Op-ed

Renewable Energy – How to Make It More Bird-Friendly

The slogan for this year’s World Migratory Bird Day (May 9) campaign is “Energy – make it bird-friendly”. Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) and Patricia Zurita, Chief Executive of BirdLife International, explain how important it is to ensure that major infrastructure and policy relating to low carbon and renewables are developed in harmony with nature.

11 May 2015

Towards a World United for Migratory Birds

Culturally, ecologically and economically, our natural heritage – i.e. wildlife in general and migratory species in particular – is of immeasurable value. By spreading seeds, controlling pests and providing food migratory birds help sustain human life. Their cyclical journeys herald the changing seasons, filling the skies with their V-shaped formations in the spring and autumn. They feature in myths and legends; their epic journeys that can span oceans and continents, their plumage, courtship dances and aerobatics inspire awe and wonder. Birdwatching is a worldwide industry which has millions of participants, is worth billions of dollars, is sustainable and can bring considerable benefits to the environment.

11 May 2015

How Lax Legislation Is Killing the Wildlife in Europe

Reports of elephants and rhino being massacred for their tusks or horns due to demand in Asia often make the headlines. But illegal activities are not confined to trade in luxury items destined for markets in Asia – serious infractions of conservation law are happening in Europe too. Some countries have not fully transposed their commitments under international treaties and EU law in national legislation. Sometimes, excellent provisions contained in national laws are not effectively enforced. In other cases, such as skylarks, the number of animals taken legally are unsustainable. To prevent further declines, more realistic quotas should be set and better management measures adopted.

03 March 2015

War on Wildlife Crime – Time to Enlist the Ordinary Citizen

With 3 March designated as World Wildlife Day, Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, examines the problem of wildlife crime from the angle of asking what the individual citizen can do to help fight to save our living natural heritage.

01 March 2015

The Future of Wetlands, the Future of Waterbirds – an Intercontinental Connection

To mark the anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention – an intergovernmental agreement seeking to protect wetlands of international importance – the 2nd of February each year is celebrated as “World Wetlands Day” which is a significant event in the calendar of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) too. Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of AEWA, explains why.

02 February 2015

CMS COP11: A Substantive Summary of Critical Outcomes

The eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP11), coinciding with the Convention's 35th anniversary of being signed, was a watershed in many respects.

18 December 2014

To Conserve Arctic Species – Take Action in Africa

So great are the contrasts between the frozen empty expanses of the far north and Africa’s baking deserts, steamy rain forests and savannahs that any direct connections between the two seem far-fetched - if they indeed exist at all. In fact, migratory birds provide an environmental tie linking the Arctic and Africa and are the reason why the UN Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) and the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, have entered a commitment to cooperate.

05 December 2014

A Wildlife Awakening

The World Wildlife Fund’s recently published Living Planet Report 2014 brings some alarming news: wildlife numbers have halved over the last four decades.

04 November 2014

OPINION: Renewable Energies – a Double-Edged Sword

Two United Nations bodies appear to be on collision course over the development of renewable energy. Bradnee Chambers, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Migratory Species, explains that, while renewable energy has advantages, there are some pitfalls to be avoided.

25 October 2014

Man Bites Shark

Sharks have long been portrayed as man-eaters, a menace to any swimmer brave (or foolish) enough to share the water with them. But this perception could not be further from reality.

17 October 2014