Perhaps foolishly, I'm optimistic that this time, they've got it right and that this new centre will make a significant contribution to the study of migratory birds. The detailed 'mission statement' (see -http://www.fundacionmigres.org/en/seccion/Migration/and/global/change/164/290/436/0/2/0/36) is full of worthy scientific aims and agendas. Apparently, it's main areas of activity will be
the scientific study migration and global change, research, collection of data, bio-diverstiy
technological development develoopment and application of environmental solutions
Training (seemingly aimed at post graduate students)
Conferences and publications
.... and who could argue with that?
The organisation has to get a better grip on modern technology than it has been in the past and publicise its work and results to a wider, international audience. A new promised blog 'Migration at the Strait of Gibraltar' will be a start. Using Facebook and Twitter to post daily figures for migration totals surely wouldn't be too hard. I hope too that the whiff of the scientific ivory tower I had as I read through the proposals is more about my mis-perceptions than the reality to come.Birders talking to birders may be very jolly, but if we're ever going to be serious about the environment and conservation we need to engage the wider public. It always astonishes me that so many holiday makers blithely sit below one of Europe's most extraordinary spectacles, that is the mass migration of storks and raptors, without apparently noticing! Making them notice, and above all care about the fact, has got to have a high priority. This priority may yet be buried somewhere in the 'mission statement', but the fact that it isn't obvious suggests to me that getting out in the community and engaging local organisations, schools, etc isn't the priority I think it ought to be. Yet I remain optimistic - other organisations are taking up this baton and it's to be hoped that once established this new centre will do more in this vital area than seems to be promised.