Conservationists, politicians and business people from more than 120 countries met in Ottawa, Canada on June 19th, for the World Congress of the largest and fastest growing global Partnership of national conservation organizations.BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation Partnership, 121 BirdLife Partners worldwide with over 13 million members and supporters, 7000 local conservation groups and 7400 staff.
The 2013 BirdLife International World Congress marks two major anniversaries: the 90th anniversary of the organisation from which BirdLife evolved (making it the oldest truly international conservation organisation), and the 20th anniversary of the BirdLife Partnership. Celebrations were honored by the presence of BirdLife’s Honorary President, HRH Princess Takamado of Japan, and Canadian authors Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson. Other guests, and participants in sessions and workshops, included prominent figures from the worlds of business as well as conservation. Among them were Director General of IUCN, Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias and representatives of major donors to BirdLife’s work.
BirdLife’s World Congress takes place every five years bringing together national and local conservation leaders, to share
innovative approaches to halting biodiversity loss. It was hosted thisyear by BirdLife’s two Canadian co-Partners, Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada.
The World Congress launched the BirdLife’s 2020 Strategy, which set the Partnership’s objectives for saving species, conserving sites and habitats, encouraging ecological sustainability and
|Two young conservationists @ Congress|
empowering people. The BirdLife Strategy is translated into action through 9 global programmes. Among new programs introduced at this World Congress was Local Empowerment, which addresses the linked issues of poverty alleviation and sustainable development through nature conservation.
|HIH Princess Takamodo of Japan and Dr. M.Lambertini, BirdLife Chief Executive|
The Partnership reported on progress made in older programmes. For example, under the Preventing Extinctions Programme, Species Guardians have been appointed to take action for 59 Critically Endangered and 11 Endangered species, and in total 537 threatened bird species are benefitting from the work of the BirdLife Partnership.
The Congress was marked by the 3rd edition of State of the World’s Birds which was launched. This fact-packed and hard-hitting booklet explains that the status of the world’s birds -and the habitability of our planet -is in rapid decline. But there is good news: conservation demonstrably works, and this publication showed a low figure to the annual cost of protecting all nature and showed where and how that money should be spent.
The programme had an exhaustive list of interesting events which included regional and global partnership meetings with discussions on governance and business, 17 workshops focusing on topics such as Preventing Extinctions, Key Biodiversity Areas, Forests of Hope and Saving our Oceans and, to finish with, a celebration of BirdLife’s 90thanniversary and Rare Bird Club Trip to the Canadian Arctic.
The Birdlife World Congress is a unique opportunity for representatives of agencies, governments, conventions and scientific bodies to come together to discuss the future direction of global conservation.