Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network

Organization and Structure

En français (.doc)

Leadership of WHSRN is implemented at several scales. The WHSRN Hemispheric Council is the body ultimately responsible for the entire Network and matters affecting the WHSRN program as a whole. National Councils design and implement pertinent activities that contribute to the achievement of the Network’s mission. Communication among the several components and levels of WHSRN’s structure is a shared responsibility of all participants. The detailed roles and responsibilities of these councils are described in the Strategic Plan and schematized in Appendix II in the form of an organizational chart. The structure is designed to serve the conservation needs of the Site Partners, and that service is the test of the structure.

The Hemispheric Council acts as "the keeper of the program." The Hemispheric Council is responsible for the overall direction and well-being of WHSRN and its progress in achieving its mission and vision. As a result, the Hemispheric Council oversees the development, implementation and evaluation of strategic plans. The Council is broadly representative of each of the major geographic regions in which the Network operates, and may include representation from groups elsewhere, such as the East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Site Network, with shared interests and shorebirds. The Council is chaired by one of its own members, elected by the Council, and it may establish other offices, such as Vice-Chair and Corresponding Secretary. The Hemispheric Council may create an Executive Committee and/or other committees as needed.

To ensure the effectiveness of the Network, most members of the Hemispheric Council are drawn from the highest levels of governments and influential bodies of their respective regions. Members of the Hemispheric Council ensure that funds are available for core WHSRN activities as well as those associated with the strategic plan. The Hemispheric Council conducts its routine business through electronic communication (e-mail, fax, and teleconferencing, for instance) whenever possible to avoid the great expense of travel to meetings across such an enormous geography. Face-to-face meetings remain irreplaceable, however, and are scheduled at least biennially, coinciding with related international meetings whenever possible.

WHSRN Strategic Plan