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Coronavirus migrates Migratory Bird Day celebrations indoors, online

People around the world will on Saturday, May 9, 2020 celebrate World Migratory Bird Day – a global campaign dedicated to raising awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.

Migratory birds
Migratory birds

According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), this year’s theme – “Birds Connect Our World” – highlights the importance of conserving and restoring the ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystems that support the natural cycles that are essential for the survival and well-being of migratory birds.

The theme, adds the UN body, also underlines the fact that migratory birds are part of man’s shared natural heritage and depend on a network of sites along their migration routes for breeding, feeding, resting and overwintering.

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is celebrated around the world on two peak days each year (every second Saturday in May and October).

As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, events marking WMBD are migrating indoors and online, opening a new dimension to mobilise support for migratory bird conservation across the world.

Organisers of the campaign include the  Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), and the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) – the two UN entities that work on the conservation of migratory birds, and Environment for the Americas (EFTA), a bird conservation group based in the USA, working together to highlight the importance of migratory birds.

According to them, across the Americas, there will be virtual events (such as live talks by experts, videos, quizzes, book readings and many other creative activities designed for children) planned for the Day around the world. They are being brought together on BirdDayLive, a new online platform developed by EFTA.

Along the African-Eurasian Flyway, the Med Migration is conducting a bird count and holding a conference about bird migration focusing on the western French Mediterranean coast.

Along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, four groups of artists will conduct an online performance involving music, art, storytelling and an account by Milly Formby about her flying adventures with migratory birds.

Along the Central Asian Flyway, the Nature Conservation Society-Myanmar (NCS) will organise a nation-wide online media event to mark the WMBD 2020.

Generally, dedicated organisations, groups and individuals around the world will be using the day to highlight their commitment to the conservation of migratory birds through engaging their audiences online. For example, the WWF-led #Connect2Earth initiative is offering a collection of photography and facts about migratory birds for people around the world to enjoy at home.

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