World Migratory Bird Day 2023 is being celebrated with the theme “Water, Sustaining Bird Life,” aiming to unite people and organizations globally on October 14th for awareness and action.
Water is an indispensable element for migratory birds, playing a vital role in their survival, from breeding to migration and wintering. However, water faces numerous threats, including climate change, pollution, and increasing human water usage.
Shockingly, 35% of the world’s wetlands have vanished in the last 50 years, and over 2 billion people now lack access to clean drinking water, according to the UN World Water Report.
The quality and quantity of water are both at risk. Lake Chad, a Ramsar site and a vast African water body in 1960, has lost 90% of its area, affecting local communities and migratory birds.
Climate change is destroying habitat in the Amur-Heilong Basin, leaving migratory birds without essential breeding and stopover locations.
Extended drought in the United States (US) has dried up wetlands like Cheyenne Bottoms in Kansas during migration, impacting various species. Alarmingly, 48% of global bird species are experiencing population declines.
World Migratory Bird Day calls for global cooperation because migratory birds traverse multiple countries. It emphasizes the urgent need to address the global water crisis and conserve these shared birds.
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This campaign is organized by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), Environment for the Americas (EFTA), and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP).
Events are scheduled worldwide for October 14th, including educational activities in Mongolia, bird conservation festivals in Bangladesh and Guatemala, and zoo events in Belize.
Water is vital for both people and migratory birds, and the growing global water crisis necessitates immediate action. International cooperation is essential for the conservation of migratory birds and the protection of the world’s water resources.
The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, adopted in December 2022, offers a comprehensive plan to address biodiversity loss by 2030.
Implementing this framework will support ongoing efforts to protect migratory birds and their habitats, and it requires a collaborative approach involving all sectors of society.
World Migratory Bird Day underscores the importance of water for migratory birds and the increasing threats to water quality and quantity.
The campaign serves as a global call to action for their conservation, highlighting the interconnectedness of these birds and the ecosystems they rely on, emphasizing the need for international cooperation.
Water and its role in the survival of migratory birds are at the heart of World Migratory Bird Day 2023, with activities taking place globally on two peak days in May and October under the theme “Water: Sustaining Bird Life.”
Migratory birds depend on various water-associated habitats, such as lakes, rivers, ponds, and wetlands, for their breeding, resting, refueling during migration, and wintering.
However, human water demands, climate change, and pollution are putting these ecosystems at risk.
The loss of wetlands, exemplified by Utah’s Great Salt Lake, is jeopardizing migratory bird habitats. In the Amur-Heilong Basin, climate change exacerbates habitat destruction.
In the Sahel, prolonged drought and overgrazing have led to the degradation of the land. Lake Chad has lost a significant portion of its area.
The global community’s adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework provides a framework for addressing these challenges by reducing pollution, protecting wildlife, and promoting sustainable land and water management.
International cooperation is vital for the conservation of migratory birds and the protection of water resources.