Birdlife 52nd Global Council meeting was held in Brussels, Belgium, from 1st – 4th June 2015. In addition to the formal Council Business; Birdlife Council played a very active role in the EU’s Green Week, with high-profile speeches from the BirdLife CEO – Patricia Zurita and several Council members from Partners in Europe and elsewhere across the world, including the Lebanon’s SPNL, Nature Uganda and French Polynesia’s MANU . A key theme was to urge support for the European Nature Alert Campaign.
Assad Serhal, Birdlife Global Council member, and the General Director of SPNL, highlighted in his speech the environmental crisis Lebanon is facing which is being compounded by the presence of over 1.5 million Syrian refugees. “We are really living in an environmental catastrophe… on all levels and our work to serve people and nature is facing a big challenges since 2012”. Serhal Said.
Moreover, Serhal explained, the country has been witnessing a deforestation campaign that had never occurred in Lebanon’s history.
The main conclusions and actions from the 52nd Council Meeting as summarized by Khaled Irani, Chair of Council, are:
– BirdLife’s Position on Climate Change will be strong and unified at the forthcoming Paris UNCCC meeting (Twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties and the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol).
– Council urged all Partners to get as many signatures as possible from their members and contacts to lobby against any review of the Birds and Habitats Directives www.birdlife.org/naturealert. The number of signatures has now exceeded 200,000 – an EU record but our target is 500,000.
– Council enthusiastically approved ACBK’s application for upgrade to full Partner for Kazakhstan – the first Partner in the Central Asia region.
– Council decided on Singapore as the location for the next BirdLife World Congress and Global Partnership Meeting. The Congress will be hosted on behalf of the whole Asia Partnership in the last quarter of 2017.
The next Council meeting will take place in Uganda from 16-18 November 2015, hosted by Nature Uganda. The African Vulture campaign will be the main focus of this meeting which will include a suite of events to raise the vulture campaign across Uganda and the other East Africa countries.