Thursday, April 9, 2015

Egypt signs memo on migratory birds ahead of observing their day in Ain Sukhna

CAIRO: As means to protect migratory birds from wind energy plants, the Ministry of Environment signed a memorandum to draft an assessment of the environmental effects of the plants, and possibly shut them down during key emigration times.

The memo, signed with the Renewable Energy Authority and the Bird Conservation Project (BCP,) comes as Egypt plans to observe World Migratory Bird Day, designated by the United Nations on the second weekend of May. The 2015 theme of the day is “Energy – make it bird friendly.”

Representatives of several state bodies and locals will conduct a field visit to watch migrating birds in the spring in one of its top destinations in Egypt: Ain Sukhna resort in Suez, 120 km east of Cairo.

In a Wednesday statement, Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy said his ministry is creating a plan to reduce risks facing residents and migratory birds by collecting solid waste on which birds gather, rehabilitate their natural environment, organize hunting, counter poaching and release seized birds into the wild.

As part of Egypt’s keenness on biological diversity encouraging international donors to develop green economy, the ministry is also carrying out a project protecting bird in cooperation with Birdlife International and the UN Development Program (UNDP,) Fahmy added.

The project aims to integrate BCP with the ministries of electricity, tourism and agriculture and the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater to raise awareness for the protection of migratory birds, according to the statement.

The Rift Valley/Red Sea flyway is the second most important flyway for migratory soaring birds in the world and the most important route of the Africa-Eurasia flyway system, according to the UNDP website. There are 34 locations in Egypt which are “vital” for birds migrating globally, according to the Ministry of Environment. More than 1.2 million birds of prey and 300,000 storks migrate through this corridor between Europe, West Asia and Africa each year, according to UNDP.

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