1 Dec 2012

Testimonials for BirdLife's 90th Anniversary

By Shaun Hurrell

Peter Schei Chairman, BirdLife International

"Like me, millions of people around the world have a special relationship with birds. They are embedded in our culture and religion as omens, symbols and mythical creatures that can bring peace, good or bad fortune. They are important elements of our lives and livelihoods, and remain crucial links between man and nature in those parts of the world that are rapidly losing this contact today. And what joy they bring with their songs, colours and intriguing behaviour. In 1922, the first global conservation organisation, the International Committee for Bird Preservation (ICBP), was established to work for the conservation of birds, and in 1993 this was transformed into BirdLife International. Therefore 2012/2013 is an important 90/20 anniversary for our Partnership, and we will celebrate our achievements and look to the future at the BirdLife World Congress in Ottawa in June 2013. But we cannot rest on our laurels. Although today, our global Partnership includes more than 100 organisations, with more than 10 million supporters, working relentlessly in over 110 countries and territories, the threats to birds and biodiversity remain. More than 1,250 bird species are threatened, and we in the BirdLife Partnership are committed to preventing them from sliding into extinction by working with local people to promote sustainable living as a means to conserve them."

Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado Honorary President, BirdLife International

“BirdLife International is a totally unique type of international NGO. It has a scientific approach in collecting and analysing data, which it uses to work with governments, local authorities and companies to make conservation measures and projects more effective. The reputation of BirdLife as being not only reliable and effective, but also attentive to the needs of people, makes me proud to be its Honorary President.”

VF V2Her Majesty Queen Noor President Emeritus, BirdLife International

"I had the great privilege of serving as BirdLife International’s first Honorary President when this incredible global Partnership was founded twenty years ago.  BirdLife’s development and expansion into a complete and mature conservation organisation is a source of enormous pride and inspiration.  On this remarkable 90th anniversary, I offer my heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to all members of the BirdLife family for your service to nature and people.”

His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco Species Champion for Northern Bald Ibis

“The work of BirdLife allows whole areas to be protected and preserved—unique areas of the globe whose importance is key both for our survival and for our knowledge of the world. I am particularly pleased that my Foundation—whose commitment to biodiversity and protection of the planet—is a faithful partner of BirdLife International, and has signed a framework partnership allowing our efforts to be united and our approaches to be shared on several projects throughout the world.”

Margaret Atwood & Graeme Gibson Joint Honorary Presidents of BirdLife’s Rare Bird Club

“In our six intriguing years with BirdLife and the Rare Bird Club, we have been both astonished and inspired by what can be accomplished by a dedicated group with the passion, outreach, and professionalism of the BirdLife Partnerships. It is an amazing organisation.”

braulio-dias_croppedBraulio Ferreira de Souza Dias Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity

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“I would like to take the opportunity presented by this special anniversary to commend the work and commitment of the countless thousands of people that are and have been a part of the global partnership of BirdLife International—its officers, council, secretariat, staff in all national partner organisations and community members with whom BirdLife works—and to thank all your supporters around the world. Your work and support are essential to translating the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity into reality and to achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets on which the future health of the planet and human society so fundamentally depend.”

Luc Hoffmann Founder of the Tour du Valat Research Centre and the MAVA Foundation

“During the 19th century, in the coal mines, miners used to take with them in the underground galleries a cage containing a canary. If the bird showed any sign of weakness or even died, miners would stop working and address the situation in order to save their lives. Today, every year, several bird species disappear because they cannot survive the deterioration of the environment imposed by man. BirdLife is our canary.”

Achim Steiner Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme

“Across the years BirdLife International has reached levels of excellence in interlinking robust science with sound policy proposals and in promoting local action in support of global policies. It is an approach now recognized in the Rio+20 outcome document The Future We Want as essential for achieving sustainable development. After 90 years, BirdLife International has every reason to celebrate its achievements and I join the many friends and supporters in congratulating you and the generations of dedicated individuals for the unique contribution you have made.”

Donal O’Brien Former Chairman of ICBP

“During my 25-years on the Board of the National Audubon Society, 15-years as Chairman, I worked on Audubon’s efforts to support BirdLife International throughout the Western Hemisphere.”  

Jonathan Franzen Author

"From the Far East to Africa to the Caribbean, BirdLife International and its partners are on the front lines of bird conservation, doing wellconceived and highly effective work. I’m proud to be a supporter.”

Julia Marton-Lefèvre IUCN Director General

“BirdLife International’s vision resonates deeply with IUCN’s own vision of “a just world that values and conserves nature”. Today, BirdLife International is a key partner of IUCN and a major contributor to our flagship Red List of Threatened Species. We couldn’t have done it without you! I warmly congratulate BirdLife International, its Chief Executive Dr Marco Lambertini, all staff, Partners, Council members and volunteers on this 90th anniversary— thanks to your efforts, bird conservation is clearly up and flying!”

Dr Naoko Ishii CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility

“The GEF need civil society Partners like BirdLife International to be effective in biodiversity conservation. Support from the BirdLife Partnership is helping to ensure that the GEF continues to grow as the leading source of biodiversity conservation finance in the world, and that program implementation is well targeted, effective and efficient. The strong scientific information of BirdLife is a huge asset to the GEF in targeting our finance and the civil society network helps ensure that the GEF is well informed and linked to national priorities. BirdLife is also a very effective program partner on the ground in important regions and countries, as well as in the marine realm too. I congratulate BirdLife International on 90 years of achievements for biodiversity.”

Janez Potocnik European Commissioner for the Environment

“I greatly value the scientific expertise, practical know how and commitment of BirdLife International to promoting nature and biodiversity which has made a really valuable contribution to implementing the EU Birds Directive.”

Anada Tiéga Secretary General, Ramsar Convention Secretariat

“The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands has been privileged to benefit from a continuing partnership with BirdLife International over the last 41 years, since our birth. In fact Birdlife International is one of the organizations that stimulated the foundation of the Ramsar Convention and continues to promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands, by empowering local conservation organisations and growing and mobilising a constituency of people who care for nature. We are pleased to celebrate BirdLife International’s 90th anniversary and convey our encouragements and support to the whole BirdLife International family.”

Bbert_lentenert Lenten United Nations Environment Programme/Convention on Migratory Species

“Since the birth of the Global Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), a Multilateral Environment Agreement to conserve wide range of animals including many species of birds. BirdLife International has strongly supported its implementation. By working together CMS and BirdLife International can—and do—achieve more than either can separately. We at CMS congratulate BirdLife International on its 90th Anniversary and look forward to continuing our close cooperation.”

Patricia Zurita Executive Director, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund

“BirdLife has proven itself a dedicated and effective partner in sustainable conservation. Through its commitment to civil society capacity building; its extensive network of non-governmental organizations; and the strong scientific underpinning guiding its conservation priority setting, BirdLife has made invaluable contributions to biodiversity and critical ecosystems around the world.”