Europe and Central Asia
25 Aug 2015

Agreement consolidates decades of collaboration between OSME and BirdLife International

Patricia Zurita, CEO of BirdLife International, and Rob Sheldon, Chairman of OSME, celebrate newly signed agreement at Birdfair
By Julien.Jreissati

BirdLife International and the Ornithological Society of the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia (OSME) signed a memorandum of understanding during the Birdfair 2015 in Rutland Water Nature Reserve, Egleton, UK. 

BirdLife International and OSME share a common vision and a commitment towards bird conservation and a sustainable future. It was therefore naturally that they have been working hand in hand for birds, nature and people throughout the years. This agreement consolidates decades of fruitful collaboration and will build on previous efforts to conserve birds, raise awareness and build capacity in the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia region.

Map of the OSME region

Mr. Ibrahim Khader, Regional Director of the BirdLife Middle East partnership secretariat declared, “we are very excited about the MOU which will definitely strengthen our cooperation and coordination with OSME even more. On this occasion I would like to thank OSME members and Council for all the support and contributions they are making toward saving birds and raise public awareness for their conservation and being such a strong ally to the partnership in our region for this noble cause.

To date OSME and BirdLife International have collaborated in the development and production of a number of books, brochures and education materials in Arabic. This cooperation will continue with a focus on increasing communications synergies and conducting common fundraising initiatives starting with the updated Arabic version of the second edition of the ‘Birds of the Middle East’ book. This book is an excellent example of how the 2 organisations work together. Such a field guide will help stimulate an interest in birds and bird conservation across the Middle East. The production of the book will be a significant milestone in the relationship between OSME and BirdLife International.

Bird of the Middle East 2nd edition

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Dr Rob Sheldon, chairman of OSME, which has signed the agreement said that “many of the conservation challenges that we face across the OSME region can only be solved through effective collaboration between organizations such as BirdLife partners and OSME. This agreement will foster such collaboration to help us address these conservation challenges

OSME is a membership-based organisation with approximately 750 members across the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia. The OSME region currently comprises 20 BirdLife partners. OSME publishes twice a year the journal Sandgrouse that contains papers and short notes on ornithology, provides bird and conservation news and a comprehensive round up of bird sightings in the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia.