Reading about the environment can sometimes seem like a depressing litany of fading species, increased development, and a warming planet. But there are reasons to be hopeful. As we approach the new year, here are 12 conservation wins we saw in 2018. Read their stories here and enjoy a happy festive season. Best wishes from all at African Bird Club.
At its 2008 World Congress, BirdLife launched the Preventing Extinctions Programme, bringing together the whole Partnership’s species conservation efforts. The underlying principle was simple, recalls Jim Lawrence, BirdLife Global Marketing Manager: "BirdLife couldn't, with a clear conscience, allow any more bird species to go extinct as a result of human activity". For Roger Safford (BirdLife Senior Programme Manager, Preventing Extinctions) the Programme was – and remains – a clear statement that such extinctions "simply aren’t acceptable".
A team of conservationists at SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana has found two gravid (“pregnant”) individuals of the Giant Squeaker Frog (Arthroleptis krokosua) in the Sui River Forest Reserve, the frog’s last remaining habitat. Only three other gravid individuals have ever been found in the last sixteen years.
BirdLife South Africa’s Policy and Advocacy Programme Manager Candice Stevens, together with the government of South Africa (represented by the Department of Environmental Affairs), have won this year’s Pathfinder Special Commendation award for their joint innovative work on biodiversity tax incentives in South Africa.
Over 200 nominations were submitted from across the world for the inaugural event, and Ms Stevens’ collaborative work with the South African government won in the Pathfinder Special Commendation award category.
We are living at a pivotal time for nature and for the future of our planet. They say we’re in the midst of the sixth mass extinction event, and the first to be caused by humans. Our own State of the World’s Birds 2018 reported that one in eight bird species is threatened with extinction. But there is still time to turn things around. The decisions we make now can set us on the path to recovery and a more sustainable world.
BirdLife International is the first recipient of the exceptional leadership award in environmental management and governance in Africa. The award was given by NEPAD, an economic development programme of the African Union to BirdLife on Wednesday, 19 September 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. The award recognizes BirdLife’s outstanding work in the conservation of birds, their habitats and global biodiversity in Africa.Read the full story of this terrific achievement here.
SOAB is a broad publication that examines the situation of birds in Africa, the challenges they face and the actions being taken to protect them by providing analyses of data and literature of major trends and changes in bird populations. The full report is now available on our website. Read the full story here.
The Liben Plain in southern Ethiopia is home to the Liben Lark Heteromirafra archeri (Critically Endangered), and is one of the few fragments of open grassland surviving in East Africa. However, the Liben Plain’s grasslands face threats from overgrazing, soil erosion, scrub encroachment and conversion to cropland. Now, less than 7,500 hectares of degraded grassland remains.
ABC vice-President recently visited Nigeria and discovered local people protecting their native forests. This is his account of what he found:
As I travel in tropical countries I get a bit disillusioned seeing wonderful old trees being felled and local communities hassled by those wanting to fell their local forests - mostly to meet rising demand from China. So good news at last!
Born in the village of Keyfoun near the foothills of Mount Lebanon, Assad Serhal grew up surrounded by nature and hunters, and he would get lost hunting in the wilderness with his father. However, as he grew older, he saw the effects hunting was having on wildlife, altering his path forever.