Bonn, 23 May 2016 – Every year more than 25 million of migratory birds are illegally killed or taken across the Mediterranean. They are shot or caught with nets and other indiscriminate traps. With the slogan “… and when the skies fall silent? Stop the illegal killing, taking and trade!”, World Migratory Bird Day 2016 highlighted the incredible numbers of migratory birds being lost each year as a result of these activities.
On and around 10 May 2016, dedicated organizations, governments and people all over the world helped raise awareness on this problem by running educational programmes, lectures, bird walks, visits to bird-watching sites, art exhibitions and other public events which were registered on the World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) website. The outcome is astonishing: more than 300 registered events in 85 countries.
These figures show an increase by 50% in the number of registered events and an increase by more than 20% in terms of countries involved compared with last year. There are 10 countries that have organized WMBD events every year since the first World Migratory Bird Day in 2006: Argentina, Canada, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Israel, South Africa and USA. Moreover, this year four new countries joined the World Migratory Bird Day celebration by organizing and registering awareness-raising events: Bhutan, Democratic People Republic of Korea, Mauritius and Myanmar.
For World Migratory Bird Day 2016, several key supporters and partners from around the world provided statements on the value of migratory bird conservation and the 2016 theme, including UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
The competition for the official trailer for the 2016 World Migratory Bird Day saw Gorontalo region in Indonesia as the location featured in the winning entry, which was shot by Iwan Hunowu using a drone for capturing the wide view of the landscape and a camera for capturing the birds. Interestingly, this area hosted a WMBD event, including several educational activities aimed at raising awareness on this year’s theme.
2016 also marks the 10th anniversary of the global WMBD campaign. Since 2006, more than 2,300 events have been registered in 139 different countries and territories worldwide. Everywhere, people and organizations have run suites of WMBD theme-related educational activities such as exhibitions, birding tours and lectures in order to highlight the importance of the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats.
About World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)
World Migratory Bird Day was initiated in 2006 by the Secretariats of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA). This is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. Each year, on and around 10 May, people around the world take action and organize public events such as bird festivals, education programmes, exhibitions and bird-watching excursions to celebrate WMBD. Find out more on the WMBD website.
WMBD also generated a lot of media interest around the world. Please have a look at our press clippings for the 2016 World Migratory Bird Day.
This article was written by Luigi Capano Raineri during his internship at the Common Information Management, Communication and Outreach Team of the UNEP/CMS and UNEP/AEWA Secretariats.