World Migratory Bird Day Celebrated

By Mihret Ewnetu

The 2013 World Migratory Bird Day has been celebrated colorfully in Ethiopia for the 4th times nationally from 17-18/2013.

The celebration has been divided into major events. The first event is the one which has been conducted on 17 May 2013 in the city Addis Ababa with a workshop on the title "Networking for Migratory Birds " In this event different institutions have been invited and participated in the workshop which includes people from governmental institutions such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Oromiya Forest and Wildlife Enterprise and Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority, people from Higher institution of Addis Ababa University, people from non-governmental institutions of PAN-Ethiopia, Institute for Sustainable Development and the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society, people from Private Organizations and people from the Member of the Parliament.

Different papers have been presented during the workshop which introduces migratory birds and the threats they are facing. The papers presented during the workshop were the following:

1.  Migrant Birds: needs, threats and significance

2. Video clip which explains the threats of Migratory Birds and the international tool for Co-operation in conserving migratory waterbirds, AEWA.

3. Agrochemicals in Ethiopia which are threats to migratory birds.

4. Migratory Birds and the International Legal Frame Work

5. The need of networking to protect migratory Birds

6. And finally General discussion on Networking and the way forward

A lot of constructive ideas have been provided by the participants during the discussion session and in general, the workshop was a success.

The second day that was on 18 May 2013 the whole day has been devoted to a field trip to Lake Ziway which is 160km from Addis Ababa. It is an Important Bird Area in the country and also a critical site as a feeding and stop over site for Migratory Birds. Currently the lake is facing a lot of challenges such as pollution, siltation and shrinkage of the wetland but still with a lot of water birds. Therefore it was essential to make the education and bird watching trip on this lake. All people who have attended the workshop have also joined the education and bird watching trip.

Invited guests from  he Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center and from Ziway District Environment Office have made speeches on the threats of the lake and measures taken at present to bring positive changes on the habitat and resource status of the lake.

Media coverage has also been given on the National Television an event being taking place on the celebration of Migratory Birds.

All the events were jointly organized by the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority which is the sole governmental organization responsible for the conservation and wise use of the wildlife resource of the country and also an Implementing Institution for AEWA, CITES, and CMS and the Bird life Partner in the country- the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society.