Monday 22 May 2017

International Day for Biological Diversity – May 22

May 22nd sees the observation of International Day for Biological Diversity, as it has every year this century, recognising the adoption, by 196 countries, of the Convention on Biological Diversity – an international legal instrument for "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources." (source United Nations).

The theme chosen for 2017 is Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism, highlighting the the important contribution that sustainable tourism can make "both to economic growth and to the conservation of biodiversity." 2017 has also been designated International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Events to celebrate Biological Diversity are taking place around the world, including some that are being co-ordinated by international organisations. See the Convention on Biological Diversity website for more information.

Wednesday 10 May 2017

World Migratory Bird Day 2017 – their future is our future

Statement issued by the organisers of World Migratory Bird Day:
Migratory birds are indicators of a healthy planet and functioning ecosystems. Land reclamation, habitat degradation and unsustainable hunting disrupt the services that interconnected ecosystems provide to all life on Earth. Long distance migrants depend on healthy ecosystem networks.
The Red Knot undertakes a 14,000-kilometre journey from the Southern Hemisphere to the Arctic Circle to breed. Habitat loss at stopover sites along the shores of the Yellow Sea and the Atlantic Coast have led to a sharp population decline, reaching 80% in the Americas since 2000.
Migratory animals and people share the same planet and thus, the same limited resources. This is reflected in this year's theme, Their Future is our Future - A healthy planet for migratory birds and people.
Sustainable management of natural resources is needed, including the conservation of migratory birds. The campaign will link the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the United Nations and migratory birds on a global scale.
Word Migratory Bird Day shows by the example of seven species of migratory birds – from the Barn Swallow to the critically endangered Spoon-Billed Sandpiper – of how habitat loss, over-harvesting and climate change can seriously affect their fate. The campaign calls on people across the globe to protect the birds and the planet to build the future we want.
World Migratory Bird Day is a global campaign to celebrate migratory birds and call for better protection. Individuals, groups and institutions organise events to draw attention to the threats they face.

Lesser flamingo – World Migratory Bird Day
Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) © Mark Anderson

Common Cranes in flight – World Migratory Bird Day
Migratory Birds in Flight – Common Cranes © Jussi Mononen

Spoon-billed Sandpiper – World Migratory Bird Day
Spoon-billed Sandpiper © Smith Sutibut

White Pelican – World Migratory Bird Day
White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) © Sergey Dereliev (UNEP/AEWA)