Editorial: News from the BirdLife Partnership, April 2007
Welcome to this month’s BirdLife Editorial; an opportunity for us to summarise events and stories coming from BirdLife International - the world’s largest alliance of conservation organisations.
April’s news from www.birdlife.org was again full of variety: calls to action to save precious habitats (Airfield would displace Pocosin’s globally important waterfowl congregations, 27 April), incredible feats of bird migration and the significance of flyways conservation (Long-distance Godwit sets new record, 5 April), new agreements that impact how bird conservation works across continents (BirdLife and SPREP unite to save Pacific's threatened birds, 4 April)…
What often goes unseen with many of these stories is the enormous efforts of conservationists and the BirdLife Partners they represent. For most, each story is the result of years of research, meetings, planning, project proposals, meetings, sleepless nights, surveys and more meetings - often impossible for us to convey in just 300-400 words.
If stories were ranked on the basis of all of this planning and effort, then surely few stories would feature higher than this month’s news of Sumatra’s “forest ecosystem restoration concession” for the conservation and regeneration of a 101,000 hectares of forest in the lowlands of Sumatra (Indonesia’s first “Restoration Forest” gives hope to last rainforests in Sumatra, 2 April) – an incredible story, the result of five years of development and pushing by Burung Indonesia, the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, UK) and BirdLife International (both Secretariat and Partners). A story of true encouragement in the conservation of Sumatra’s lowland forests and rightly described as “a new hope for conservation” in the region.
"What often goes unseen with many of these stories is the enormous efforts of the conservationists or BirdLife Partners involved..." —.
If we were to factor in time, hours, years to all stories, other news from April would also feature highly:
Conservation studies and research take immense planning and a number of proposals (not to mention funders) – particularly for global issues, like climate change, where the stakes are high (Birds to become latest indicators of climate change, 20 April). Other long-term studies sometimes feature as news for the sheer awe they invoke (Surveys reveal raptor ‘super-roost’, 26 April): 45,000 insectivorous raptors in a single roost - a finding seven years in the making!
Another encouraging story we featured this month was the Annual Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival (Festival celebrates Caribbean’s unique birds, 22 April) – a further story with some history; the festival this year celebrated its sixth year.
Sadly, April also saw Malta’s spring hunting season for birds open once again. Since the story, significant numbers of Turtle Dove and Quail have been killed and trapped. BirdLife Partners in Europe responded to the opening of the season with deep concern (European outrage as Malta’s spring hunting season begins, 2 April). This is the fourth consecutive breach of the EU law since Malta joined the European Union in 2004 - a European Court case against Malta is expected to start later this year…
The result? Only time –and the committed efforts of conservationists working within the Birdlife Partnership - will tell…
More next month,
Jules Howard, News Editor.
P.S. Don’t forget: 12-13 May 2007 is World Migratory Bird Day – find out what you can do to help by visiting: WMBD 2007
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