By Osvaldo Eric Ramirez Bravo and SCB, posted on October 30, 2020

LACA Section Congress

The SCB LACA Section is excited to host its first virtual congress this 9-13 November that will bring together conservationists from the region and around the world for virtual trainings, networking opportunities and scientific presentations. The meeting was originally scheduled to take place in Puebla, Mexico, but was moved to a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
In this Q&A with SCB, LACA Section Board member Dr. Osvaldo Eric Ramirez Bravo talks about the challenges and opportunities of organizing the virtual meeting and how LACA 2020 can boost conservation in the region. 

What do you hope the conference achieves for its participants? And for conservation in the region? 
We expect the conference will help to bring together conservation professionals and interested people from the region. We are working to have activities for the general public and for persons registered for the conference. We have special events that seek to form bridges with other disciplines, and we are going to have an expert talk about animal welfare in conservation and the role of enterprises in conservation. Also, we are going to have a special section so interested people can learn about available international cooperation opportunities for their projects. 
What has been the biggest challenge in organizing the meeting? 
The pandemic forced us to adapt the meeting and several activities to the online environment. One of the biggest challenges has been to adapt to an easy-to-use and low cost platform that enables us to lower the entrance fee. However, we are trying to see this as an opportunity to expand the conference. We have a special call so that communities can send videos on what do they do for conservation thus giving a special space to a sector that is often overlooked in scientific conferences. 
What is the Section most proud about in pulling this together? 
We were able to lower our fees and still put together a really interesting conference that joins different disciplines. I would add that we found a way to include SCB membership for people who attend to the conference. Finally, the fact that we can reach different publics and have the material available for a whole year is something that we're proud of.  
What are you most looking forward to about the Section's first ever virtual meeting? 
I want people in Latin America to see SCB as an association that is open to and benefits everyone, not just those from developed countries. We're look  forward to promoting conservation and boosting conservation activities in the region and enhancing networking opportunities for conservationists in the region. We're excited to host a meeting that will have attendees from nearly 30 countries. There will be more than 200 scientific presentations at the meeting. We are going to have seven workshops, nince symposia, four interactive sessions and three forums, plus several different activities. 

Author photo

Author Bio

Dr. Osvaldo Eric Ramirez Bravo is a professor at Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla in the Research Department on Biodiversity, Food and Climate Change.