Bonn, 26 November 2009 - In 2010, AEWA celebrates its 15 years anniversary. To mark the occasion, the AEWA Secretariat is preparing a small booklet describing the early history of the development of the Agreement. Both the AEWA Secretariat and the main author, Dr. Gerard C. Boere, are already in possession of a large number of historic photos and documents; however relevant material for the period from 1985– 1995 is still missing.
Cambridge, 25 November 2009 - BirdLife’s regional office for West Africa, in collaboration with the Ghana Wildlife Society (BirdLife Partner), has organised a four-day workshop on climate change mitigation and forest biodiversity conservation for protected area managers from five West African countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana).
Bonn, 23 November 2009 - The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia will become the 63rd Party to the Agreement as of 1st February 2010. In addition, Ethiopia has also deposited its instruments of accession to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) and will become the 113th Party to CMS with effect from 1 January 2010.
Cambridge, 20 November 2009 - BirdLife International called on EU Fisheries Ministers meeting in Brussels to give a strong political signal that Europe will act now to prevent the world's seabirds from sliding towards extinction due to the impact of fisheries. European fisheries, both in EU waters and on the high seas beyond EU’s shores, take a massive toll of seabirds through falling foul of a variety of fishing gears.
Gland, 20 November 2009 - The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has designated Lake Kuyucuk (Kuyucuk Gölü) (416 hectares, 40°45’N 043°27’E) as Turkey’s 13th Wetland of International Importance. As summarized by Nadezhda Alexeeva from the RIS, this Wildlife Reserve is one of the most important wetlands of Kars province in northeastern Turkey.
Bonn, 11 November 2009 - The AEWA Secretariat is pleased to announce the release of its Technical Series No. 35 and its Popular Series No. 2. Both publications can be downloaded from the AEWA website and hardcopies of the publications are now available from the Secretariat.
Cambridge, 3 November 2009 - The latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species shows that 17,291 species out of the 47,677 assessed species are threatened with extinction. BirdLife International is the Red List Authority for birds and released the 2009 update for birds earlier in the year, listing 192 species of bird as Critically Endangered, the highest threat category, a total of two more than in the 2008 update.
Randburg / Bonn, 3 November 2009 – On 24 October, a grand total of 160 bird photographers followed the call of Mark Anderson, the Executive Director of Bird Life South Africa and the winner of the 2008 AEWA Waterbird Conservation Award to photograph 350 different wild birds in South Africa over a period of 24 hours and to make these photos available on a single website within the next 24 hours.
Gland, 2 November 2009 - The Ramsar Small Grants Fund (SGF) was established in 1990 as a mechanism to assist developing countries and those with economies in transition in implementing the Convention and to support the conservation and wise use of wetland resources, with a strong human and social dimension. The newly-released SGF Portfolio 2009 (PDF) describes 28 project proposals that have been favorably evaluated by Ramsar personnel and are available for funding by aid agencies and organizations with an interest in their objectives and likely benefits.
Saint Petersburg / Ede, 28 October 2009 – A group of 30 experts met at a workshop in Saint Petersburg, Russia (25-28 September 2009) to start the process of developing a Flyway Action Plan for the conservation of the West Siberian/ North-West European population of the Bewick’s Swan (Cygnus columbianus bewickii).
Trondheim / Bonn, 27 October 2009 - The Norwegian Ministry of the Environment has launched the Norwegian National Action Plan for the conservation of the globally threatened Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus).
Cambridge, 26 October 2009 - Villagers around Tanzania’s Lake Natron have vowed to protect the lake and its treasure of Lesser Flamingos Phoeniconaias minor from industrial development, pointing out that their own future depends on the sustainable use of the lake.
Bangkok, 22 October 2009 - The final Steering Committee meeting and Project Completion Workshop for the UNEP/GEF Siberian Crane Wetland Project (SCWP) were held in Harbin, China, from 12-15 October 2009.
Bonn, 22 October 2009 - Goose experts from 19 countries as well as representatives from several international organizations gathered at Höllviken, Sweden from 9 - 13 October 2009 for the 12th meeting of the IUCN/ Wetlands International Goose Specialist Group.
Gland, 9 October 2009 - The “Krkonose/Karkonosze subalpine peatbogs” were added on 21 September 2009 to the list of Transboundary Ramsar Sites during the 7th international conference on geoecological problems of the Karkonosze mountains, held in the Polish tourist village of Szklarska Proreba.
Cambridge, 9 October 2009 - The RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), have joined forces and are working with BirdLife Partners in Ghana (Ghana Wildlife Society), Burkina Faso (Naturama), the Netherlands (Vogelbescherming Nederland) and Denmark (Dansk Ornitologisk Forening) to mount the largest research project of its type to understand more about migratory birds that spend the non-breeding season south of the Sahara desert.
Cambridge, 6 October 2009 - Despite stormy weather across Europe over the past weekend, more than 63,000 adults and children from 35 countries set out to bid farewell to migratory birds, as many flew south for the non-breeding season. It was all part of EuroBirdwatch, the annual event organised by BirdLife International and its national Partners across the continent. This year BirdLife used EuroBirdwatch to highlight Born to Travel, the BirdLife Flyways Campaign, which aims to save migratory birds and their habitats.
Cambridge, 24 September 2009 - Fish-farmers from Hungary, and Romania, will attend a workshop on nature-friendly fish-farming, at Biharugra fishponds organised by MME (BirdLife in Hungary) this week. "The workshop is useful in so many ways”, said Simay Gábor, manager of the Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) project in Hungary. “It is a good opportunity to bring people together to exchange knowledge and experience about the main issues affecting their work in places so important for nature conservation”.
Ede, 17 September 2009 - Climate change is now named as the cause of the severe drought in eastern Africa. While this may be true, poor wetland management, especially unsustainable use of water resources, is the root cause of the totally drying up of normally wet areas. This situation currently threatens millions of people in the region and has already caused mass starvation of cattle and wildlife.
Bonn, 25 August 2009 – The first Steering Committee Meeting of the project on “Strengthening waterbird and wetland conservation capacities in North Africa (WetCap)” took place in Bonn, Germany at the UN Campus. The Steering Committee Meeting provided a first-time opportunity to assemble representatives of the core partner organizations involved in the technical and administrative delivery of the project to discuss the work plan for the first year of implementation.
Cambridge, 28 August 2009 - BirdLife has learnt that a Tanzanian Government Agency is seeking to buy mining equipment for large-scale soda ash extraction from Lake Natron – the most important breeding site for Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor [Near Threatened] in the world. “This is worrying indeed”, said Lota Melamari - the CEO of Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania (WCST-BirdLife in Tanzania).
Rutland, United Kingdom 21-23 August 2009 – The biggest birdwatching event in the world, the "British Birdwatching Fair", opened its doors on Friday, 21 August 2009 at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve, near Oakham, England. This year there were over 300 different organisations and companies exhibiting – a truly international gathering representing bird and wildlife interest from almost every corner of the globe.
