Laura Ibarra

October 21, 2019

Master Plan for the Prevention and Mitigation of Impacts on Shorebirds

Project Site:  Ojo de Liebre Wetland Complex, México
Sector: NGO
Disciplines: Landscape Architecture, Conservation Biology, Urban Planning, Ornithology
Collaborators: Pronatura Noroeste, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve – National Commission on Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, Exportadora de Sal

Laura is a Mexican architect with a Masters in Ecosystem Management of Arid Lands and specialization in Environmental Planning and Geographic Information Systems. Her work in different fields has allowed her to work from different perspectives: from small scale architecture projects to the planning and management of territories and regions. Her research has focused in the development of community-based green infrastructure projects based on collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches.

Projected impacts by the effects of tides and floods caused by climate change. The areas of greatest vulnerability are indicated with color. Source: SEMARNAT

The Ojo Liebre Wetland Complex, which covers more than 67,000 hectares in the Baja California Peninsula, is a site of hemispheric importance that supports more than 200,000 shorebirds every year. However, these species are exposed to anthropogenic threats generated by different activities such as salt production, tourism and fishing, in addition to vulnerability caused by climate change.

If these threats are not handled properly, they could cause habitat degradation and reduction of shorebird populations. With this project, a Master Plan will be designed to establish a future vision for the conservation of this site. The plan will consider the needs for habitat protection and the reduction of risks on these wetlands, as well as the development of a guide for best management practices for the salt production industry, with the purpose of reducing possible threats and impacts on shorebirds. The plan will also include the design of landscape infrastructure to favor the conservation and appreciation of birds, as well as the design of management strategies for climate change adaption and resiliency of the site.

The host institution in this project is Pronatura Noroeste, A.C. an environmental nonprofit organization whose mission is to conserve the flora, fauna and priority ecosystems of Northwestern Mexico, to promote the development of society in harmony with nature. Pronatura has worked for more than 20 years on the conservation of the Ojo de Liebre Wetland Complex, in collaboration with government agencies, the private sector, local communities and academic institutions.