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Statement by Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema on World Migratory Bird Day 2021

Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema
Executive Secretary
Convention on Biological Diversity 

For many people around the world, watching and listening to birds during the pandemic has been a great source of comfort and happiness, bringing with it a whole new awareness and appreciation of birds.

This is perhaps not a coincidence, as studies have shown that bird watching and listening to bird song can help reduce anxiety and depression. Quite simply, birds bring joy to people of all ages.

Birds also remind us of our own connection with the planet, the environment and to each other. Much like humans, birds can be found everywhere; in cities and in the countryside; in parks and backyards, in forests and mountains, in fields and along the shores. 

Birds play an essential role in the functioning of the world's ecosystems, in a way that directly impacts humans. They control pests, pollinate plants, spread seeds, transform landscapes, and contribute to processes including nutrient cycling and soil formation.

Both birds and humans have a vested interest in the well-being of our one and only Earth. Much like the COVID-19 crisis has reinforced the need for global cooperation and collaboration, it is important that we all unite in a common, global effort to protect birds and the habitats they need to survive. After all, by protecting them, we protect ourselves.

Later this year, the world will adopt the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The framework aims to bring about a transformation in society’s relationship with biodiversity, and ensure that, by 2050, we achieve the shared vision of living in harmony with nature. This will set us on the path to sustainability that will ensure human well-being, transform how we value nature, and make the world a much better place for all living things.

The 2021 World Migratory Bird Day theme is an invitation to people everywhere to connect and re-connect with nature by watching and listening to birds. It can also be an invitation to ensure the conservation and restoration of ecosystems that not only support the natural cycles essential for the survival and well-being of migratory birds, but also the survival and well-being of humans.

Today we should not only celebrate the majestic beauty and sounds of birds but also reflect on the importance of doing more to protect birds and nature in a post-pandemic world. 

That truly is something worth singing about.

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