You are here

WMBD 2017 Celebrations in Egypt

Birdwatching at the WMBD celebration 2017 in Ain El Sokhna, Egypt

Egypt celebrated World Migratory Bird Day 2017 in Ain El Sokhna which is known to be an important bottleneck for migratory birds. Participants were birdwatchers, photographers and nature lovers, along with representatives of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) and the New and Renewable Energies Authority (NREA).

On 11 April, the last day of the Nature Conservation Sector (NCS) annual meeting, the Migratory Soaring Birds (NSB) Project organized a day-trip to the Ain El Sokhna bottleneck site. This trip brought together representatives from the fields of environmental conservation, renewable energies and ecotourism, to continue discussing the importance of bird conservation to sustainable development.

The participants were split in two groups. One group consisting of the NCS staff participated in birdwatching activities. Afterwards, several speeches were held by MSB Project Manager Osama El Gebaly, and NCS Director, Dr. Ahmed Salama, who talked about the need of collaboration to protect migratory birds and the problems caused by illegal hunting. The MSB Project also presented actions to ensure bird-friendly renewable energy.

The second group included NCE members, employees of the EEAA, photographers, ecotourism specialists and family members of NREA. After interesting birdwatching activities with sightings of raptor and stork migration, the NCE gave talks on Egypt’s importance to migratory soaring birds.

The two groups met at the Zaafarana Windfarms where they gained insights in Egypt’s development of   renewable energy and learned about the need of bird-friendly wind energy. As migratory birds are often harmed by wind turbines, it is necessary to combine biodiversity conservation and sustainable energy sources. Principles of ecotourism were promoted through the eco-friendly bedouin lunch that was organized by the beach, raising awareness on the importance of and potential for small-scale tourism projects.

The event was successful in bringing together members of different fields within conservation and sustainability, for knowledge exchange and networking. Besides, Egypt’s progress in ensuring bird-friendly wind energy was communicated and discussed. The combination of discussions and birdwatching stressed the importance of the area for bird migration and the need to find bird-friendly solutions for renewable energy.

Group photo of the participants at WMBD celebration in Egypt