Forty-nine civil society organisations in 48 countries, more than 2 million members, 4,100 women and men employed in conservation, policy, research, communications and organisational development, tens of thousands of skilled volunteers: this is the European and Central Asian BirdLife Partnership in motion.
All busy with our local work for nature, often understaffed and overworked, we tend to forget that we are part of a collective dream that becomes real when we unite our efforts, skills and energies. Together, we represent a broader movement of citizens who love nature and birds.
We showed the power of many before the summer when we asked European citizens to stand up for their nature and send a message to the EU institutions. Many, even from several continents outside the EU, supported our call. At the end of the month the power of many will materialise again, in a different fashion, when we meet in Sofia for the 2016 Europe and Central Asia Partnership Meeting.
Our gathering is a fantastic opportunity for BirdLife Partners to meet in person, share experiences, learn from each other and showcase the fantastic conservation successes we can achieve together.
We will have the chance to focus on how we can work better together and achieve the strategic objectives of four of our programmes: Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), Preventing Extinctions, Migratory Birds and Flyways, and Local Engagement and Empowerment. And on all these issues we will also the opportunity to engage directly with the BirdLife CEO, Patricia Zurita.
We will analyse our most recent trans-national campaign (NatureAlert), draw lessons from it and look forward to the next big initiatives. We will also explore successful ideas for generating unrestricted funding and manage financial crises, as well as elect 3 ECA Committee members.
Last but not least, we will have dedicated workshops on Central Asia to identify the conservation and organisational development priorities in this important part of our region.
It’s a very ambitious list of objectives we have given ourselves, but I am confident we will achieve them. BirdLife is in motion, and everyday we learn to reap the power of working together, learning from each other and fostering new cooperation projects.
See you in Sofia.