Wetlands Symposium 2013

Cuba's Wetlands Research Program and Symposium

November 2 – 10, 2013
Cienaga de Zapata, Matanzas and Havana, Cuba

Cienaga de Zapata, the largest wetlands in the Caribbean,
a UNESCO-recognized Biosphere Reserve

This research tour will include the opportunity to interact with Cuban and international wetlands scientists, engineers, and policy makers during the

International Wetlands Symposium
November 4 – 7, 2013

Ciénaga de Zapata, (Zapata Swamp), located on Cuba's southern shore in Matanzas Province, is the largest of six Cuban sites designated "Wetlands of International importance" by RAMSAR. It is 6000 square miles in size, and is located in a UNESCO-recognized Bio Reserve.

The largest and best-preserved wetland in the Caribbean, the site is outstanding for the diversity of its bird species and for the presence of threatened endemic species. Part of a large karst watershed, the site includes a great variety of wetland types, including subterranean karst hydrological systems.

The enormous resources of its rivers, lakes, marshes and pools, swamp forests, inter-tidal flats and estuarine waters, as well as a number of human-made wetland areas, are vitally important for the human communities both within the site and in its vicinity. Some 19 communities, with a total population of about 10,000 persons, make their livelihood here, chiefly by forestry, fishing, and tourism.

This wetland has extraordinary cultural value for Cuban and Caribbean heritage, because of its important archaeological sites of pre-agricultural communities as well as the customs and traditions of the current population and their traditional use of natural resources.

There are many informative and  fascinating articles about and images of Cuban wetlands available online!

Encyclopedia of Earth entry on Cuban Wetlands.

The symposium will include Workshops on the following topics:

  • Adaptation to the affects of climate change in wetlands regions
  • Management and control of invasive species
  • Protection and management of crocodiles and other endemic species
  • Environmental education and management of human activity in wetlands communities

The extended tour will include the following highlights:

  • City tour of Havana and Old Havana with visits to sites of environmental, historical and cultural interest
  • Overview of Cuba's environmental policy and practice
  • Interaction with Cuban attendees at the Wetlands Symposium at Cienaga de Zapata
  • Tours by bus, boat and foot of the Ciénaga de Zapata and Biosphere Reserve
  • Meetings with community leaders living and working within the Ciénaga de Zapata
  • Speakers on forestry, fishing, tourism and culture within the Wetlands and Biosphere Reserve
  • Additional visits in accordance with participants' research needs
  • Cultural options

All site visits will be co-led by a Cuban expert in wetlands, Cuban biodiversity, Bio Reserve
management, and/or urban and rural sustainable development.

How to Register:

Cuba travel for Eco Cuba Network tours is arranged by licensed Cuba Travel Service Provider, Global Exchange Reality Tours, a non profit TSP with over 20 years experience arranging Cuba travel for professional, educational, cultural, and "people to people" delegations to research every aspect of Cuban life.

For information on the fees and logistics for this research tour and symposium, please link to the Global Exchange webpage for the tour.  To access the Online Registration Form, scroll to the bottom of the page and enter the Custom Tour Code:  2013.11.8

We must receive your application and a non-refundable deposit of $500 two months before departure. Payments by Mastercard, Visa and Discover are welcome. Full payment is due 6 weeks before departure.

This trip will be as diverse as possible in terms of race, age and life experiences. In some  cases, a limited number of partial scholarships are available for low-income applicants.

Why Travel to Cuba with Eco Cuba Network?


Eco Cuba Network is a project of Green Cities Fund.