World Migratory Bird Day is a global annual awareness campaign to promote the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats worldwide. Please find below a press release from the Cameroon Post summarizing our activities in support of this global campaign.
NGO Calls For Protection Of Migratory Birds
BY BASIL K. MBUYA
The International Centre for Environment Education and Community Development, ICENECDEV, July 29 celebrated World Migratory Bird Day 2012, in collaboration with volunteers from Live Build from Netherlands.
The Day was celebrated in Buea under the theme: “Migratory Birds and People- Together Thorough Time”.
Activities to mark the celebrations included bike and taxi movement campaigns that educated, sensitized and created awareness in the general public on the importance of migratory bird.
As part of the celebration, ICENECDEV organized roundtable discussions and a presentation highlighting, conservation techniques and ecological importance of migratory birds in the summer classes at the Saint Theresa International Secondary School in Molyko, using posters, stickers and post cards, which were distributed to pupils, students, schools and local NGOs.
The World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD), is organized internationally by the African-Eurasian Migratory Water Bird Agreement, AEWA, and the Convention of Migratory Species; two international wild life treaties administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The campaign was initiated in 2006 and is a global awareness raising campaign highlighting the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats. The agreement aimed to conserve 255 species of migratory birds and their habitats over their entire fly ways in Africa, Europe, Middle East Part of Asia and Canada. The 2012 edition was celebrated in 104 counties.
“This shows the important relationship between people and birds. Migratory birds connect continents cultures and people along their migratory routes. Migratory birds and people are connected in many different ways and levels. They are connected with people culturally, socially, environmentally and spiritually.” said Eric Fongoh, the Executive Director of ICENECDEV.
Cameroon is not yet a signatory/contracting party to AEWA. Meantime, Fongoh, urged the Government of Cameroon to become a signatory party to AEWA taking into consideration the following documents; agreement text, action plan (4th meeting of parties MOP4), benefits of membership for Cameroon, becoming a contracting party, model instrument of accession to the AEWA forwarded by ICENECDEV to the Prime Minister and Minster of Forestry and Wildlife in January 2012 for internal national consultations and national decision making to be approved by the Parliament through a bill.
Fongoh, on behalf of ICENECDEV, signed a petition exhorting countries to stop the trading of the World Wild African Grey Parrots, in Switzerland. The ICENECDEV campaign hopes to make countries, like Congo, that is ne of the largest exporters of these birds to sell to Asia and the Middle East.
In Cameroon, despite a zero export quota for this species, a total over 5.000 birds were export in the last four years, according to an ICENECDEV handout.
Poaching deforestation, urbanization and intensive agriculture are aspects of human land uses that have terribly toiled on the habitats and population of bird species. In an effort to help save the birds from extinction.
ICENECDEV in collaboration with African –Eurasian Migratory waterbird agreement (AEWA) and the convention on migratory species (CMS) –Two international wildlife treaties administered by the united nations environment programme (UNEP),is raising awareness on bird education campaign in schools and in themountCameroonnational park in the south west region to promote the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats.
ICENECDEV examines the effectiveness of anti-poaching laws and improve their implementation. Money raised by ICENECDEV for bird education awareness campaigns are used to educate and sensitise judges, poachers, leaders of community based organizations on the field of conservation to understand the need to strictly enforce current anti-poaching laws.
ICENECDEV trains park rangers, supporting scientific research, raise awareness of the bird threats and developing alternative sources of income such as ecotourism, bee keeping, agroforestry for the local population living near the birds population.
On the 14th-15th May 2011; the world migratory bird day, ICENECDEV, carried out bird campaign through football and taxi movement for bird day, and bird education in the Buea municipality , and primary and secondary schools in Buea sub –division.
CONSERVATION EDUCATION PROGRAM
Conservation Education is an important part of environmental education and protecting the environment. One of the projects of ICENECDEV is teaching conservation education in saint Joan primary school Great soppo and Presbyterian primary school Great Soppo located in Buea, South west region, Cameroon. The pupils are taught in an interactive way, with local didactic materials from TUSK TRUST Kutras for the Future USA and Hesperian Foundation USA The end of the conservation lesson is supported by practical activities, for the pupils to better retain what they have learnt.This program provide and increase public awareness about environmental resources such as Air, forest, water, soil, and energy etc.The program also provide the pupils and local inhabitants with skills to take responsible action to protect the environment.
Conservation education program addresses awareness among pupils, knowledge and skills to make informed decisions and take responsible actions towards the environment with an ultimate goal of environmental stewardship among youths who are leaders of tomorrow. In the future, we hope to extend our program to the rural communities and schools in other part of Cameroon.
3) CELEBRATION OF WORLD WETLANDS DAY 2 FEBRUARY 2012
On the 2nd February 2012 the international centre for environmental education and community development (ICENECDEV) carried out an education and sensitization campaign on wetlands at the Saint Joan Nursery and Primary School in great soppo street in the south west regionCameroon.
The pupils and teachers where briefed on the history of the Ramsar convention on wetlands that started inIranin 1971. the pupils carried out the following activities through group discussions and quiz competition:
- The pupils identified wetlands inCameroon, and Ramsar site inCameroon,
- The pupils identified natural resources and animal species found in wetlands inCameroon
- The pupils outlined the importance of wetlands inCameroon.
- The pupils identified the methods to conserve wetlands.
The stickers and brochures where distributed to the pupils who participated actively in the group discussions and quiz competition. The event ended with group pictures of the pupils. The pupils where very enthusiastic and they promised to be part of many world wetlands day in the future.
Result: More than 106 pupils where educated and sensitized raising awareness about the convention and importance of world wetlands day
Problems encountered: Inadequate material and financial resources to carry out field work and involve other schools, and local communities.
Recommendations: The materials (posters, brochure, flyers and stickers should be simplified to enable anyone to read and understand. The pictures and arts on the posters should reflect wetlands in any part of the world. The materials should be distributed a head of time to avoid delays and give more room for proper planning and implementation of the sensitisation Campaigns.