By J.Thomas Saldias, Regional Representative
Thanks to the efforts of the SCI International Affairs and Development Committee (IADC) chaired by Norbert Ullmann, Latin American government officials were trained in the management of sport hunting and other conservation topics at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) HQ in Austin, Texas.
‚ÄúTexas Parks and Wildlife Department is proud to be a host for this important professional exchange,‚Äù said Maria Araujo, International Liaison for TPWD and coordinator for this event. ‚ÄúSCI has been instrumental in providing the funding to bring government officials to Texas so they can experience ‚Äúin situ‚Äù the management model for which Texas is recognized worldwide,‚Äù Araujo said.
Alejandro Donoso, Director of the Servicio Agricola Ganadero (Chile); Rene Celis, Director of Operations for the Comisi√≥n Estatal de Vida Silvestre from the Mexican State of Tamaulipas; Rosa Vento from the Direcci√≥n General Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre (Peru); and Leonel Duran and Alejandra Pe√±a from the Mexican State of Chihuahua were exposed to the different areas of the agency and successfully completed a hunter education course offered by Mrs. Araujo, who is also an Area Chief Instructor for TWPD. Delegates also participated in firearms handling and live-fire sessions. Delegates from El Salvador and Paraguay were unable to attend, cancelling their participation due to problems that arouse at their respective agencies days before their scheduled departures.
‚ÄúThis is a great opportunity for all of us‚Äù, said Alejandra Pe√±a of Chihuahua. ‚ÄúThis course has changed my perspective about sport hunting,‚Äù said Rosa Vento of Peru. ‚ÄúThis experience is a great addition to my professional performance and we certainly would like to apply what we are learning here in our respective countries,‚Äù said Alejandro Donoso from Chile.
This is the last of a series of exchanges facilitated by SCI-IADC with the collaboration of TPWD. In the past, delegates of Peru and Paraguay visited TPWD HQ during the past two years.
SCI is the leader in sport hunting and it is imperative to provide training opportunities for the officials in charge of sport hunting in those countries were SCI has been assisting our local chapters in creating the legal framework for the activity. We will continue supporting and expanding these efforts in Latin America, said Norbert Ullmann, chair of the IADC.