Cambridge, 21 August 2009 - BirdLife International is launching a global bid to try to confirm the continued existence of 47 species of bird that have not been seen for up to 184 years. The list of potentially lost birds is a tantalising mix of species ranging from some inhabiting the least visited places on earth - such as remote islands and the western Himalayas – to those occurring in parts of Europe and the United States.
Bonn, 17 August 2009 – More than 500 children from around the world have sent in their pictures for this year’s World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) Painting Competition. The competition called upon children to express their thoughts on the 2009 World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) theme: “Barriers to Migration” which highlighted the effects man-made structures such as wind turbines, communication masts, tall buildings and windows, power lines and fences have on migratory birds.
Cambridge, 14 August 2009 - On 22 June 2009, the fourth season of the BirdLife Spring Alive Campaign successfully ended. This year 31 BirdLife European Partners participated, registering nearly 94,000 observations, many more than the 56,000 collected last year. Spring Alive is a European-wide campaign to promote children's interest in nature conservation through the celebration of the arrival of spring, and its core component is a mass-participation website, designed especially for children between 8 and 12 years old.
Gland, 12 August 2009 - The Ramsar Secretariat welcomes applications for the position of Communications Officer, ideally to begin on 11 January 2010. Excellent English language writing skills are required, ability also to work in French or Spanish an advantage. Duties include strategic planning for Ramsar communications, content writing for the Ramsar Web site (news, features, reports, etc.) and management of all Web site and Ramsar Forum material, responding to information requests from the public, among others.
Bonn, 7 August 2009 - The new Coordinator for the African Initiative, Ms. Evelyn Parh Moloko, entered on duty at the AEWA Secretariat on Wednesday, 5 August 2009 - the AEWA Team is happy to welcome her on board! Evelyn’s task as Coordinator is to draft a Plan of Action for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in Africa, including a proposal for priority areas, to be submitted for adoption to the 5th Meeting of the Parties (AEWA MOP5) in 2012.
Cambridge, 8 August 2009 - The LIFE Nature project for the long–term conservation of Corncrake Crex crex in Slovenia has been evaluated by the European Commission as one of the 26 Best LIFE Nature projects in 2007-2008. This project is of particular importance as DOPPS' data showed that the species has been declining since 2002. The project activities were conducted in three main Corncrake Natura 2000 areas in Slovenia including Ljubljansko barje, the main breeding area for Corncrakes, Cerknica lake and Nanoščica river basin, as in these areas its declining was particularly evident.
Cambridge, 3 August 2009 - Lake Burdur is internationally important for wintering and passage waterbirds, and has been threatened in recent years by pollution, urban development and unsustainable agricultural practices. In response, Doğa Derneği - the BirdLife Partner Designate for Turkey - recently drafted a sermon to educate the local community of Burdur on the importance of conserving their lake.
Bonn, 29 July 2009 - The latest edition of the Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) Project "E-News Update" was sent out to the WOW Partnership network today. The electronic newsletter provides an overview of all project-related news currently being featured on the WOW Project website.
Cambridge, 27 July 2009 - BirdLife has taken a major step towards the identification of Marine Important Bird Areas (mIBAs) for seabirds around the globe. “We now have agreed guidelines which can be used to track seabirds and analyse the data to identify Marine IBAs for any seabird species”, said Ben Lascelles – BirdLife’s Global Marine IBA officer.
Cambridge, 22 July 2009 - One of the rarest birds in North Africa and the Middle East has received a conservation boost from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
Gland, 20 July 2009 - The Alagol, Ulmagol and Ajigol lake complex (1400ha), Islamic Republic of Iran, comprises three small lakes and associated marshes situated in the semi-desert steppes at the southeast corner of the Caspian Sea near the border with Turkmenistan. In June 1975, this wetland was designated a Ramsar site because of its abundance and diversity of wintering waterbirds, a number of which are internationally threatened. In summer, the wetland also supports regionally significant populations of breeding waterbirds.
Cambridge, 17 July 2009 - BirdLife’s website is visited by over a million people every year, and is a fantastic resource for anybody interested in global conservation issues. “We’re now looking to improve our website and are asking people to use three minutes of their day to influence a global conservation partnership, and tell us what they think of our site”, announced Ade Long – BirdLife’s Head of Communications.
Ede, 17 July 2009 - Wetlands International has circulated a special 2009 Newsletter for National Coordinators of the International Waterbird Census (IWC) in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. This latest edition of the IWC Newsletter focuses on the international quest to find the Slender-billed Curlew (Numenius tenuirostris), the rarest bird in The Western Palearctic and Southwest Asia, with a last confirmed record in Hungary in 2001.
Nairobi, 16 July 2009 - The latest edition of the BirdLife International Africa Partnership Secretariat's E-Bulletin (April - June 2009) has been circulated to the BirdLife network in Africa. In addition to a number of interesting stories from BirdLife Partners in the region, this latest edition also contains a round-up on the many World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) activities which took place within the BirdLife Partnership in Africa in May this year.
Bauchi, 9 July 2009 - Mr. Garba Mohammed Boyi, the Project Manager of the Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) Project at the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands in Nigeria has been quoted in a recent allAfrica.com news article as saying "Hundreds of thousands of species of waterbirds migrate from European countries sometimes traveling a distance of over 5,000 Km to come to this area which is globally known as one of the best habitat for migratory waterbirds.
Cambridge, 2 July 2009 - Just two years ago, an exciting project was initiated to map the distribution of birds in Southern Africa using the efforts of keen civil society volunteers. Early on the morning of Monday 29 June, the millionth record was submitted to the project!
Bonn, 26 June 2009 - The Dutch-German Wadden Sea has been added to the List of World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at its meeting in Seville (Spain) this week (22-30 June 2009). The listing has put the Wadden Sea on the same footing as the Grand Canyon in the USA, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Serengeti in Tanzania along with other natural wonders of outstanding universal value on the World Heritage List.
Cambridege, 24 June 2009 - Recently, LIPU (BirdLife in Italy) and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, one of the main Italian banks, set up a credit card that helps nature. This topped-up card is safe and easy to use, both in Italy and abroad, and LIPU receives 3 Euros for every card issued.
Cambridge, 22 June 2009 - A Tanzanian group supported by The Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) has helped two local communities to become fully-certified sustainable forest managers. “This is a first for Africa”, said CLP project leader Steve Ball. “It ensures that the forests are managed sustainably and that local communities can earn over 100 times more from their woodlands than they have done previously”.
Cambridge, 18 June 2009 -Scientists who recently used Google Earth to help discover a hidden forest in Mozambique, have been finding a wealth of new species. "Whatever we see we pick up, and there's a high probability that it's going to be a new species”, said Dr Julian Bayliss - head of the cross-border conservation project.
Cambridge, 15 June 2009 - The work of BirdLife Partners throughout the Americas will benefit from $4.8 million in US Fish and Wildlife Service grants for projects supporting Neotropical migratory bird conservation.
