On the 28th of April, BirdLife Botswana (BLB) and the Government of Botswana's Department of Wildlife and National Parks, in partnership with the American Embassy, celebrated the World Migratory Bird Day at Tlokweng SOS Children's
As birds and people are connected in different ways, the theme for this year's celebrations was "Migratory Birds and People - Together Through Time", emphasizing the cultural, social, historic, economic and spiritual relationships between birds and people.
The main objectives of the celebrations this year were to:
1. Raise awareness and promote conservation of birds, especially migratory species,
2. Develop an interest and knowledge of birds among children, including orphans, the disabled and those affected by HIV/AIDS, and
3. Promote Botswana's indigenous knowledge on conservation at grassroots level.
550 students participated in the event, including from primary, secondary and tertiary schools and special institutions (Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre, Holy Cross Hospice and SOS Children's Village).
The atmosphere was electric as there were 18 performances of songs, playing of musical instruments, presentations and dramas depicting migratory birds and environmental issues. BLB also invited four different stakeholders, NGOs and government departments to set up their stalls for disseminating information and environmental education.
As one of the environmental awareness days, the event presented an opportunity for local communities and schools to become more aware of various environmental issues, and ways to prevent and control environmental destruction. The participants received commemorative T-shirts which were specially designed for the day. It surely was a memorable day for those children who participated.
The BirdLife Africa Secretariat in conjunction with BirdLife Poland recently adapted and launched an African teacher’s manuals for Grades 1-3 and 4-6. The teacher’s manuals cover topics such as bird identification, bird behavior, the concept of migration and the challenges birds face along the routes. The manuals also provide interactive and interesting games for the children. These resources are meant to deepen the engagement of children with birds, inspire their young minds and cultivate interests about the natural world around them. These manuals can also be used by local community groups as well as wildlife/nature clubs.
Thanks to the efforts of the Association of Biologists Sãotomense (ABS) in partnership with BirdLife International, a team of researchers led by Hugulay Maia has been able to describe some important aspects of the reproductivce behaviour of the Dwarft Ibis in São Tomé.
In Europe, millions of migratory birds are stirring. They are busy feeding to build up their fat reserves (gaining up to 50% more body weight) to fuel the enormous flights to Africa they will face in the next few weeks.
As we approach one of the villages in rural Malawi, a few kilometres from the Nchitsi Forest Reserve boundary, we are met by a group of villagers in song and dance. They quickly lead us to the kitchen and one of them and proudly show us a changu mbaula - Chichewa for ‘fast stove’, also known as ‘rocket’ stove for its quick cooking abilities.
The Bechi Kebele is home to 10,171 people, most of which are dependent on the slowly dwindling Sheka forest. God for People Relief and Development Organisation (GPRDO) has been working in this region since 2005 to promote community based forest management systems. In 2013 GPRDO was able to expand their work in this region after receiving a grant from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to implement GPRDO’s project.
Empowering major stakeholders for sustainable utilization and conservation of Lake Tana fish resources project is being implemented by Bahir Dar University to rebuild the declining fish stock of Lake Tana and to conserve this KBA. The project also aims to raise awareness and increase knowledge in the wider community of Lake Tana’s fish resources and the human impacts on these resources.
The CEPF Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot programme announces two new calls for Letters of Inquiry (LOIs). The 7th Call for Proposals is for small grants (up to USD 10,000) for urgent action at highly threatened KBAs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The 8th Call for Proposals is for large grants (of more than USD 20,000) and small grants (of USD 20,000 or less) in Ethiopia, Rwanda, DRC, Tanzania and Zambia.