5 Aug 2010

Leading by example - BirdLife’s July 2010 Round Up

By Nick Askew
BirdLife works hard to hold governments to account, ensuring they keep their promises. And when governments fail, or fall below international best practices, BirdLife is ready with the practical solutions and encouragement to get them back on track. The EU failed in its Convention on Biological Diversity commitment to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010. BirdLife and the European Environmental Bureau have set out a series of actions that would enable a new EU biodiversity policy framework to achieve its goals. These actions build on the successes of the existing policy framework, such as the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, in which BirdLife also played a significant role (What do we need to achieve the new 2020 biodiversity target?). For the Belgian presidency of the EU, which covers the last six months of the International Year of Biodiversity, BirdLife has called for ambitious new strategies for biodiversity and ecosystem services, increased funding for conservation, a sweeping reform of the Common Agricultural Policy refocusing on sustainability and rewards for public goods, and emergency measures to stop the slaughter of seabirds in European fisheries (Will Europe avoid another “Copenhagen fiasco”?). BirdLife’s Marine Important Bird Area (IBA) Toolkit is a step-by-step guide to enable EU countries to identify sites of conservation priority for seabirds in their waters. The companion report ‘Marine IBAs in the EU’ presents a description of each country’s Marine IBA networks, with current levels of protection. Both will be updated regularly (Two major publications to protect our seas). Some countries have a poor record when it comes to conserving the natural riches of their former colonies and current overseas territories in the Caribbean. ‘Les Zones Importantes pour la Conservation des Oiseaux en Guadeloupe’ identifies nine IBAs covering 505 km¬≤ (including marine areas). Guadeloupe is an overseas department (DOM) of France, but is not covered by the EU Birds and Habitats Directives, and a legal framework to protect the sites is urgently needed (Guadeloupe gets first national IBA directory). CNAP (BirdLife in Cuba) has published ‘Áreas Importantes para la Conservación de las Aves en Cuba’, which details 28 IBAs covering 21% of Cuban territory. The book is the first attempt in Cuba to identify conservation priorities using a scientifically-sound methodology. Seven IBAs have already received conservation attention through a programme funded by 2001’s Birdfair (New directory set to help conserve Cuba's birds). The islands of the Pacific have also suffered centuries of habitat degradation and the introduction of species like cats and rats creating a legacy of extinction and decline. BirdLife has received a grant from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to produce an inventory of IBAs in the Cook Islands. This is particularly urgent, since of 50 species identified by the Te Ipukarea Society (BirdLife in the Cook Islands), 15 are Globally Threatened (Conservation and the Cook Islands). Goodwill and international cooperation can repair some of the damage humankind has done. A UK photographic exhibition revealed how conservation work by Nature Iraq (BirdLife in Iraq), backed by the BirdLife Partnership, is beginning to patch up the ravages of war (Iraq: war-torn nation or wildlife hotspot?). Meanwhile with support from BirdLife in the Middle East and the Partners in the UK (RSPB) and Turkey (Doƒüa Derneƒüi), the Turkish Government has donated six semi-captive Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita to join the sole remaining Middle Eastern population in Syria, now reduced to three adults and a juvenile. This is a major international collaboration, the kind of joined-up conservation needed to protect migratory birds (Donation of ibis gives Middle East's rarest bird renewed hope of survival). BirdLife has long campaigned for the link between healthy, biodiverse ecosystems and human wellbeing to be recognised. With funding from the UK Government's Darwin Initiative, Bird Conservation Nepal (Birdlife Partner) and BirdLife have begun a three-year project to assess Nepal’s ecosystem services, and to assign an economic value to them. The real importance of the ecosystem approach is to show what we would lose as a society if these ecosystems were destroyed (Assessing Nepal's natural benefits). Finally, the latest report from The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, which has been putting a price on nature, finds biodiversity is being placed higher on the agenda by businesses. “BirdLife is engaging with a number of businesses, helping to guide their operations to minimise negative impacts and encourage positive impacts on biodiversity," commented BirdLife Director Leon Bennun (Smart business leaders see nature as an asset). News Stories Smart business leaders see nature as an asset Attitudes of consumers and business leaders are changing, with biodiversity being placed higher up on everyone's agenda says a recent report compiled by The Economics of Ecosystems and... News : News Stories : 29-07-2010 New directory set to help conserve Cuba's birds The National Centre for Protected Areas (CNAP, BirdLife in Cuba) has launched an Important Bird Areas directory for Cuba, detailing 28 IBAs, covering over 2.3 million hectares. News : News Stories : 28-07-2010 Guadeloupe gets national IBA directory AMAZONA has published an IBA directory for Guadeloupe, the first national language IBA publication for the Caribbean News : News Stories : 22-07-2010 Conservation and the Cook Islands BirdLife International has received a grant from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to produce an inventory of priority conservation sites for biodiversity in the Cook Islands... News : News Stories : 20-07-2010 What do we need to achieve the new 2020 biodiversity target? The EU has clearly failed to halt the loss of biological diversity within its own territory and beyond by 2010. News : News Stories : 14-07-2010 Donation of ibis gives Middle East's rarest bird renewed hope of survival Northern Bald Ibis was once revered as a god. But now this bird has become the rarest in the Middle East. However a new cross-country conservation collaboration is already providing some exciting... News : News Stories : 13-07-2010 Two major marine publications to protect our seas The size of the Economic Exclusive Zones (EEZs) of EU countries exceeds several times the terrestrial area...but how much do we actually know about our seas? News : News Stories : 09-07-2010 Iraq: war-torn nation or wildlife hotspot? If your impression of Iraq is a landscape of sandy deserts without a shade of green in sight, then a UK photographic exhibition organised by Nature Iraq (BirdLife in Iraq) and BirdLife... News : News Stories : 08-07-2010 Will Europe avoid another ÔøΩCopenhagen fiascoÔøΩ? BirdLife International presented its environmental priorities for the Belgian EU Presidency. News : News Stories : 05-07-2010 Assessing Nepal's natural services Bird Conservation Nepal and BirdLife International with funding from the UK government's Darwin Initiative programme, have embarked on a three-year project to assess and monitor ecosystem... News : News Stories : 02-07-2010 Community Posts Noted Conservation and Communications Leader to be Audubon President Oversummering Spoon-billed Sandpiper discovered in Thailand