Bonn, 11 June 2009 - Over three decades have passed since the concept of AFRING - an African bird ringing scheme, was raised. Experts agreed that gaps in the knowledge of bird population dynamics, movements and migration in Africa limited the ability to implement effective science-backed conservation action, and that a coordinated approach was necessary to fill these gaps. However, limited trained personnel and lack of funding prevented the formalization of a continent-wide coordinated scheme but the concept never died.
Cambridge, 8 June 2009 - Today, on world Oceans Day, a powerful new film - The End of the Line - highlights the problems of over-fishing, and predicts that many important stocks will be in a state of collapse by 2050. However, 17 Pacific island nations recently set a global precedent by ensuring that over 50 million square kms of ocean will be closed to tuna purse-seine fishing.
New York / Nairobi / Mexico City / Bonn, 5 June 2009 - Commemorated yearly on 5 June, World Environment Day (WED) is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.
Cambridge, 4 June 2009 - According to a new publication by Wetlands International, more than half the populations of waders in Europe, West Asia and Africa are declining at an accelerating rate.
Cambridge, 28 May 2009 - Bird migrations are likely to get longer according to the first ever study of the potential impacts of climate change on the breeding and winter ranges of migrant birds. The length of some migrations could increase by as much as 400 km. “The predicted future temperature changes and the associated changes in habitat could have serious consequences for many species”, said lead-author Nathalie Doswald of Durham University (UK).
Cambridge, 27 May 2009 - Thanks to a grant from Arcadia, formerly the Lisbet Rausing Charitable Trust, a new fund has been established to strengthen Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in key countries around the world.
Gland, 22 May 2009 - Click here to read the message from Mr. Anada Tiéga, the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on the International Day for Biological Diversity, 22 May 2009. The theme for the International Day on Biological Diversity (IDB) in 2009 is invasive alien species (IAS) - one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, and to the ecological and economic well-being of society and the planet. For more information on IDB please also visit the IDB 2009 website: http://www.cbd.int/idb/2009/
London/Ede, 20 May 2009 - More than half the populations of waders in Europe, West Asia and Africa are declining at an accelerating rate. There is a need for better protection of the key wetlands along their flyways, especially in Africa and the Middle East. This is the conclusion of the Wetlands International’s Wader Atlas, the first comprehensive overview of key site networks for waders in Europe, West-Asia and Africa, launched in London today.
Bonn, 15 May 2009 - Migratory birds have a considerable economic, ecological and cultural value. Birdwatching activities, such as the World Migratory Bird Day for instance, provide a turn-over of billions of US$ each year. If we want to continue profiting from, and enjoying, migratory birds, their ecological requirements will need to be met throughout their lifecycles, and all along their flyways.
Cambridge, 14 May 2009 - BirdLife International's latest evaluation of the world's birds has revealed that more species than ever are threatened with extinction. A staggering 1,227 species (12%) are now classified as Globally Threatened but the good news is that when conservation action is put in place, species can be saved.
Bonn, 8 May 2009 - This upcoming weekend (9-10 May 2009), thousands of people around the world will be taking part in World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) events to draw attention to the many man-made obstacles birds face during their migration.The central theme for this year’s World Migratory Bird Day - “BARRIERS TO MIGRATION” – aims to highlight the effects man-made structures such as wind turbines, communication masts, tall buildings and windows, power lines and fences have on migratory birds.
Ede, 8 May 2009 - In their long journeys each year millions of migratory birds must cross many frontiers and obstacles. Therefore, ’Barriers to Migration’ is the theme of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day (9-10 May 2009). The Follow the Bird! initiative of Wetlands International has shown that many birds do not make it back home; decreasing stopover wetland sites, hunters, power lines, and even airplanes cross their paths of thousands of kilometers.
Cambridge, 8 May 2009 - This weekend, thousands of people around the world are attending World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) events which highlight the barriers bird face during their long journeys. BirdLife Partners around the world are taking part, and are involved in joined up conservation projects to reduce threats faced by migratory birds.
Athens, 28 April 2009 - A conference on Biodiversity Protection beyond 2010 organized by the European Commission in Athens, took place in Greece from 27-28 April 2009. All important actors engaged in the development and implementation of EU biodiversity policy together with international institutions and globally recognized experts met in Athens to examine the progress made to halt the loss of biodiversity and the ways to improve its performance.
Cambridge, 22 April 2009 - The Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL; BirdLife in Lebanon) and A Rocha Lebanon have completed a three year, nationwide search for new Important Bird Areas (IBAs).
Ulcinj, 18 April 2009 - The first Adriatic Flyway Conference took place in Ulcinj, Montenegro from 14-17 April 2009. Nature conservationists and ornithologists from the Balkans joined 120 representatives from international organisations working in bird protection at this conference organised by EuroNatur and its partners. The main goal of the meeting was to facilitate the dialogue between these groups and to point out the major importance of the East Adriatic Coast within the Central European migration route.
Cambridge, 15 April 2009 - Barn Owls Tyto alba and Common Kestrels Falco tinnunculus are being encouraged by farmers in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority to control agricultural pests instead of using harmful chemicals. “The two species provide round-the-clock predation of mice, rats and voles and have been used throughout history as natural pest controllers”, said Dr Yossi Leshem - Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI; BirdLife in Israel). “A pair of Barn Owls alone can eat over 2,000 rodents in a year!”
8 April 2009 - The Tana River Delta is amongst the top three of Kenya's largest and most important freshwater wetland systems, with a significant local community of cattle herders and others dependent on it. However, the Tana River Delta is threatened by a proposed sugar and biofuel project. A sequence of 14 video's entitled “Is Tana's Sugar Really Sweet?” have been produced to illustrate the problems faced at the delta. To watch all the excellent videos, please click here.
Cambridge, 6 April 2009 - Nature Iraq (BirdLife in Iraq) has completed their fifth winter survey of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) across the country. “From Kurdistan in the north, to the Mesopotamian Marshlands in the south, our surveys have highlighted the global importance of Iraq for birds, biodiversity and people”, said Dr Azzam Alwash – CEO of Nature Iraq.
Cambridge/Brussels, 2 April 2009 - Efforts to conserve Europe’s threatened natural heritage received much-needed support from high-level decision makers in Brussels today. On the occasion of a BirdLife International event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the EU Birds Directive, the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Stavros Dimas expressed the need to strengthen efforts in halting the decline of species and habitats (biodiversity), building on existing nature legislation such as the Natura 2000 network of protected areas.
Ede, March 2009 - This milestone publication is a compilation of current knowledge of the numbers, distribution and movements of one of the most remarkable groups of birds in the region covered by the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA). Long-term waterbird count data have been combined with an extensive literature review, especially published results of bird ringing and national bird atlases, to produce maps showing the population boundaries that are used as a basis of the conservation of these species.
Bonn/ Cambridge/ Madrid/ Gland, 23 March 2009 - A new 3-year project on “Strengthening waterbird and wetland conservation capacities in North Africa (WetCap)” is embarking on its first year of implementation as of this month. Within the framework of this project capacity building activities will take place in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and Mauritania.
