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Abu Dhabi Steps Up To Conserve Migratory Birds Of Prey

The United Arab Emirates Minister Of Environment And Water, Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahd Has Welcomed EAD’s Initiative And Pledged His Ministry’s Full Support To This Event.

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is stepping up to help conserve more than 70 species of migratory birds of prey in Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia. From October 20 -22, 2008, Abu Dhabi will be hosting the 2nd and final meeting to finalize an agreement on measures to conserve migratory birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia region. Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), the meeting will be organized by EAD, under the United Nations Environment Programme’s Convention on Migratory Species. The UK’s Department of Food and Agriculture is also a key partner in this initiative. The UAE Minister of Environment and Water, Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahd has welcomed EAD’s initiative and pledged his Ministry’s full support to this event. The agreement under discussion will help the implementation of a detailed action plan for the conservation of more than 70 species of migratory birds of prey in Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia. During the meeting in Abu Dhabi, it is expected that several countries will be signing the final agreement. Potential signatories from around 40-50 countries in Africa, Europe and Asia including some ministers are expected to attend. Moreover, members from several key international non-governmental organizations are expected to attend. The first meeting to identify an option for international cooperation on African-Eurasian Migratory birds of Prey was held in Scotland in 2007, where delegates from around 50 countries agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding type of arrangement to conserve migratory birds of Prey. “Developing an agreement for such a large number of species involves more than 100 countries and is a big challenge for us. However, collective efforts and a strong commitment from governments can help us overcome such a challenge,” said H.E Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary General of EAD. As many actions needed to conserve migratory birds of prey are common to other bird species, a new conservation agreement for birds of prey will have broader conservation implications said Mr. Abdulnasser Al Shamsi, Director of Biodiversity Management Sector - Terrestrial at EAD. “More than 50% of the migratory birds of prey have poor conservation status. This is due to threats from habitat loss, hunting, trapping and poisoning throughout their migratory range. Our initiative to conserve these precious birds is not only timely but critical,” said Dr. Salim Javed, Deputy Manager of Bird Conservation at EAD. Raptors are birds which feed on their prey by hunting, mostly by catching them with their sharp and strong talons (claws). They are also called birds of prey because of their preying habits and include – falcons such as Saker and Shaheen, Osprey, Eagles and Hawks as well as owls such as Eagle Owl.

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