Egypt joins the world in celebrating the World Migratory Birds Day under the theme (Stop the illegal killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Birds) on May 12th 2016.
The Migratory Soaring Birds MSB project executed by Birdlife International, supported by the United Nations Development Programme UNDP and funded by the Global Environment Fund GEF, in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Environment organized the second event at Nasser Lake in Aswan Governorate. The celebration was attended by Dr. Jamal Joma’a the Head of Nature Conservation Sector in the Ministry of Environment, Ms. Amany Nakhlah the Environment and Energy Program Manager in UNDP, a group from Aswan Protected Areas staff, local community representatives, Environment and Water Bodies Environment Police, Nature Conservation sector and Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE).
The manager of the Migratory Soaring Birds Project in Egypt, Dr. Osama Elgebaly stated that this year’s celebration aims to raise awareness about unsustainable birds hunting and its negative impacts in Egypt. Focusing on the local communities of Nasser Lake to highlight the importance of natural resources sustainability including Migratory Birds some of which are exposed to illegal killing, hunting and trading and that causes a threat to the Ecosystems, since Birds are considered as one of the most important indicators of Ecosystem health. The activity included suggestions for environmental friendly techniques and alternatives, as well as presenting eco-tourism concept including bird watching as an important factor for attracting international tourists as Egypt has a unique geographic location that connects the world continents and large numbers of tourists travel to watch and monitor birds in the migration seasons.
Mr. Elgebaly clarified that the Migratory Soaring Birds project aims to mainstream birds’ conservation measures in five development sectors including Energy (e.g. Electricity, Renewable Energy), Tourism and Agriculture. In addition to changing the local communities conception on birds conservation during migration and sustaining it for future generations through communication with them about the importance of migratory birds and how to protect them from various threats. That will also help achieve the commitment of Egypt toward international conventions such as CBD and CMS.
It is worth mentioning that Egypt included many clauses related to Birds and its’ habitat conservation in its national legislations. Thus, the Nature Conservation Sector at the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency – EEAA conducts number of activities to regulate hunting in Egypt including the establishment of responsible and sustainable hunting management program within the “Regulating Sustainable Hunting in the Northern Coast” Project. In addition to providing technical support in order to regulate hunting activities, stop illegal hunting and raise environmental awareness within related governmental institutions, NGOs and local communities
The Migratory Soaring Birds (MSB) project aims to mainstream conservation of visiting birds into five key development sectors. This is being achieved through partnerships and strategic alliances with private businesses, NGOs, governments and international organizations.