Migratory birds are a critical link in the global web of life, that not only capture our imagination but connect different ecosystems and species. Their health and survival not only have an enormous and incalculable intrinsic value, but they are also important guarantors of biodiversity for many ecosystems and species.
Yet their survival is under threat. Of the 11,000 bird species on this planet, more than 40 per cent have declining populations.
Migratory birds are proverbial canaries in the coalmine, and their decline ought to send yet another critical warning to human society about the importance of nature and biodiversity, and serve as a clarion call for action
Last year’s World Migratory Bird Day theme, “Protect birds, be the solution to plastic pollution,” highlights an issue that not only has severe ramifications for migratory species but is also one of the most pressing issues impacting our environment. Our addiction to single-use or disposable plastic poses severe environmental consequences for our entire planet. Only 9 per cent of plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. And while about 12 per cent of this has been incinerated, the rest, approximately 79 per cent, has accumulated in landfills, dumps or the natural environment.
In 2020, the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity have developed a new Global Biodiversity Framework designed to protect all ecosystems and species, including migratory birds, and ensure a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive future for human society. We look forward to working with the global community of birdwatchers, bird-lovers, and the many others who care about these beautiful species and their important role in the web of life.