Cambridge, 21 March 2009 - More than 40% of migrant bird passing between Africa, the Middle East and Europe, have declined in the last three decades. Of these 10% are classified by BirdLife as Globally Threatened or Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. “Every year, migratory birds brave mountains, oceans, deserts and storms on their journeys to survive”, said Dr Marco Lambertini - CEO of BirdLife International.
Cambridge, 4 March 2009 - Climate change is already having a detectable impact on birds across Europe. This is the message from a group of scientists who have created the world’s first indicator of the impacts of climate change on wildlife at a continental scale. “We hear a lot about climate change, but our paper shows that its effects are being felt right now”, said lead author Dr Richard Gregory from the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK).
Cambridge / Rome, 3 March 2009 - The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has agreed a ground-breaking set of best practice guidelines to reduce the accidental deaths of seabirds in fisheries. The new guidelines extend the scope of the FAO’s seabird action plan from just longline fisheries, to also include trawling gear and gill-nets.
Gland, 2 March 2009 - The government of Mauritania has added its fourth site to the List of Wetlands of International Importance, Lac Gabou et le réseau hydrographique du Plateau du Tagant (9,500 hectares, 17°56'N 011°52'W). As summarized by Ramsar’s Cynthia Kibata from the Ramsar Information Sheet, the new site is composed of a network of rivers that flow from the mountainous region at the limit of the Sahel and Sahara to form Lac Gabou, with several temporary lagoons and ponds as well as freshwater springs and oases.
Cambridge, 2 March 2009 - BirdLife Partners from nine countries are meeting this week in Tunis to discuss progress of a major project to enhance monitoring of Africa’s biodiversity hotspots. Participants will discuss conservation challenges facing 160 of the most critical biodiversity sites across the continent.
Cambridge, 2 March 2009 - Dr. Marco Lambertini has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of BirdLife International by the BirdLife Global Council and took up this position on 1 March 2009. For the last 10 years, Marco has been Director of Network and Programme at BirdLife. Prior to this he was Director of LIPU (Italian Society for the Protection of Birds/BirdLife in Italy).
Bonn, 27 February 2009 - The Iraqi Marshlands - the largest wetland ecosystem in the Middle East are being threatened by a severe drought, intensive dam construction and irrigation schemes in Iraq and surrounding countries. The marshes used to cover an area of up to 15,000 square kilometers and secured the access to drinking water, providing livelihoods for Marsh Arabs and habitats for many migratory waterbirds.
Ede, 17 February 2009 - The largest waterbird congregation site in the Indian subcontinent is the site of a new international study of migratory birds and their role in the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1. The study, launched by the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and its partners, is the first of its kind in India.
Cambridge, 23 February 2009 - Tonight at a Clarence House reception, The Prince of Wales, will hear that many species of seabird – particularly 18 of the world’s 22 species of albatross threatened with extinction - have a brighter future thanks to a pioneering scheme uniting conservationists, the fishing industry and the South African government.
Gland, 23 March 2009 - The Ramsar Convention Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Federal Government of Switzerland (Federal Department for the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication) through the Swiss Agency for the Environment (OFEV) has once again agreed to provide financial resources for some of the Convention's activities in Africa for another year through the Swiss Grant for Africa (SGA). This year, the SGA will allow the Secretariat to support no fewer than six projects in the continent with an activity in almost each of the six subregions.
Cambridge, 20 February 2009 - Under the coordination of SEO/BirdLife (BirdLife in Spain) experts and volunteers have worked together for more than two years to create the first online encyclopedia of Spanish birds, aimed at introducing people to the wonders of the birds’ world.
Bonn, 16 February 2009 - The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat is currently inviting applications for the consultancy post of Coordinator for the Lesser White-fronted Goose Single Species Action Plan. The closing date for applications is March 9th, 2009. Please send applications and requests for further information directly to the UNEP/AEWA Secretariat.
Bonn, 12 February 2009 - The Common Wadden Sea Secretariat has published new population trends of 34 waterbird species that occur in the international Wadden Sea area. The main outcome of the recently completed assessment is that the population trends of one third of all counted waterbird species has decreased in the last 20 years.
Cambridge, 12 February 2009 - SOR (BirdLife in Romania) recently received evidence of illegal hunting activities taking place in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. At least eight dead or injured birds were found in the Uzlina area of the Danube Delta. The dead birds were Vulnerable Dalmatian Pelicans Pelecanus crispus and Pygmy Cormorants Phalacrocorax pygmaeus.
Bonn, 11 February 2009 - The first meeting of the Steering Group of the relaunched Slender-billed Curlew Working Group (SbCWG) took place yesterday at the UN Premises in Bonn in the framework of the Convention on Migratory Species’ (CMS) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the critically endangered species.
Bonn, 4 February 2009 - Launched on 2 February 2009, the website of the International Advisory Working Group of the Northern Bald Ibis is now accessible to the public. The new website provides information on different topics dealing with the biology and the conservation of the Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita).
A new fund has been established to boost species conservation and to help push it to the forefront of the environmental debate. The fund was initiated by His Highness Sheikh Mohames bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Unites Arab Emirates. The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund amounting to 25 million Euros, is now open for grant applications in the field of species conservation.
Ede, 2 February 2009 - World Wetlands Day. This year’s theme ‘Upstream-Downstream’ highlights how the world’s wetlands are connected to millions of people whose livelihoods, safety and security depend on them for water supply and their capacity to help regulate floods. Climate change will considerably magnify the problems that ongoing degradation of these river basins will bring to nature and people. Increasing the resilience of these wetlands is therefore a fundamental issue that must be part of climate change adaptation strategies.
Gland, 2 February 2009 - World Wetlands Day provides us all with one special opportunity every year to highlight the importance of the world’s wetlands to the planet’s health and to our own lives. This year’s theme – “Upstream, Downstream: wetlands connect us all” – is especially apropos, because it focuses our attention on the many ways in which our local wetlands depend upon, and influence, the actions of others, and it helps to demonstrate our need for cooperation and collaboration with many other stakeholders in other sectors of government and society and in other parts of our geographical regions.
Bonn, 2 February 2009 - With the slogan “Upstream-Downstream: Wetlands connect us all” World Wetlands Day (WWD) is being celebrated in many different countries around the world today. This year’s WWD theme underlines the importance of wetlands to people and biodiversity and highlights the interconnectiveness of ecosystems and the significance of wetlands as one of the most productive habitats of the world.
Cambridge, 30 January 2009 - The British Birdwatching Fair has once again delivered a huge boost to the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme with the presentation of cheque for £265,000 ($380,000) from the proceeds of the 2008 fair. This is the largest sum raised by the fair in its 20-year history and it represents a £39,000 ($56,000) increase on the sum raised in 2007.
Gland, 29 January 2009 - A new Ramsar video “Wetlands: keeping our planet alive and well” is now available on DVD in English, French, and Spanish versions. It was first screened at Ramsar COP10 in Changwon, Korea, to grand applause, and in fact was produced by Green.tv with generous financial support from the city of Changwon.
