Migratory Birds of Lebanon Stamp Unveiling Event

Lebanon is an important country for migration as it is on the second most important migration routes in the world. There are two types of migrating birds 1) Broad front migrants, mainly small-medium sized birds that travel within the same country in a broad front and can cross water 2) Soaring birds – these are mostly larger birds. These birds soar because they cannot flap over large distances; they gain great height from rising air currents, and then gliding down on broad spread wings. Thus, they cannot cross large water bodies, as no thermals form overseas, so they are concentrated on coastal routes around the Mediterranean such as Lebanon! Lebanon lies on the second most important flyway for bird migration in the world and at least 400 species of birds have been recorded with 291 regularly occurring in Lebanon.

Under the patronage of Mrs. Claudine Aoun Roukoz, special advisor of the president of the Republic of Lebanon General Michel Aoun, SPNL celebrated the “World Migratory Bird Day” on 13 May 2017. Mrs. Aoun Roukoz gave her speech on the importance of protecting the migrating birds over Lebanon, and reaching a peace agreement with the trees and birds. The aim of the event was awareness-raising for children that highlighted the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats, involving a wide spectrum of stakeholders related to responsible hunting, and where SPNL presented and developed a 5 year national action plan and road map against IKBs. 

The WBMD for year 2017 was under the theme “Their Future is our Future - A healthy planet for migratory birds and people”, highlighting the topic “Sustainable Development for Wildlife and People“. The 2017 campaign aimed at raising awareness on the need for a sustainable management of natural resources, cultural assets, demonstrating that birds conservation is also crucial for the future of humankind and the important role of youth as leaders for change.

His Excellency General Michel Aoun, President of th Lebanese Republic, called for the protection of migratory birds through peace treaty between Man and nature, between Man & birds. The Presidential office then established a national committee to address this issue and follow up on the peace treaty.  Having said this, an International Communication Campaign “Safe Flyways – Reducing Mediterranean IKB 2017-2020” is being implemented by Birdlife International partners where SPNL is leading in Lebanon. The campaign was launched with a Migratory Birds of Lebanon Stamp Unveiling event at the Presidential Palace on the 13th of May 2019. 

The event has highlighted three bird-themed stamps to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day as messengers of  the miracle of migration, the beauty and importance of birds and the challenges threating their existance. The event was an awareness campaign to protect certain migratory birds in Lebanon. The postage stamps, which were unveiled during the celebration at Baabda Palace, had drawings of migratory birds that are significant to Lebanon’s biodiversity. Carrying the theme of the World Migratory Bird Day of the year 2019, a young representative from the Lebanese Environment Forum gave a word on plastic pollution and the protection of birds from this threat. The campaign has reintroduced bird species to the national stamps that are used regularly for governmental documents and collected by stamp-collectors. 

Among the attendees were First Lady Nadia Al Chami Aoun, Minister of Telecommunications Mohammad Choucair, Minister of Justice Albert Sarhan, and a number of ambassadors, government representatives, environmentalists and general directors, along with the President’s special advisor Claudine Aoun Roukoz.

“Today, we celebrate the launch of “migratory birds” postage stamps hoping to educate people about these birds in order to make Lebanon, a safe haven for them.” The president said at the event. “Despite signing the U.N. Convention on Biodiversity in 1992, Lebanon is still considered a dangerous zone in which birds lose their lives and, which is no longer acceptable,” he added. “Respecting the laws of nature is not a luxury,” President Aoun continued, “The human, animal and plant worlds must live in perfect harmony, otherwise there will be disastrous effects for all three, and any fault in these worlds impact negatively on the others".

Mr. Ibrahim Khader, Regional Director of Birdlife Middle East Secretariat and Assad Serhal, Director-General of SPNL (BirdLife Lebanon) presented the president with BirdLife’s trophy to thank him for promoting responsible hunting of migratory birds and for his role in nature conservation in Lebanon.

Baabda
Beirut 33° 50' 1.6692" N, 35° 32' 38.922" E
Start date: 
Monday, May 13, 2019 - 11:00
End date: 
Monday, May 13, 2019 - 12:30
Website: 
www.spnl.org