A healthy planet for migratory birds and people
All the activities organized for World Migratory Bird Day are united by a common theme. With the 2017 theme "Their Future is our Future", WMBD will throw light on the topic of "Sustainable Development for Wildlife and People". WMBD 2017 will highlight the interdependence of people and nature, and more especially people and migratory animals - in particular birds, as they share the same planet and thus the same limited resources. The 2017 campaign will aim at raising awareness on the need for a sustainable management of our natural resources, demonstrating that birds conservation is also crucial for the future of humankind.
There are many different migration patterns. The majority of birds migrate from northern breeding areas to southern wintering grounds. However, some birds breed in southern parts of Africa and migrate to northern wintering grounds, or along lines of latitude, to enjoy the milder coastal climates in winter. Other birds reside in lowlands during the winter months and move to higher altitudes for the summer.
Migration is a perilous journey and exposes the animals to a wide range of threats, often caused by human activities. As migratory birds depend on a range of sites throughout their journey along their flyway, the loss of wintering and stopover sites could have a dramatic impact on the animals' chances of survival.
Flying long distances involves crossing many borders between countries with differing environmental policies, legislation and conservation measures. International cooperation among governments, NGOs and other stakeholders is required along the entire flyway of a species in order that knowledge can be shared and conservation efforts coordinated. The legal framework and coordinating instruments necessary for such cooperation is provided by multilateral environmental agreements such as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA).