In the last months, the NATOUR project has been working on the identification of the competences that the new postgraduate course should include. To this aim, a very complete list of potential competences was defined and agreed on among the project members. After that, a process of validation was put in place. First of all, a survey among relevant ecotourism stakeholders in each country was done. In general terms, there was a global validation of the suggested competences.
That trend was also confirmed with the specific consultation workshops which took place between June and August 2021 in the six Latin American universities of the project (face-to-face or virtual meetings). A total of 108 people participated (40 in Brazil, 33 in Colombia and 35 in Chile), including both the private sector -nature guides, entrepreneurs, consultants or teachers- and the public sphere -mainly managers of protected areas. These meetings are considered very positive taking in consideration the diversity of participation, the percentages in the interest in the project, and the numerous comments and proposals received.
In the coming weeks, the NATOUR curriculum will be agreed, and the learning content of the programme will also start to be prepared. The administrative processes for the procurement of equipment for the new Ecotourism Learning Centers of the Latin American universities will begin, and a new round of meetings in each university will be held in order to inform about the project development and the tasks done so far among their teaching and administrative staff.