
behave as you would like others to behave in your area.