Ede, 29 January 2009 - Wetlands International signed today the agreement to offset all emissions of flights booked by its headquarters, according to the Gold Standard. The Climate Neutral Group will organize the offsetting programme by investing in alternative energies (wind energy) of an amount equal to the emissions of flying. The ambition of Wetlands International is to expand the compensation to other emissions and other parts of the global organisation as soon as administratively feasible.
Gland, 27 January 2009 - Only six more days until World Wetlands Day and even less if you plan to celebrate at the weekend, so now it is time for a final reminder and an update. Our slogan this year with its focus on river basin management, Upstream – Downstream: Wetlands connect us all, is already proving to be popular and we have many emails detailing peoples’ plans for WWD, as well as a number of emails informing us that our poster or leaflet has been customised and/or translated for national/local languages.
Cambridge, 26 January 2009 - Space may be the final frontier, but scientists who recently discovered a hidden forest in Mozambique show the uncharted can still be under our noses. BirdLife were part of a team of scientists who used Google Earth to identify a remote patch of pristine forest. An expedition to the site discovered new species of butterfly and snake, along with seven Globally Threatened birds.
Cambridge, 23 January 2009 - Situated on the central European-African flyway the Maltese Islands should be a haven for migrating birds. Unfortunately this is not the case. Internationally, Malta has a deserved reputation for bird persecution as trapping and illegal hunting are widespread. Since accession to the European Union (EU), conditions have improved on the islands, with spring hunting and trapping stopped last year. This year, if Accession Treaty negotiations are honoured, an even bigger step forward will be taken, with the banning of trapping.
Cambridge, 14 January 2009 - Forty five million. This is the number of migratory birds counted in a single year at French migration watch points and stored in the new Migraction database (www.migraction.net), the new internet tool of the Mission Migration (Migration Study Group). Since 2006, ornithologists and French nature protection groups have cooperated under the initiative of LPO (BirdLife in France) and other funding associations. Together, they have strived to improve the protection of migratory birds and their habitats.
A new website called the Tana River Delta website (www.tanariverdelta.org) hosted by A Rocha is providing information on a proposed project to turn the Tana River Delta into sugarcane plantations for suger production and "eco-friendly" bio-fuels.
Cambridge, 9 January 2009 - NABU (BirdLife in Germany) and their Bavarian partner - Landesbund für Vogelschutz (LBV) - have nominated Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis as their Bird of the Year 2009. The aim of this very popular initiative is to focus peoples attention on a particular species and its habitat. NABU started nominating the 'Bird of the Year' in 1971. The first one was Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus, which, thanks to this and many other conservation projects, is no longer on the Red List of threatened birds in Germany.
Cambridge, 7 January 2009 - A Sooty Falcon Falco concolor has been tracked from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to its wintering areas in Madagascar by the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD). This is the first satellite tracking of Sooty Falcon anywhere in the world. BirdLife believes this monitoring to provide useful information to help conserve this declining species. However, urgent action is now needed to protect breeding sites of this rare falcon on Abu Dhabi islands and elsewhere in the Gulf.
Bonn/London, 05 January 2009 - Congratulations to Mr. David Alan Stroud who has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the UK's 2009 New Year Honours list. This prestigious honour is an acknowledgement of Mr. Stroud’s commitment to nature conservation throughout the last 30 years.
Gland, 5 January 2009 - Congratulations to STRP member David Stroud, of the UK's Joint Nature Conservation Committee, who has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the UK's 2009 New Year Honours list, recently announced. David is recognised for this honour for his services to nature conservation. This is a hugely deserved recognition of David's tireless efforts for wetlands, waterbirds and much else both nationally and internationally.
Cambridge, 24 December 2008 - Scientists monitoring at Mount Moreland - South Africa’s largest Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica roost - have captured their first overseas ringed bird from a festively snowy location. The young Barn Swallow had flown all the way from Finland – a total of 11,000 km! “This is an amazing Christmas gift”, said Hilary Vickers of the Lake Victoria Conservancy – sponsors of the Mount Moreland ringing programme.
Gland, 23 December 2008 - The new Ramsar video “Wetlands: keeping our planet alive and well” is now available for download in English, French, and Spanish versions, both long and short. “The movie tells a story about the importance of wetlands for human beings and issues that these most precious resources are facing. The Ramsar Convention helps people to work together and manage these vital ecosystems.”
Cambridge, 19 December 2008 - Walt Disney have chosen Lake Natron’s Lesser Flamingos Phoeniconaias minor to star in their first wildlife blockbuster in nearly half a century. ‘The Crimson Wing - Mystery of the Flamingos’ takes viewers to the isolated shores of Lake Natron, in northern Tanzania, for a birds-eye view of the mysterious and perilous lives of Lesser Flamingos. The film was premiered in Paris this week, and reminds the world of the threats facing one the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles.
Wageningen, 18 December 2008 - Wetlands International Headquarters is moving! From 19th of December 2008, the Headquarters will be located at Horapark 9 in Ede, Gelderland Province in The Netherlands. The phone numbers also change. Nevertheless, the P.O. Box address remains the same.
Cambridge, 17 December 2008 - This week BirdLife International and Nature Seychelles (BirdLife in Seychelles) are celebrating the anniversary of one the world’s greatest conservation success stories. In 1968, Cousin Island was purchased by the International Council of Bird Preservation (ICBP now BirdLife International) to save the last remaining population of Seychelles Warbler Acrocephalus sechellensis from extinction. Forty years on, warbler numbers have risen by 300%, and the island has been transformed from a coconut plantation to a profitable Nature Reserve which greatly benefits local people and global biodiversity.
Gland/Cambridge, 16 December 2008 (from the RAMSAR Bulletin Board): "Dear Colleague, BirdLife International is seeking a new Chief Executive following the news that Mike Rands is moving on to be Executive Director of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. The attached Vacancy Announcement [PDF] provides all the details of what we require. But I wanted to ask you to spread the word as widely as possible and as quickly as possible. BirdLife is at a very exciting stage in its development - with a new Strategy and six Regional Programmes adopted at the Global Partnership Meeting last September, a strong, growing Partnership covering over 100 nations, and a very dynamic and professional staff spread over 18 Secretariat Offices. We need a decisive, forward-looking person with high standing to lead BirdLife forward in a very inclusive and collaborative way. Thank you for your help. Best wishes, Peter Johann Schei, Chair of BirdLife Council."
Gland, 11 December 2008 - From 28 to 30 November 2008, the UNEP-GEF Siberian Crane Wetland Project (SCWP; http://www.scwp.info/) held its 7th Project Steering Committee Meeting in Rome, Italy, to review the progress of the project activities carried out in 2008, as well as project outputs and outcomes expected in the coming year. Ramsar's Lew Young was there and has provided this report with photos.
Cambridge, 9 December 2008 - Protesters from Doğa Derneği (BirdLife in Turkey) unfurled a banner over the Turkcell Billboard in Istanbul on 25 November to highlight the construction of the Ilisu Dam. Showing panoramic views of Hasankeyf - a site marked for destruction as part of the dam construction -demonstrators, wearing the flags of Austria, Germany and Switzerland hung from the 20 metre high structure displaying their message: Hasankeyf today, tomorrow, forever.
