A new era of cooperation for the BirdLife International Partnership in China
By Martin Fowlie, Fri, 08/11/2013 - 10:48
The beginning of a new era in formal cooperation between BirdLife International and China has begun with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the BirdLife International Partnership and the China Ornithological Society (COS).
The MoU was signed by BirdLife’s Chief Executive Dr Marco Lambertini, and Professor Liu Naifa, President of the COS and witnessed by 500 ornithologists at the Opening Ceremony of the 12th Congress of COS, convened in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China.
BirdLife and the COS will jointly address research priorities and urgent conservation concerns in China affecting birds and biodiversity. They will share information related to birds and their habitats, and engage in capacity development efforts for bird research and conservation, and related conservation actions.
“We are delighted to sign this agreement with the China Ornithological Society to share knowledge and resources for the development of research and conservation of birds, one of the most powerful indicators of the health of the environment”, said Marco Lambertini. “It is has been a privilege for BirdLife to support the growth of awareness, appreciation, research and conservation action for birds in China over the past years. This new agreement with COS will promote and develop even further bird and nature conservation in China”.
COS is an academic organisation which has set up a nationwide network of ornithologists and conservationists, and is promoting international cooperation in research and conservation actions for the country’s threatened bird species. They are also supporting the development of a generation of young professional ornithologists and conservationists in China.
“There is a close match between COS goals and BirdLife’s global objectives, and I am confident that this Memorandum of Understanding will result in improvements in the status of China’s threatened birds and biodiversity”, added Lambertini.
“We are very happy to witness this historic event, symbolising the start of formal cooperation between BirdLife and the COS”, said Prof Zhang Zhengwang, Secretary General of the COS. “There will be great scope for our joint endeavours in the conservation of endemic, threatened and migratory birds. Chinese ornithologists will contribute their best for the conservation of global biodiversity.”
At least 1,237 species of birds occur in China, making the country the eighth richest in bird diversity in the world. A total of 568 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) have been identified in China, and there will be more when the country is thoroughly surveyed. China also occupies a strategic position along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.