World Migratory Bird Day 2017

Their Future is Our Future

A Healthy Planet for Migratory Birds and People

10 May 2017


What is World Migratory Bird Day?

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was initiated in 2006 and is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. It has a global outreach and is an effective tool to help raise global awareness of the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.

Every year people around the world take action and organize public events such as bird festivals, education programmes, exhibitions and bird-watching excursions to celebrate WMBD. All these activities can also be undertaken at any time on the year because that countries or regions observing the peak of migrations at different times, but the main day for the international celebrations is 10 May.

The 2017 Theme

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.

Who We Are

World Migratory Bird Day relies on a strong partnership: key organizations engaged in the conservation of migratory birds take action internationally and coordinate their activities around the annual theme of the campaign. The 2017 theme for World Migratory Bird Day is therefore in line with the priorities and activities of its key partners: BirdLife International (BLI), the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), Wetlands International, the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) and UN Environment (UNEP).

The campaign itself is coordinated by the Secretariats of the Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP/CMS) and the Agreement on the Conservation of African Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (UNEP/AEWA). CMS will hold its 12th Conference of the Parties in the Philippines in October 2017 under the slogan "Sustainable Development for Wildlife and People".

The Concept of Flyways: Why Migratory Birds Need Protection – all along their Flyways

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).

Get Involved

Are you an individual or an organization willing to participate in a way or another in World Migratory Bird Day?
Are you planning to organize an event?
Are you interested in learning more about these birds and the challenges they face?
Then simply visit the World Migratory Bird Day website and past year campaigns at The 2017 edition website is still under preparation and is scheduled to be available at the beginning of February 2017 for event registrations and many other activities and information. Stay tuned!

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WMBD 2017 [For WEB] WMBD 2017 [For PRINT]

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We look forward to celebrating migratory birds with you!