Cambridge, 8 December 2008 - Large numbers of migrating Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina and White Stork Ciconia ciconia have been found dead near a water treatment plant in Egypt. The exact causes of their death are not known. However, a new BirdLife project will address key threats to soaring migratory birds as they undertake their epic journeys.
Cambridge, 4 December 2008 - The RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and other partners have launched a last push to find one of the world's rarest birds. They have issued a call to search for and find any remaining populations of Slender-billed Curlew, Numenius tenuirostris. This announcement was made at the Ninth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP-CMS COP 9), in Rome, Italy, 1-5 December.
Cambridge, 4 December 2008 - BirdLife have become the first non-governmental organisation to sign a new treaty protecting migratory raptors. The 'African-Eurasian Memorandum of Understanding on Birds of Prey' will help to protect migratory birds of prey and owls from threats such as habitat destruction, persecution, accidental killing and the effects of climate change. BirdLife Partners are already preparing to launch a new project which will address key areas of the agreement.
Rome, 4 December 2008 - the RSPB, BirdLife International and a number of other partners have begun an international campaign to find the last remaining individuals of one of the world's rarest birds - the Slender-billed Curlew. Launched at the Ninth Meeting of the United Nations Environment Programme's Convention on Migratory Species (CMS COP9) in Rome, the "quest" for the Slender-billed Curlew campaign is a last push to find this rare bird and to prevent it from becoming extinct.
Cambridge, 2 December 2008 - According to the latest data from the European Bird Census Council (EBCC) and BirdLife International, many of Europe’s formerly 'common' farmland birds continue to suffer from the effects of agricultural intensification. The updated European wild bird indicators, which were released on 2 December 2008, bring together the most comprehensive biodiversity data of their kind in Europe, collated by the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) – a partnership of leading ornithologists and statisticians from the European Bird Census Council, BirdLife International, the Royal Society for the Protection of the Birds (RSPB; BirdLife in the UK), and Statistics Netherlands. The indicators cover the period from 1980-2006, and have been recognised as a vital barometer of the state of biodiversity and the environment in general by the EU’s sustainable development strategy.
Gland, 1 December 2008 - Networking with wetland managers in Nordic-Baltic countries was the focus of the 4th seminar of the Nordic-Baltic Wetland Initiative on 23-25 September 2008 in Finland. It brought together 35 Ramsar focal points from national and provincial administrative authorities, wetland managers, environmental monitoring specialists and others. The main theme of the seminar was wetland management planning, aiming to increase the exchanges between Nordic and Baltic countries of lessons learnt and to form active planning networks for the future.
Cambridge, 1 December 2008 - Speaking at a recent Conference of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Tanzania's Environment Minister outlined the value of Lake Natron as the world's most important breeding site for Lesser Flamingos Phoeniconaias minor. Dr Batilda Salha Buriani stated that Lake Natron is: "The sole breeding ground of up to 2.5 million flamingos ... representing 75% of the global population".
Cambridge, 28 November 2008 - A collaborative project by BirdLife and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF; BirdLife in Nigeria) has empowered a community to improve a local wetland. Habitat management has greatly improved the wetland, and local people are already catching more and bigger fish. The forthcoming annual waterbird count will soon reveal how birds have also benefited.
Cambridge, 27 November - A pilot project in Burkina Faso, Botswana and Kenya implemented by BirdLife Africa Partners, has confirmed that communities do benefit from the sustainable use of natural resources. Over the last four years, the 'Improving Livelihoods' scheme has demonstrated clear links between biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction. "The livelihood security of millions of rural people all over Africa is inextricably linked with biodiversity and the use of biological resources, either through the direct use of the goods which they supply to people, or indirectly through the wider environmental and cultural services", said Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson, BirdLife Director for Africa and Secretariat Head. "This is what BirdLife in Africa has been showcasing through this project and it's satisfying to see results".
Cambridge, 26 November 2008 - Analysis of this year's seabird breeding data on RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) coastal reserves shows that Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea and Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus – more commonly known as Arctic Skua - have had a terrible season, with virtually no chicks reared to fledging in the far north of the UK. Changes in food supply, which may be linked to climate change, could threaten the future of these species in the UK.
Cambridge, 25 November 2008 - Following last year's critically acclaimed first edition, Rare Birds Yearbook 2009 has just been published. Featuring the world's 190 Critically Endangered species the book is compiled in cooperation with BirdLife International, the IUCN Red List authority on birds. The book provides an entry of up to two pages for each Critically Endangered species, complete with its history, the latest information on its status, and the measures that are being taken to protect it, and the 2009 edition has stunning new images of the world's rarest birds.
Cambridge, 24 November 2008 - A toolkit that synthesises lessons learnt by the BirdLife Africa Partnership in the identification, monitoring and conservation of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) was recently launched. “This toolkit will be valuable, not only to the members of the BirdLife Partnership, but also to other practitioners interested in biodiversity conservation”, said Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson, Regional Director for BirdLife in Africa.
Cambridge, 21 November 2008 - A group working to conserve the Kikuyu Escarpment forest Important Bird Area (IBA) in Kenya has won the prestigious Equator Prize for 2008. The Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO) were chosen from 310 nominations and received the award at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, in Barcelona, Spain.
Cambridge, 19 November 2008 - SVS (BirdLife in Switzerland) and the Swiss Ornithological Institute recently published ‘Important Bird Areas in Switzerland'. The book describes 31 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) which are important for 29 bird species that meet the qualifying criteria. It will be distributed to decision-makers to help gain more protection for these key sites.
Cambridge, 14 November 2008 - A British company wants to mine coal in the heart of one of South Africa’s most ecologically sensitive natural environments. Conservationists believe the prospecting rights obtained by Delta Mining, which is now majority owned by London Mining plc, is illegal and poses one of the most serious threats to the country’s natural heritage for decades. The extraction of coal from almost 200 km2 of the Wakkerstroom/Luneburg region, a vast area of wetlands and grassland east of Pretoria, would destroy habitats used by over 300 bird species including South Africa’s national bird, Blue Crane Grus paradisea (Vulnerable).
Bonn, 10 November 2008 - The recently adopted “International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the Lesser White-fronted Goose (Western Palearctic Population)” provides a framework for coordinated international action to conserve this threatened species across its full migratory range spanning Europe and parts of Asia.
Adopted at the Fourth Meeting of the Parties to the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement in Antananarivo, Madagascar, the plan sets the stage for strengthened cooperative conservation action between 22 Eurasian countries in which this species regularly occurs.
Cambridge, 7 November 2008 - The wonder of bird migration recently united two communities separated by water, culture and religion. At an event coorganised by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL; BirdLife in Lebanon), the people of Anjar and Kfar Zabad villages jointly celebrated the cultural importance of bird migration as part of BirdLife’s World Bird Festival. The event was held at the Bekaa wetlands and marked the announcement of Hima Anjar, which will strengthen the existing Hima Kfar Zabad. Hima is a traditional Islamic system under which communities manage natural areas and protect them from over-exploitation.
