11 May 2018 Story Ecosystems

Spreading the word on migratory birds

A major bird conservation conference has been held in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The Summit for Flyways took place from 23-26 April and brought together over 100 top bird scientists, conservationists, donors and policy influencers to discuss efforts to conserve migratory birds and their habitats.

The United Arab Emirates is a refuge for a variety of terrestrial and marine migratory birds, and the conference saw the launch by the Ornithological Society of the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia (OSME) of a new Arabic language Birds of the Middle East field guide app.

The event also saw the launch of BirdLife International’s State of the World’s Birds 2018. Five years in the making, it provides a snapshot of the health of not only the world's birds, but the ecosystems they represent.

BirdLife International organized the event, in association with UN Environment’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, and others. It was hosted by the International Fund for Houbara Conservation. The gathering helped promote knowledge and education about migratory birds, their delicate habitats, and the threats they face.

This work will be assisted by the recent creation of a major new partnership.

Photo by PIXNIO 

In October 2017, Environment for the Americas, the Convention on Migratory Species and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds announced a partnership to increase awareness of the plight of migratory birds around the world.

The new partnership formally unites two of the world's largest bird education campaigns – International Migratory Bird Day and World Migratory Bird Day – in a bid to strengthen global recognition and appreciation of migratory birds and highlight the urgent need for their conservation.

The partnership has collaborated on a new World Migratory Bird Day, and major events to celebrate the Day, will be organized twice a year, on the second Saturday in May and in October.

The Day reinforces education and awareness-raising about the need to protect migratory birds and their habitats throughout the flyways, underlying the fact that bird conservation is a global issue.

With Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation as its theme for 2018, in the “Year of the Bird, the Day is an opportunity for people around the world to compare their experiences and concerns, share their stories and activities, and make their voices and actions reach out even further.

UN Environment raising profile of Arctic birds

UN Environment has provided vital support to Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI) in its capacity as an Arctic Council observer, primarily to date for the Americas flyway, which covers South and North America.


UN Environment is working with The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, to translate AMBI priorities, projects, and results into infographics for project partners to utilize across various channels.

Effective outreach materials are essential to successfully engage stakeholders both inside and outside the Arctic, with a special emphasis on visual communications to cross language barriers and maximize the use of the products across different media to benefit various partners.

For further information Carla.Friedrich[at]un.org