World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is celebrated bi-annually on the second Saturday in May and in October. WMBD 2020, in October falls on October 10. The UN(United Nations) led awareness-raising campaign highlights the need to conserve the migratory birds and their habitats, as they face threats. The day also aims to spotlights their ecological importance and calls for their global conservation through international cooperation.
Theme of World Migratory Bird Day 2020- “Birds Connect Our World”.
The day is organized by a collaborative partnership among two UN treaties
- The Convention on Migratory Species or Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals(CMS), also called as Bonn Convention and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),
- And the Colorado-based non-profit organization, Environment for the Americas (EFTA).
Reason Behind the theme
To highlight the importance of conserving and restoring the ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystems that support the natural movements of migratory birds and that are essential for their survival and well-being.
Key Facts about Migratory Birds
i.The UN Body stated that, Birds are the 2nd fastest declining taxa on earth.
ii.The conservation status of migratory birds is declining globally.
iii.As per the 1st report on migratory species, published in 2020,
- There is a decline in 80% of the species population listed on Appendix I (Migratory species threatened with extinction).
- There is a decline in 50% of the species listed on Appendix II (Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation).
iv.The main threats of migratory birds include, loss of habitat, over exploitation from uses, including illegal killing among others.
v.COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the link between the wildlife’s over exploitation and destruction of natural habitats and increased risk of new infectious disease in future.
i.Originally the idea to designate the day arose in 1993 in the United States, when the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology initiated celebrations of International Migratory Bird Day.
ii.The AEWA Secretariat, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary in 2005 initiated the Migratory Waterbird Day(MWD) held in Africa, Europe and parts of Asia.
iii.The day was initiated in 2006 and established by the Secretariat of the Agreement on the Conservation of UNEP- AEWA in collaboration with the Secretariat of the CMS.
iv.In October 2017, CMS and AEWA announced a partnership that EFTA joined and combined International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) to WMBD.
Points to be Noted
i.India hosted the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP13) in February 2020.
ii.India takes over the COP CMS presidency from the Philippines and will hold the presidency till 2023.
iii.India has launched a National Action Plan for Conservation of migratory birds along the Central Asian Flyway, a flyway covering a large continental area of Eurasia between the Arctic Ocean and the Indian Ocean and the associated island chains.
About United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UNEP – Inger Andersen
Headquarters– Nairobi, Kenya.