Wageningen, 7 November 2008 - A new and stunning book was published by Wetlands International on intertidal mudflats of the Yellow Sea, which are under critical threat by unsustainable development. The book offers a wonderful photographic journey that follows the migration of fshorebirds flying from their breeding grounds in the Arctic through East Asia to Australia.
Cambridge, 3 November 2008 - A new resolution has been agreed which recognises the importance of promoting international cooperation for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats. The resolution was passed today (3 November 2008) in South Korea at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
Cambridge, 28 October 2008 - BirdLife International is highlighting a new report published by Birdwatch Ireland (BirdLife in Ireland) and RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) which has identified alarming declines in a number of bird populations across the island of Ireland.
Information on Ireland’s bird populations has been collected by both professional and amateur birdwatchers and 199 species were assessed. Bird species have been placed on either Red, Amber or Green Lists with the Red List containing those bird populations that have declined by over 50% or those that are globally threatened.
Cambridge, 27 October 2008 - Three Critically Endangered Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita have been found poisoned in a remote Jordanian desert, hundreds of miles from their breeding grounds in Turkey. The three birds were being tracked by satellite after leaving Birecik, south-eastern Turkey, where one of only four colonies of Bald Ibis remains.
Changwon, 27 October 2008 - The Secretariat staff are all now in Changwon or on the way there, setting up for the COP and getting ready to greet the participants at the front door. The Standing Committee meets on Monday, 27 October, regional caucuses will meet all the next day, 28 October, and then the COP’s opening ceremonies, led by the President of the Republic of Korea, will take place on Tuesday evening, with plenaries continuing through to 4 November. It’s not clear how much time we’ll have to post news of the events on the Ramsar Web site, but interested readers can follow all of the excitement in detail in the daily reports of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin team: http://www.iisd.ca/ramsar/cop10/
Wageningen, 27 October 2008 - Wetlands International advocates chances for the proposed resolutions of this week’s Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Many proposed changes demand attention for the link between wetland loss and climate change and for biofuels.
Bonn, 23 October 2008 - the decision to increase international efforts to conserve waterbirds and their habitats in Africa was made by government representatives from 80 African, Asian and European countries attending the Fourth Meeting of the Parties to AEWA (MOP4) in Antananarivo, Madagascar, 15-19 September 2008. At the meeting delegates adopted, among others, AEWA Resolution 4.9 on the Initiative for the Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds and their Habitats in Africa, which calls for the mobilization of resources to support the new initiative aimed at building capacity for and strengthening the coordination of the conservation of waterbirds and their habitats in Africa.
Cambridge, 16 October 2008 - On Sunday October 12 BirdLife Malta (BirdLife in Malta) congratulated the Maltese government on the recent declaration of protection areas in the Maltese islands under the European Natura 2000 network. “The government’s recent decision to fully protect all the eleven Important Bird Areas (as identified by BirdLife International) of the Maltese Islands as Special Protection Areas for birds as well as the important Ta’ Cenc habitat under the EU Natura 2000 network is an excellent move to safeguard Malta’s wildlife and will be beneficial for people and tourism. We congratulate all staff of the Maltese Environment & Planning Authority for all the hard work they put in to realizing these designations”, said Tolga Temuge, BirdLife Malta’s Executive Director.
Bonn, 2 October 2008 - A total of twenty migratory waterbird species, including several species of auks, frigate birds, gannets and tropic birds have been added to Annex 2 of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (UNEP/AEWA).
Cambridge, 22 September 2008 - Common birds are in decline across the world, providing evidence of a rapid deterioration in the global environment that is affecting all life on earth – including human life. All the world’s governments have committed themselves to slowing or halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010. But reluctance to commit what are often trivial sums in terms of national budgets means that this target is almost certain to be missed.
Antananarivo, 15-19 September 2008 - several members from the WOW Project Team were among the 160 representatives of government and non-governmental organisations as well as waterbird experts from 80 countries which met in Antananarivo, Madagascar from 15-19 September 2008 to discuss urgent conservation responses necessary to reverse the declines of many migratory waterbird species along the African-Eurasian Flyways.
Cambridge, 9 September 2008 - BirdLife International’s World Conservation Conference is an exceptional global event, gathering together the 108 national conservation organisations that make up the BirdLife International Network. The worldwide event is being held at the Sheraton Convention Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina from 22-27 September 2008.
Bonn / Antananarivo, 4 September 2008 – Over 150 representatives of government and non-governmental organisations as well as waterbird experts from 80 countries will meet in Madagascar to discuss urgent conservation responses necessary to reverse the declines of many migratory waterbird species along the African-Eurasian Flyways.
The meeting will highlight most recent findings showing continuing declines of many waterbird species in Africa and Eurasia and delegates will be discussing how best to restore the status of these species to meet the target of halting the decline of global biodiversity by 2010.
Wageningen, 4 September 2008 - Ten Purple Herons can be monitored from today onwards in their migration to Africa. These herons are equipped with satellite transmitters, which allow their position to be determined with a ten meter accuracy. The flyway of the Purple Heron can be observed online on the Vogelbescherming website (BirdLife in the Netherlands) at: www.vogelbescherming.nl/purperreiger (This website is in Dutch)
Bonn, 22 August 2008 - The AEWA Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Republic of Estonia - the third Baltic State besides Lithuania and Latvia – will accede to the Agreement as of 1 November 2008 and will raise AEWA membership to 62 countries.
Gland, 20 August 2008 - Tanzania’s Lake Natron Basin was added to the Ramsar List in 2001 as a representative example of a Rift Valley soda lake that is the only significant and regular breeding site for the East African population of lesser flamingo Phoenicopterus minor. This population represents over 75% of the world population of this species. Ramsar Advisory Mission (RAM) No. 59, comprising Ramsar, CMS, and AEWA experts in a joint effort, took place from 17 to 29 February 2008 to provide advice to the Tanzanian government concerning the wise use and future management of the Lake Natron site, with particular reference to the proposed development of a soda ash facility that would abstract liquid brine from Lake Natron and process it nearby.
Cambridge, 14 August 2008 - Hunting migratory birds is a culturally and economically important activity in the North African and Middle Eastern countries bordering the Mediterranean. BirdLife International and its Partners in the region have just completed the three-year Sustainable Hunting Project to strengthen the management of bird hunting, reduce excessive, indiscriminate and illegal hunting of migratory birds, and enhance compliance with international and regional agreements on migratory bird conservation.
Washington, 20 July 2008 (Reuters) - The world's wetlands, threatened by development, dehydration and climate change, could release a planet-warming "carbon bomb" if they are destroyed, ecological scientists said on Sunday. Wetlands contain 771 billion tons of greenhouse gases, one-fifth of all the carbon on Earth and about the same amount of carbon as is now in the atmosphere, the scientists said before an international conference linking wetlands and global warming.
