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World Migratory Bird Day Partners Statement on World Water Day 2023

© Maurice Benmergui

Bonn, 22 March 2023 - World Water Day, celebrated on March 22, is an ideal moment to contemplate the importance of water to migratory birds.

Migratory birds rely on water and its associated habitats - lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, all inland and coastal wetlands - for migration, wintering, and breeding. Unfortunately, increasing human demand for water as well as pollution and climate change threaten these precious aquatic ecosystems and the migratory birds that depend on them.

Wetlands have been particularly severely hit by human activities such as intensive agriculture, rapid urbanization and other forms of development, and the loss of wetlands has been directly linked to declines in many migratory bird populations.

Water and its importance to migratory birds will also be the focus of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day, a global campaign that aims to raise awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to conserve them. Activities to mark World Migratory Bird Day will be held globally under the theme “Water: Sustaining Bird Life” on 13 May and 14 October 2023, the two peak days of the campaign this year.

The 22nd of March this year will also mark the start of the 2023 UN World Water Conference which will bring together governments, civil society, and the private sector in New York to find ways to accelerate progress toward achieving the water-related targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  

Let us use World Water Day and this important global conference to reaffirm our commitment to the conservation and sustainable management of water resources for all people, and for nature, which sustains us.