THE PROTECTION OF BIRDS
On their epic journeys spanning thousands of kilometres, migratory birds connect the continents, cultures and people along their migration routes. World Migratory Bird Day 2012 and this year's theme Migratory birds and people - together through time aim to highlight this incredible relationship between migratory birds and people.
Humanity's fascination with migratory birds is evident in the symbolism throughout history in many ancient cultural legends. For example, in Egypt the ancient falcon-headed god Horus and in Peru the Nazca line monuments are testaments to migratory birds' strong influences on past cultures. Also, many groups and cultures continue to rely economically on migratory birds for their livelihoods, for example through subsistence and the growing global ecotourism industry. Further, the phenomenon of bird migration is crucial to the web of life, as migrating birds act as indicators of biodiversity, ecosystem health and climate change. Migratory birds also provide essential ecological benefits and services, such as pollination, to the ecosystems we rely on to survive.
Considering the cultural, social, historic, economic and spiritual connections we have with birds, it becomes clear that migratory birds and people are inseparably connected in many different ways and on many different levels. However, many human activities including excessive land use and unsustainable hunting, as well as the impacts of climate change, fishing by-catch and pollution now gravely threaten migratory bird populations around the world.
World Migratory Bird Day is a global, annual awareness campaign to promote the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats worldwide. It is organized by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) - two international wildlife treaties administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
World Migratory Bird Day strives towards preserving the cultural ties we have with migratory birds and the vital economic and environmental benefits they sustain. It is important to ensure these cultural, economic and environmental bonds are conserved for future generations.
Join others around the world and take part in World Migratory Bird Day on 12 - 13 May 2012 by organizing bird-watching events, educational programmes, lectures, art exhibitions and other public events. However you decide to participate, your contribution will help make this campaign a success!
Please share your activities with us and others around the world by registering your event on the WMBD website: www.worldmigratorybirdday.org.
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Last modified: 03.05.2012