Bonn, 17 July 2008 – Mr. Mark Anderson in the Individual Category and OMPO (Oiseaux Migrateurs du Paléarctique Occidental) in the Institutional Category are the winners of the 2008 AEWA Waterbird Conservation Award. The award, which recognizes contributions to the conservation, research and monitoring of migratory waterbirds, as well as support to the development of the Agreement, will be presented at the opening ceremony of the 4th session of the Meeting of the Parties to AEWA on 15 September 2008 in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
Cambridge 11 July 2008 - Two of central Asia’s most important steppe-wetland Important Bird Areas (IBAs), Tengiz-Korgalzhyn and Naurzum have been recognised as being of the same outstanding natural value as sites such as Yellowstone National Park and the Galapagos Islands.
Cambridge, 10 July 2008 - Development on the banks of Kamfers Dam outside the Northern Cape capital of Kimberley is threatening the only breeding population of Lesser Flamingos Phoeniconaias minor in South Africa. Kamfers Dam supports one of only four breeding populations in Africa. These birds bred during 2008, with an incredible 9,000 chicks hatching on the dam’s artificial flamingo breeding island. It is anticipated that regular breeding will reverse the negative population trend of this globally Near-Threatened species.
Wakkerstroom, 7 July 2008 - All the respondents (which include, the department of Minerals and Energy and Delta Mining company) have been served for the first High Court application and we are currently in the process of finalising the supporting documentation for the second application which is for farms that are directly adjacent to the first High Court application area.
Cambridge, 3 July 2008 - The Yemen Council of Ministers has recently approved the Golden-winged Grosbeak as Yemen's national bird. This colourful bird, with a huge beak for eating fruits and seeds, occurs in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen.
The WOW demonstration project team in the Silma Nature Reserve in north west Estonia, implemented by the Estonian State Nature Conservation Centre (SNCC), is excited by this year’s bird monitoring data. In spring 2008 the WOW demonstration area was the main stopover site in Estonia for the globally endangered Lesser White-fronted Goose (LWfG), Anser erythropus. This past April and May, at least 22 different birds were observed at the demonstration site.
Wageningen, 25 June 2008 - Wetlands International is shocked by the decision of the Kenyan government to convert large tracts of the Tana wetlands in Kenya into sugarcane-for-ethanol plantations. This dramatic development confirms the NGO’s recent outlook ‘Biofuels in Africa’, which shows that biofuel production in Africa will lead to loss of wetlands and rainforest.
Cambridge, 25 June 2008 - A workshop to develop an International Single Species Action Plan for Endangered White-winged Flufftail Sarothrura ayresi has been held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The workshop was convened by the Africa Partnership Secretariat of BirdLife International, and hosted by the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society (EWNHS, BirdLife in Ethiopia).
The Wings Over Wetlands workshop, held in Amman, Jordan, from 9-16 June 2008, was the near-final step in the development of the Training and Awareness component of the WOW project, and Sandra Hails, the Ramsar Secretariat’s CEPA Programme Officer, was in attendance from 13-16th. Make sure to read her full report on the Ramsar Website!
Bonn, 13 June 2008 - Trend calculations of 34 waterbird species for the entire Wadden Sea and the four regions – The Netherlands, the Federal States of Germany, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, and Denmark have been prepared by the Joint Monitoring of Migratory Birds (JMMB) Group.
It shows that decreasing trends of several migratory waterbird species were detected in the Wadden Sea. Particularly, the trends detected for the main migration periods gave reason for concern: of the 34 species, for which the Wadden Sea represents a major stepping stone during migration, 15 species (44%) show significant decreases and 7 species (21%) show non-significant decreases.
Cambridge, 5 June 2008: BirdLife International has welcomed the launch of a report that highlights the increasing international recognition that while growth in bioenergy offers new opportunities for sustainable development, it also carries significant environmental risks.
Cambridge, 2 June 2008 - A recent workshop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, outlined how data management, analysis and presentation underpins effective conservation action and advocacy.
Bonn/Brussels May 29, 2008 – Today at the 9th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Bonn (Germany), special attention was paid to the Natura 2000 network, one of the greatest achievements of EU environmental policy. This network of more than 26,000 protected areas is Europe’s main contribution to the CBD’s efforts to halt global loss of biodiversity. Speaking in front of government and NGO representatives from around the world, Ahmed Djoghlaf, the Executive Secretary of the CBD, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas and the Ministers of Environment of Slovenia and Germany stressed the unprecedented scale, the importance, but also the challenges of implementing Natura 2000, especially in a densely populated continent like Europe.
Bonn/Nairobi, 8 May 2008 - The theme for this year's World Migratory Bird Day: "Migratory Birds - Ambassadors for Biodiversity" draws attention to the link between migratory birds and wider biodiversity as well as the overall state of our environment. Birds are considered to be some of the best indicators for the status and trends of wider biodiversity as they connect, and are inhabitants of, virtually all ecosystems in the world.
Birdwatchers and conservationists in dozens of countries will mark World Migratory Bird Day on the weekend of 10-11 May 2008 with concerts, films and other public events to draw attention to the rising threat to migratory birds and global biodiversity.
Wakkerstroom, 21 April 2008 - Recent reports from Birdlife South Africa (BLSA) indicate that the conservation of the Wakkerstoom Wetlands (one of the WOW Demonstration sites) may be jeopardised by looming threats of mining exploration in the area. BLSA and several local NGOs and community groups are working together to ensure that conservation and community concerns are duly taken into account by relevant national authorities. For more information please visit the BLSA website.
Cambridge, 9 April 2008 - Avitourism (birding’s ecotourism) is proving be one of BirdLife South Africa’s most powerful conservation tools. Tourism has outperformed all other sectors in South Africa’s economy, with two popular ‘Birding Routes’ generating an estimated US$6.4 million annually for local people. As a result, BirdLife South Africa has announced the development of six new Birding Routes in the Western Cape and Cape Town areas.
Gland, April 2008 - The Federal Ministry of Environment of Nigeria has designated an additional nine wetlands for the Ramsar List, following on from the designation of "Lake Chad Wetlands in Nigeria" announced a few weeks ago and all effective as of 30 April 2008. Taken together, the sites present a fascinating array of wetland types, including swamp forests, river floodplains, mangroves, and lakes, and all of them are extremely important for their support for flora and fauna and for the ecosystem services they provide for the local communities.
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The idea behind FLYWAY NEWS is to collect current waterbird and wetland conservation related news from different sources and from across Africa and Eurasia and to feature it on one central page. Our goal is to try to give visitors a simple overview of topics, stories and issues currently "making headlines" in the international waterbird and wetland conservation community.
News items featured on this page come from and link back to a number of known sources (see list below). The only selection criteria we apply is that the news is related to waterbird and wetland conservation (in the broadest sense) in the African-Eurasian region.
Please help us keep this page updated, by sending us relevant news or by pointing us to other online news sources you may know.
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FLYWAY NEWS SOURCES
[as of 2 April 2008]
BirdLife International News
Ramsar Bulletin Board
Wetlands International News