Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Waterbirds Around the World, Holland 2007.

The second Waterbirds Around the World Conference is being held in The Hague this week. Participants from across the world are discussing the global actions necessary to protect migratory waterbirds – who often take second place to economic development. Data from 162 countries of 614 species (of waterbird) indicate that 170 are currently listed as globally threatened.

Barry Gardiner, the UK minister for Biodiversity, visited the conference to pledge the ‘massive’ sum of £176,000 in order to fund projects that will protect and conserve these migratory birds.

The Government has committed this money to the following initiatives:

  • £70,000 to a Defra research project that will focus on identifying migratory species that can act as indicators of climate change.
  • £66,000 to the international Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) to fund an Overseas Officer in the UK’s Overseas Territories in the South Atlantic.
  • £40,000 to the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) to fund research projects that will help to identify population trends, and the species most at risk from the negative impacts of climate change.

Let’s hope that more money will be forthcoming for additional ventures.

The proceedings of the first conference (Edinburgh 2004) have just been published (HMSO 940pages £50) but, as always, downloadable pdf’s are available at: http://www.jncc.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page=3891

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