H.I.H. Princess Takamado of Japan celebrates BirdLife’s Spring Alive campaign
On 12 July 2009, BirdLife International and the Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Africa (MCFEA), celebrated the success of Spring Alive in the presence of H.I.H. Princess Takamado of Japan, BirdLife’s Honorary President. Spring Alive is BirdLife’s online campaign, inviting European children to enter their sightings of four species of migratory birds on the Campaign website.
During the event, H.I.H Princess Takamado praised the efforts of more than 30 European BirdLife Partners in bringing children and their families closer to the wonder of bird migration and thanked MCFEA, the official Spring Alive Partner since 2007, for the successful collaboration.
Dr Marco Lambertini, CEO of BirdLife International, stressed the need for children to experience the arrival of migratory birds during spring, especially as in recent years, these birds are declining. He also announced the future plans of the campaign: "With the support of MCFEA we can now expand our Spring Alive campaign to reach children and their families not only in Europe but also in Africa, inviting them to enjoy this miracle and feel inspired to protect these fascinating birds".
"BirdLife and MCFEA are very pleased to expand the campaign to Africa" —Magda Chrzanowska , Spring Alive coordinator
In 2009, almost 94,000 sightings of the Spring Alive campaign-species were registered on the website - nearly double compared to 2008. The campaign is growing rapidly and has reached more than 40,000 children and their families all over Europe.
Over time, BirdLife Partners have built a strong network of teachers and schools in Europe. Every year, at the start of the campaign in February, they receive a package with both online and offline material inviting children to discover the four Spring Alive species both in the nature and online during school activities. BirdLife Partners also provide schools with new information on climate change, power lines, intensive agricultural practices and other issues affecting migratory bird populations.
The Spring Alive coordinator, Magda Chrzanowska concluded the event with a special announcement: "BirdLife and MCFEA are very pleased to expand the campaign to Africa and we therefore welcome a new species to the current family: European Bee-eater Merops apiaster! We look forward to following its arrival to Europe in the near future, as well as welcoming again our beloved campaign species, Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus, Common Swift Apus apus, White Stork Ciconia ciconia and Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica! See you in spring 2010 at www.springalive.net!"
Visit the Spring Alive website at www.springalive.net
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Credits: BirdLife European Division