Bicknell’s Thrush gets a conservation action plan Los cauquenes volvieron a la escena en Coronel Dorrego

Local community groups dedicate International Mangrove Ecosystem Protection Day to saving important shellfish Launch of Wetland Globe International Wetland Awards

Aruba Birdlife Conservation visits Governor Forest & Bird welcomes Government’s mining decision

The true costs of saving India’s wetlands Los manglares más australes de la costa Pacífica son incluidos en una red internacional de conservación

The business of biodiversity conservation Rubber plantations are erasing Thailand’s lowland forest

Chuck-will’s Widow in the Bahamas Critically Endangered Puerto Rican Nightjar on “Neotropical Birds”

Endangered Bahama Swallow on “Neotropical Birds” Indian Government should have listened to BNHS on Andhra power plant

Southernmost mangroves on Pacific coast join international conservation network Another success story of raptor rehabilitation in Thailand

Reefs and Mangroves Essential for Economic Growth in Dominican Republic New population of Grey-breasted Parakeet discovered in rocky outcrops in Quixadá, Ceará, in northeastern Brazil

Zapata Rail on the edge Illegal pets in the Philippines

Important Bird Areas in the Pacific region identified State decree institutes Cherry-throated Tanager ecological corridor

Music & Migration – YOUR Migration music! Vuvuzelas could disturb sensitive birds

A narrow escape for Nature Kenya staff Indiana Jones and the last Saker Falcon?

BirdLife Africa Position on Biofuels and Proposed Dakatcha Project BirdLife Botswana Flamingo Research Update

Rats, cats, pigs and mice fuelling bird extinction crisis Grand Cayman mangrove buffer ripped up

Last remaining mangrove wetland in Barbados disappearing Top Ten News – BirdLife’s June 2010 Round Up

Presidential inauguration Seabird Mitigation Research Update – The Hook Pod

Arctic-breeding birds will be among next victims of the Gulf oil disaster