The International Workshop on the Illegal Killing, Trapping and Trade of Birds: Monitoring and Raising Public Awareness took place in Madrid, Spain on the 27-29th June 2019. It was jointly organized by BirdLife Europe & Central Asia, BirdLife International and BirdLife Cyprus, hosted by SEO/BirdLife Spain. The workshop was financed by the MAVA Foundation as part of the Safe Flyways: Stop Illegal Killing in the Mediterranean project and the Capacity Development Fund, by the EuroNatur Foundation and the LIFE Against Bird Crime (LIFE17 GIE/NL/000599) project.
The workshop brought together 74 communications and conservation experts working on the Illegal Killing, Trapping and Trade of Birds (IKB) from 27 different countries – with a special focus on the Mediterranean region. This workshop builds on the outcomes of previous workshops, in particular the International Conference on Best Practices to Tackle the Illegal Killing of Migratory Birds Summary of Results, which took place in Zakynthos, Greece on the 26-27 June 2014.
In 2016, BirdLife International published a scientific assessment that in the Mediterranean region, an estimated 11–36 million birds are illegally killed or taken every year. The cooperation on this important problem extends beyond national boundaries. The International workshop brought together national and international conservation organizations, hunting organizations, and governmental and intergovernmental representatives, among them the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Secretariat, EuroNatur, FACE, IMPEL, the Spanish Ministry for the Environment, the Vulture Conservation Foundation and WWF Spain, as well as 23 BirdLife partners including SPNL.
Overall goal and rationale of the joint workshop
The format of the workshop was two parallel sessions (one focused on communications and public awareness and one focused on monitoring and data collection) with a number of joint sessions where the two groups came together to discuss issues that concern both.
The main objectives of the Monitoring sessions:
Complete an overview of the existing and planned IKB monitoring and the monitoring protocols used per country (identifying gaps and developing strategies for improving monitoring).
Review the revised BirdLife Monitoring Guidelines with addition of new techniques in IKB monitoring (Presentations of best practice: sound recorders, drones, covert surveillance etc.)
Present outcomes of MIKT meeting and implications of post-2020 Tunis Action Plan for future work on tackling IKB
Evaluate the MIKT reporting by national governments
Discuss a way forwards for 2021 Mediterranean-wide IKB review (funding availabilities as part of MAVA Safe Flyways Phase II planning)
Discuss the overall concept of a regional IKB database
The main objectives of the Communications sessions:
Analysis of the first round of the Flight for Survival campaign
Updates on the campaign: timeline, milestones, key dates.
Partner led and adaptive process: to build on our success and ensure that this is a partner-led process, particularly the partners in the Mediterranean countries, whose activities this campaign seeks to highlight the most, but also all along the flyway
Conservation Impact: take a collective decision how the campaign can build on its awareness raising potential